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· For print: Citation: AntWeb. Version 8.62. California Academy of Science, online at https://www.antweb.org. Accessed .
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Worker. Shining black, legs brownish yellow; pubescence sparse, scattered erect hairs over dorsum. Head broadly cordate, emarginate posteriorly with rounded occipital lobes; genital margins incurving towards mandibular insertions. Maxillary palps short with segments 4, 5 and 6 subequal. Petiole thickened wedge shaped in profile, with feebly convex faces, dorsal margin narrow, convex or straight. Length: 4.0-6.0 mm.
Queen. Colour and shape as worker. Pubescence and body hairs thicker and more abundant than worker. Head width: 1.45-1.65 mm, broader than alitrunk. Length: 6.0-6.5 mm.
Male. Shining black; head cordate, not emarginate posteriorly, as wide as alitrunk. Petiole low and thick with rounded dorsal margin. Mandibles with apical tooth only. Length: 4.5-5.0 mm.
Distribution. Throughout Denmark and Southern Fennoscandia to latitude 62°; South Ireland, England and Wales. - Range: Portugal to Japan and North India, South Italy to Finland.
Biology. This distinctive species is easily recognised by its shining black colour and broad head. Carton nests are constructed at the base of old trees, hedgerows and sometimes in sand dunes and in old walls. Colonies are populous, often polycalic with more than one focal nest and several queens. Workers forage above ground in narrow files throughout the day and night during warm weather, ascending trees and shrubs to tend aphids. The mandibles are relatively weak but small insects may be taken as food. Other competing ant species are repelled by aromatic anal secretions. Fertilised queens may be retained in the old nest or found fresh colonies through adoption by the members of the Lasius umbratusHNS species group; mixed colonies with L. umbratusHNS or L. mixtusHNS have often been observed. Flight periods are irregular and have been recorded in all months from May to October. A number of local beetles occur with this species including members of the genus Zyras which exhibit protective mimicry. Walden (1964), records an enormous nest measuring 63 x 55 x 55 cm found in a cellar near Goteborg and there are similar reports from outbuildings and cellars in England (Donisthorpe, 1927).
Found most commonly in these habitats: 396 times found in Unknown, 129 times found in Forest, 128 times found in heathlands, 71 times found in Anthropogenic, 45 times found in dry grassland, 35 times found in shrubs, 33 times found in Wet grassland, 31 times found in Rocks (rocky-calcareous grasslands), 21 times found in dunes & inland dunes, 2 times found in mixed woodland, ...
Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 7 times on the ground, 5 times on trunk, 2 times Nest under stone, 1 times nest in soil, 2 times foraging on ground, 1 times strays, 1 times nest in large rotten log, 1 times nest in base of spruce tree, 1 times nbp, 1 times leaf litter (-5-0 cm), 1 times in dead log, ...
Collected most commonly using these methods: 380 times Pitfall trap, 251 times Manual catch, 32 times search, 10 times Malaise trap, 9 times Hand, 8 times sifting of soil samples, 5 times beating, 5 times Color trap, 5 times Window trap, 3 times Yellow color trap, 3 times Pyramid trap, ...
Elevations: collected from 35 - 1750 meters, 658 meters average
Collect Date Range: collected between 1866-04-02 and 2020-09-12