Many species of Lasius ants go unnoticed by people until large swarms of winged ants take to the air on a summer mating flight. However, they are the most abundant insects in the areas where they live. They are found in temperate climates across North America, Europe and Asia, and are also found in North Africa and parts of the Middle East. Lasius is a genus of ants with at least 115 species in it, including the very common black garden ant and yellow meadow ant. These two species are a familiar sight in Britain’s gardens and meadows and are a favourite food of green woodpeckers.
Scientific name: Lasius
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Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
Learn more about the other animals and plants that also form these fossils.
Lasius is a genus of boreal formicine ants. The type species for this genus is the black garden ant, Lasius niger. Other major members, which live in drier heathland, are the cornfield ant, L. neoniger, and L. alienus
Other species include the temporary social parasites of the L. mixtus group and the hyper-social parasite Lasius fuliginosus.
Lasius flavus is also a commonly seen species, building grassy hillocks in undisturbed pasture. In the Alps, these mounds - always aligned east to catch the first rays of the rising sun - have been traditionally used by goatherds as natural compasses.
The genus was renamed by Horace St. John Kelly Donisthorpe, the eccentric British myrmecologist and coleopterist, after himself Donisthorpea.
Synonyms: Donisthorpea Donisthorpe
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