Yellow meadow ants live in grasslands and are good for the grass in many ways. Their underground colonies open up the soil and keep it porous, their droppings fertilize the roots of the grass, and the ants eat insects, some of which may damage the grass. The ants are also known for allowing the caterpillars of the chalk hill blue butterfly into their nest.
Scientific name: Lasius flavus
The following habitats are found across the Yellow meadow ant distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
The Yellow Meadow Ant, Lasius flavus, is one of the most common ants in Central Europe, although it also occurs in Asia, North Africa and eastern North America.
The queen is 7–9 mm long, males 3–4 mm and workers 2–4 mm. Their colour varies from yellow to brown, with queen and males being slightly more darkly colored.
The species lives primarily underground in meadows and very commonly, lawns. The nests are often completely overgrown by grass, however, often their nests rise have outside them, small mounds. They will also nest under large rocks or concrete slabs. Lawn nesting will eventually become obvious as the aphids clear sections of grass or portions of gardens.
The Yellow Meadow Ant feeds on the honeydew from root aphids, which they breed in their nests. During winter, the aphids themselves are eaten. As a consequence of their feeding habits, the species is seldom seen, but it is possible that it forages outside the nest.
Alates (winged ants) can be seen on warm days and evenings of July and August. This is one of the rare times that they are seen, as workers push the young winged ants out of the nest. Colonies are often founded by multiple queens (pleometrosis). Later on, fights between the founder queens will erupt, with only one queen left (monogyne).
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.