Lasius meridionalis (Bondroit, 1920)

Description and notes

Lasius meridionalis is a rare, small yellow ant superficially similar to the common L. flavus (Fabricius). It can be difficult to separate it from the similar L. mixtus (Nylander), L. sabularum (Bondroit) and L. umbratus (Nylander). It is a temporary social parasite.

Distribution

There are coastal records for South Wales, south-east and eastern England, also inland for the home counties and the Breck.

It is found in northern and central Europe.

Status (in Britain only)

This species is not given a status by Shirt (1987) or Falk (1991). Current data suggest that it ought to be Nationally Scarce.

Habitat

Sandy areas including dunes are preferred.

Flight period

Late June to mid October

Foraging behaviour

Workers of this species are rarely found above ground. They feed principally on honeydew from root feeding aphids and other bugs.

Nesting biology

A fertilized queen will start a new colony by invasion of its host species. She will attack a host worker and carry it in her mandibles to acquire its nest odour. Sometimes several queens will invade the same host nest. Principal host is Lasius psammophilus Seifert.

Author of profile

M G Fox

Year profile last updated

2019