(Lasius Niger)

The Garden ant or black ant is usually found in the garden, beneath paving stories, flower beds and basis of walls.

Winged females and males appear in the summer and fly to find mates and start new colonies. Ants have social colonies and everyone has their part to play in maintaining the community.

The Garden ant goes through a complete metamorphosis life cycle.

Description

The nest will comprise of a queen between10-15mm long and a brown, and workers that about 4-5mm long, and a darker brown or black colour. There are three types of workers, fertile males, fertile females (queens) and sterile females. They have biting mouthparts and elbowed antennae.

Biology

Swarms of ants test their wings and prepare to mate, mating is done on the wing, and soon after mating the male dies. The female will then remove its wings and dig into the soil where she will overwinter, and start a new colony in the spring, however very few manage this.

Food

The garden ant will eat a variety of foods including small insects, fruit pulp, nectar and will farm a honeydew produced from aphids

Habitat

You can find these ants in your garden, under paving slabs at the base of your walls. Foraging worker ants looking for food is how they gain entry into your home and become a nuisance.

Common Garden Ant

Ants will collect honeydew from aphids

Ants have social colonies with a hierarchy, with workers, nurses, soldiers and of course a  queen

Male and female  winged ants preparing to take flight

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Common Garden Ant

(Lasius niger)

The Garden ant or black ant is usually found in the garden, beneath paving stories, flower beds and basis of walls

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