First off, it’s great to be back and see this forum still bustling with activity. I was a bit
active on this forum some years ago but due to the lack of space in my room at my parents home I couldn’t set up a
decent ant farm and gave up the anting hobby (or well, the keeping ants part at
least). Now the 1st of august I will be moving out and I’ll have
enough room in my new home to dedicate a corner to anting. Yay!
As of such I’ve decided to start collecting queens again this summer. Summer crashed in yesterday after several weeks of sh*t weather and so did the nuptial flights. I caught mainly Lasius niger or L. flavus queens yesterday and today. However today while queen hunting in my garden, I noticed a large dark red queen scurrying across the lawn; I managed to catch her in a tube. I’m pretty sure she’s a Formica queen (though confirmation on this is welcome) but I have no idea which species. I know F. rufa and F. Sanguinea are present in woodland areas nearby. Some information:
She was caught in the province of Groningen, the Netherlands. From abdomen to head she’s about 1cm. Head and abdomen are very dark red (nearly black), thorax lighter red. Her abdomen seems pretty small for a queen in comparison to her thorax and head (I thought she was a worker for a moment, but I think her thorax is too large). 12 segmented antennae. She has very keen eyesight and is pretty aggressive, opening her mandibles getting ready to strike whenever she sees something moving close to her tube. Some pictures below:Picture 1
Hopefully some of you ant experts can pin down the exact species and hopefully
it’s a species that’s suitable for keeping. I’ve heard F. rufa and F. sanguinea
are hard to keep because they’re aggressive and make above ground nest humps
out of dried needle leaves (besides that F. rufa is a protected species in the Netherlands, prohibiting keeping them as pets).
Thanks in advance!