Yellow Meadow Ant - Lasius flavus

    Description

    The Yellow Meadow Ant is, as the name suggests, yellowish brown in colour. A number of features distinguish it from other similar species of ant, including the fact that the lower sections of the antennae and the tibiae lack hairs. The workers are around 2 to 3.5 mm in length.

    It is a difficult species to identify and it is as well to seek expert confirmation.

    Identification difficulty
    Recording advice

    Unless identified by a recognised expert, a photo is required and the specimen should be examined with a microscope. In the comments box, state the key or ID method used and describe the size and identifying characters.

    Habitat

    Typically found in rough grassland and gardens, provided the grass is not cut too often. This species can live under the ground as long as the grass is open enough to allow sunlight to reach the soil.

    When to see it

    Alates (winged reproductives) often take to the skies for their nuptial flights in July and August in Europe.

    Life History

    This species feeds on insects that are found in grass, including fly larvae, wireworms, woodlice and springtails. It also 'farms' aphids on the roots of plants in order to obtain the sweet honeydew that they exude. Like all ants, the Yellow Meadow Ant lives in organised social colonies.

    UK Status

    Common throughout Britain, particularly in the south.

    VC55 Status

    Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map