British Wildlife Wiki

Lasius mixtus is a species of ant in the Formicidae family.

This small yellow ant has a scattered distribution in England, becoming scarce further north into Wales, Scotland, and very rare in Ireland. This subterranean ant nests deep in the ground, among shrub roots or under deep boulders, though rarely creates small mounds of fine loose soil.

Lasius mixtus queens, like the more common lasius umbratus, are temporary social parasites. Queens must infiltrate nests of other lasius species in order to create a colony. The Lasius mixtus queen tricks host workers into thinking that they are their biological mother so that they care for her. The Lasius mixtus queen will lay eggs which the host workers will care for until they develop into worker ants that will replace them.

For antkeepers, founding colonies of this species can prove difficult given the parasitic nature of this species. It is recommended that you give a mixtus queen pupae or callow workers of any cautolasius sp or niger group sp. If you cannot find pupae or callows, find a few workers and put them in a fridge for roughly five minutes and introduce them individually to the queen. Keep in mind, the more hosts the queen has, the more eggs she will lay because in the wild, the queens try and retain size of the host colony.