Lasius niger queen
Catch your own queen ant
If you want to catch your own queen ant, either luck or some preparation and research is needed.
Ants usually have their nuptial flight once a year. Only at this time the colony forms so-called reproductive animals, that is, young queens and drones (male ants). They are the only ants capable of flying. The queens shed their wings after they have mated with one or more males. The males die after a short time (maximum a few days) regardless of whether they have mated or not.
After the young queens have completed their nuptial flight, they look for a suitable place to establish their colony. They shed their wings and start burrowing. This is the perfect moment to collect them. When they have no more wings you can be sure that they are mated.
The best way to collect them is to use spring steel tweezers. With these you can grab the animals without hurting them.
Place them in a test tube or a small box with holes for ventilation. Some species should be transported individually, others can be kept together for a short time in a container, as they are less aggressive among themselves. Different species should always be kept separate.
To find out when and where you can find your queen ants, there are now many “nuptial flight charts” online. We have linked two examples further down on this page.
Please make sure you are not collecting a protected or endangered species, there are more than enough species in all countries of the world that have very healthy populations.
Nuptial flight chart in german language:
Nuptial flight chart in english language: