A good rule of thumb if you’re into watching wildlife, especially in the garden. Is that if not much else seems to be going on, go see what the ants are up to. In the case below this paid off with a new garden species, as we finally discovered that our garden supports not one species of black ant (Lasius niger or the Black Garden Ant) but also the larger Jet Black Ant (Lasius fuliginosus).
We were really only aware of this for sure when we viewed both species together, as in the video below. The Jet Black Ant is just that, much blacker (and larger) and in this case embroiled in a scrap with several much smaller Black Garden Ants, who clearly are winning the battle. Which it has to be said went on and on and in the end after about ten minutes we left them to it. Although by that stage most the garden ants had lost interest as well and it was really just the large Jet Black Ant left running around in confused circles.
Anyway, the discovery of a second black ant species did make us revise not just our species list, but also some previous posts where we attributed some behaviour or other to L. niger when in fact it was L. fuliginosus.
So a case of live and learn…