Yellow meadow ant

Yellow meadow ant

Yellow meadow ant ┬ęPaul Richards

Yellow meadow ant

Scientific name: Lasius flavus
The yellow meadow ant is known for creating anthills in grassland habitats. It has a close relationship with the Chalkhill blue butterfly - protecting the larvae in return for a sugary substance they secrete.

Species information


Length: 2-4mm

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


The yellow meadow ant is familiar to us as the common ant that creates anthills in grassland and downland habitats, but also appears in our gardens if the grass is not cut too often. They build a soil dome above the nest (which can extend a metre below the ground) to help regulate temperature and humidity. Like all ants, the Yellow meadow ant is social and forms colonies; the workers are mainly active underground, however, and not often seen unless the nest is disturbed. During summer, winged adults pair and mate, the females dispersing to form new colonies.

How to identify

The yellow meadow ant is, as its name suggests, a yellowy-brown colour. It is one of several closely related and very similar species that build anthills.



Did you know?

Yellow meadow ants spend most of their life underground where they feed on honeydew produced by aphids which they 'farm' on the roots of grass.