Ant Life Cycle

As an insect that undergoes complete metamorphosis, the ant has 4 stages in its life cycle:

  1. Eggs
  2. Larvae
  3. Pupa
  4. Adult

Ant Eggs

Ant with jelly beansAnt eggs are tiny, about the size of the period at this end of this sentence.

The eggs can be laid year round, but most are laid during summer months.

Unfertilized eggs produce male ants (drones) and fertilized eggs produce female ants (workers or queens).

Some eggs are eaten by ants and provide extra nourishment.

Ant Larvae

The worm-shaped larvae have no eyes or legs. All they do is eat and rely on adult ants to bring them food. They grow rapidly, molting between sizes.

Ant Pupa

Once a larvae grows large enough, it transitions to the next stage in its life cycle: pupa. Some species attach to the wall and form a cocoon. Other species just lie in the tunnel.

The ant is at rest during this pupa stage. Its body is undergoing a lot of physical changes.

Ant Adult

When the ant emerges from the cocoon, its exoskeleton hardens and it can no longer grow: this is when the ant is now considered an adult. Ant

Generally, ants only live for about 90 days.

Male ants don’t do any work in the colony. They only live a few weeks to a couple months and die after they reproduce.

The workers’ first job is to tend to the queen and eggs. After a while their job changes and they work in the tunnels. Their final job in life is to forage for food and defend the colony.

Workers are known to live up to 7 years and queens up to 15 years.

Where you can get supplies

Ant life cycle model

25 pack of live harvester ants

Ant hill habitat

Classic ant farm

Ant-related websites

1 page summary of the ant life cycle.

Detailed information about the various parts in an ant life cycle.

Very simple summary of the ant life cycle.

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