How does ant breeding work?


Queen ants lay eggs, but how often is there a new queen? How does that work biologically? Does any ant breed with the queen or is there a specific type?

I recently got an ant farm (no queen of course). And I’ve just been curious.

In: 1

In most cases, an ant colony that has lost its queen is destined to die. Unlikely bees, most ant species aren’t capable of creating a new queen to replace the one that they lost. There are exceptions in the case of polygynous (multiqueen) ant species and ant species that have gamergate(s) (reproductive worker ants).

Queen ants are born when conditions within a colony are favourable and sufficient nutrition can be provided to feed to brood(baby ants) that are genetically capable of becoming princesses. The princesses stay within the colony until it is time for them to take their nuptial flight with other princesses and drones from their colony and meet with drones from other colonies. During their nuptial flight, they collect all of the sperm that they will need for the rest of their lives and they find a nice place to establish their own colonies. The new queens use the now unnecessary energy stores within their wings/wing muscles to raise their first batch of worker ants.