I heard ant eggs laid by a female (or queen?), if left unfertilized, will hatch into male ant offspring, but doesn’t that mean that the offspring should be clones of the mother and, therefore, should be female?

2.33K views

I heard ant eggs laid by a female (or queen?), if left unfertilized, will hatch into male ant offspring, but doesn’t that mean that the offspring should be clones of the mother and, therefore, should be female?

In: Biology

3 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Ant sex is determined by the sets of chromosomes. If they have pairs of chromosomes they are female. If they have a single set they are male. A fertilised egg has pairs of chromosomes, one set from the mother and and one from the father and thus develops into a female. An unfertilised egg has one set of chromosomes only from the mother and thus develops into a male.

Interestingly this means a male ant cannot have a son and has no father. However they can have a grandson and they have a grandfather.

You are viewing 1 out of 3 answers, click here to view all answers.