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The Ant Life Cycle

The ant life cycle has five stages…

  • Nuptial flight (flying ants land and mate)
  • Egg (small oval shaped eggs)
  • Larva (grow in size as they are fed by adult ants – look like rice)
  • Pupa (silk-like cocoon – ant body takes shape inside)
  • Adult (ant)

The whole process can take 8-10 weeks in warmer climates and much longer in colder climates.

*The winged ants you see in the spring or summer are at the beginning of this cycle. The nuptial flight is when queens and males fly from the nest and then mate. When they land the female ant loses her wings and looks for a safe place to lay her fertilized eggs (start a new colony), the male ant dies.


AntArk.net has a great depiction of how the cycle works.

from antark.net
from antark.net