Sunday, January 30, 2022

Mating frenzies, sperm hoards, and brood raids: The life of a fire ant queen

Follow a queen fire ant as she builds a colony, protects it from neighboring ant armies, and fends off would-be usurpers vying for her throne. 

In the spring, just after heavy rainfall, male and female fire ants swarm the skies for a day of romance, known as the nuptial flight. Thousands of reproduction-capable ants take part in a mating frenzy, and for one successfully mated female, her work is only beginning. Walter R. Tschinkel details how the new queen builds a colony and protects it from neighboring ant armies.

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