In the ant colony reproduction occurs at an incredibly fast rate. The life of an ant starts with an egg. If the egg is fertilized, the ant will be female, if not, it will be male. When an egg is fertilized it has four stages it has to go through and develop by complete metamorphosis. From and egg, ants enter the larval stage which is particularly helpless, because it lacks legs entirely and it can’t care for itself. Food is given to the larvae by an ant in the colony by regurgitating food previously held in its crop for communal storage. This process is also used by adults to distribute food amongst themselves.
All the ants work together to keep their colony populated. From the larval stage it moves to the pupal stage, where the shape and form of the ant body is developed and almost completely defined. During the larval pupal stage developing ants need to be kept at fairly constant temperature so they are properly developed, and this is done by ants moving the larvae’s around different brood chambers within the colony. Only the Queen and breeding females have the ability to mate. Once the ant is developed it spends the first few days of its adult life caring for the queen and young.
After that it moves onto digging and nest work for the next egg. Defending the nests is what causes most ants to die in the colony, that’s why ants that do defend nests tent to be older or closer to death. Worker ants come in many sizes, called minor, median, and major workers. The larger ants are called ‘soldier ants because their large head causes them to have stronger mandibles, which makes them more effective in ‘duties’ such as collecting supplies. The first workers to hatch are weak and smaller than later workers, but they begin serving their colony immediately.
Their job involves enlarging the nest, forage for food and care for the other eggs. The worker ants do not breed, so their jobs are to look for food, protect the eggs, take care of the young, and defend the nest from unwanted visitors. Workers are always finding good sources of food. Due to the small size of the ants the food leaves a trail of scent so that the other ants in the colony can find food. The food that is found can range from a leaves, to dead bodies of insects bigger than they are. They also eat anything that was left from human consumption such as pieces of fruit, bread crumbs, chips, and so on.
The food that the ant colony eats is not depicted by how good something tastes, but is based on anything that will keep them alive. When the food source is found worker ants one by one go to the food source and take as much as they can carry on their heads and head back to the colony, they keep a long organized line and keep transferring food to the colony. This keeps the colony running. It is the duty of the society to keep the colony running for the next ants that take their place. There is no form of entertainment for an ant colony, there life is dedicated to working and surviving.