when and why? are there flying ants?

Published on 14 April 2023 at 07:11

When and why, are there flying ants?

The fledging of new ant queens is a fascinating phenomenon that takes place each year in the fall. This is the period when the old ant nests begin to die and new colonies are established by the young queens. In this blog I will explain when the new ant queens fly out, how they get fertilized and how you can tell.


When do new ant queens fledge?


The exodus of new ant queens usually takes place in late summer or early fall, depending on the species. This is the time when the old ant nests begin to die and there is a need for new colonies. The young queens are then born in the nest and begin to prepare for their exodus. They gorge themselves on food and prepare to mate with male ants.


How do the new ant queens get fertilized?


When the ants fledge as queens, they look for male ants to mate with. They do this by emitting pheromones, chemicals that attract the male ants. Once the male ants find the queens, they mate in the air. After mating, the male dies, leaving the queen to establish her own colony.


How do you notice the fledging of new ant queens?


The fledgling of new ant queens is a spectacular sight and can sometimes be compared to a swarm of bees. You can recognize the queens fledging by the large groups of ants that gather around the entrance to the nest. This is also called a bridal flight. The ant queens are larger than the male ants and often have wings. After mating they lose their wings and are often fertilized.

The fledging of new ant queens can be noticed in different ways, depending on the species of ants and the environment in which they live. Here are some ways you can spot the fledging of new ant queens:


1. Collection of ants: On the day of the nuptial flight, large numbers of ants often gather at the entrance of the ant nest. This can look like a busy crowd of ants gathering around the nest.

2. Wings: The male ants and the new queens have wings during nuptial flight. After mating, the queens lose their wings and are often seen walking around on the ground looking for a suitable place to establish their new colony.

3. Sound: During nuptial flight, the male ants often make a buzzing sound, which can be heard if you stand close enough to the assembled ants.

4. Striking behavior of neighboring animals: Other animals, such as birds, lizards and spiders, can be attracted to the large numbers of ants that gather during the nuptial flight. This can lead to conspicuous behavior from these animals, such as chasing the ants or collecting the fallen ants to eat.

The fledging of new ant queens is an important part of the ant life cycle and can be a fascinating phenomenon to observe. It can also be helpful to know when this takes place as it can help prevent ant infestations in and around the home.


Is it possible to mate captive ants?


It is possible to get captive ants to mate, but creating the right conditions for this to happen can be tricky. Ants are social insects that live in colonies with a queen responsible for reproduction. In order to mate successfully, the male and female ants must be in the same colony and emit the correct hormonal signals.

If you have captive ants and you want to try to get them to mate, it is important to make sure they are in a suitable environment, with plenty of food and water. In addition, it is important to know what kind of ants you have, because some species only mate during certain seasons or under specific circumstances.

It may also be helpful to try to mimic the correct hormonal signals to induce the ants to mate. This can be done by using pheromones that the ants normally emit to find each other and mate.

In general, however, it is not recommended to allow captive ants to mate unless you have a lot of experience caring for ants and can create the right conditions. It is better to let the ants mate in their natural environment and let their population grow naturally.