Polyrhachis lamellidens



So how does this organism reproduce?

The female queen ant sexually reproduces with fertile male ants of the same species.   After the male and the queen are done mating the male ant will typically die, and the queen will fly to a new location where she will shed her wings and get ready to populate a new colony.  The queen ant is able to store the sperm from the male ant until she is ready for the eggs to be fertilized.


 Does it require specific conditions to reproduce?

The Polyrhachis lamellidens only go on nuptial flights from September to November.  A nuptial flight occurs when winged males and virgin queen ants fly from the nest in swarms looking for a partner to mate with.  The Polyrhachis lamellidens ants will fly around looking for other fertile Polyrhachis lamellidens that are from a different colony. It is not completely understood why, but ants tend to go on nuptial flights the day after a large rain.  Colonies of the Polyrhachis lamellidens all undergo roughly the same schedule for nuptial flights.  This is significant because when the queen ant releases her pheromones the reproductive males from other colonies need to be on the same nuptial flight schedule in order for successful reproduction to occur.


Ant life cycle:

The image to the right shows a pretty clear depiction of the life cycle that the ant undergoes.  The life cycle of an ant involves four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.  The life cycle starts with the egg, and when the egg hatches it turns into a worm shaped larva.  The larvae stage involves strictly food intake and growth.  The larvae that take in the most food will become the queens, and the larvae that take in the least amount of food will become female worker ants. When the larvae grow large enough they will enter the pupae stage through metamorphosis.  During this stage the Polyrhachis lamellidens will rest and protect itself by spinning a cocoon.  The final stage of development involves the ant emerging from its pupa stage as a full grown adult.  The whole process of development for the Polyrhachis lamellidens can take several weeks to complete.



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