An ant’s life begins with an egg; The offspring will be male haploid if the egg is fertilized, and female diploid if not. Ants go through a full metamorphosis during their development, with the larvae going through a pupal stage before emerging as an adult. Workers provide the larva with food and care because it is mostly stationary.
Trophallaxis, a process in which an ant ingests liquid food stored in its crop, provides the larvae with food. Adults also share food stored in the “social stomach” in this manner. Solid food, such as trophic eggs, pieces of prey, and seeds brought by workers, may also be provided to larvae, particularly in the later stages.
The queen and young are taken care of by a new ergate for the first few days of its adult life. After that, she moves on to other nestwork, including digging, defending the nest, and foraging. Temporal castes are defined by these abrupt shifts, which occur frequently.
The high number of casualties associated with foraging suggests an explanation for the sequence, making it only an acceptable risk for mature ants who are likely to die soon of natural causes.
The mated females then look for a good location to start a colony. They begin to lay eggs and care for them there after using their tibial spurs to break off their wings. The females can either lay unfertilized haploid eggs to produce drones or selectively fertilize future eggs with stored sperm to produce diploid workers. The term “nanitics” refers to the first hatchlings,