Larval development


Hi,

I have a question i hope you can answer for me.

I have recently started my own ant colony which is currently thriving. The ants have even created a new nest which is full of larvae at various stages of development.

I may need to provide a bigger habitat for them in future judging by how many larvae there seems to be in the new nest. However im not sure how long it takes the for an ant to go from a new layed larvae to an ant thats ready to go.
Could you give me some idea of the timeline for this?

The ant species i have is Polyrhachis Australis.
Any information you can provide me with would be grately appreciated.

Regards, Michael

Hello Michael:

Congratulations on your thriving Polyrhachis australis colony.

The question of how long it takes an ant to develop from egg to adult has been studied in only a relative few of the 14000 or so known kinds of ants. Most of the ones studied are those which infest buildings or are agricultural pests. Two house infesting ants, the Pharaoh ant Monomorium pharaonis and the ghost ant Tapinoma melanocephalum develop quite quickly, about three weeks from the laying of an egg by the queen to an adult worker, while fire ants Solenopsis invicta take about a month from egg to adult. On the other hand, some Myrmica species from the cold north of Siberia and Canada may take about two years to complete their development.

Unfortunately, your Polyrhachis australis fall into the category of ants whose development has not been studied. But I would estimate, based on my experience with related ants, that they complete their development in 8-12 weeks, in part depending on temperature. In other words, you might want to prepare for the rapid expansion of your colony with additional nesting space, sooner than later.

James C. Trager & the AntAsk Team

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