Polyrhachis australis larvae


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 I'm not sure how long it takes the for an ant to go from a new laid larvae to an ant that's 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 greatly appreciated.

Regards, Michael

Dear Michael:

Congratulations on your thriving colony of the beautiful, shiny black Polyrhachis australis, seen at this link from the Oz Animals website http://www.ozanimals.com/Insect/Dome-backed-Spiny-Ant/Polyrhachis/australis.html>, in two lovely images . This is one of the lesser known weaver ants, that builds nests above ground, of leaves and other plant parts, bound together with larval silk. Note that the correct format for this and all scientific names is always with the first part (genus) capitalized, and the second part (species name) always in lower case.

It turns out you've asked a question, about devlopment time of ants, that has many answers, depending on the sort of ant that one is considering. The development of an ant from an egg laid by the queen to an adult ant can take a little over three weeks to almost two years, depending on the species and the climate in which the ant lives. I admit to no personal experience with observing the development of Polyrhachis, but based on my experience with related ants in the genus Camponotus, I would guess eggs in your colony would complete development to adult workers in 6-10 weeks. In other words, now would be a great time to prepare for the expansion of the colony!

Maybe you can send us in a nice picture or two of them in the future . . .

James Trager & the AntAsk Team

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