Life Cycle of Fire Ants
Its life cycle is similar to that of most other ant species, with the first stage being the egg. This stage is followed by the larva, the pupa, and the adult ant. In the case of fire ants, the life cycle is divided into two parts: that of the individual ants and that of the colony.
A new queen lays about a dozen eggs after fertilization, which hatch in seven to ten days. It takes the queen about 20 to 25 days after the eggs hatch to raise the immature ants to adulthood, during which time she feeds and cares for them. In the beginning, these new workers begin foraging and tending to their queen.
The colony’s population grows quickly due to the high egg production of a well-fed queen, who can lay up to 1,500 eggs per day. Workers create a complex network of galleries and chambers to house the increasing number of ants, which serves as both a nursery and a place of residence for the adults. Queens and a group of workers have been known to leave a mound when it reaches capacity and establish new colonies nearby.
There are more mounds as the population grows. The mounds of fire ants are typically two feet in diameter and 18 inches high. The mounds of fire ants help to regulate the temperature beneath the ground. It’s as if they’re being driven up and down the galleries by the changes in temperature.
It has been reported that a healthy queen can live up to seven years under ideal conditions. Worker ants have a five-week lifespan on average.