Will an unfertilized ant queen die?

Frequently Asked Questions About Ants

Moderator: ooper01

Post Reply
Vested
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:39 am
Location: Colorado

Will an unfertilized ant queen die?

Post: # 31270Post Vested
Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:43 pm

Hello! I've just started ant keeping this year and it's been going great, so far I have 3 Tetramorium caespitum test tube setups with around 10 ish works right now. The one issue I have is I found another ant in early August I'm assuming is a queen she was found in the Colorado, Rocky Mountains near a lake with no wings. I've had her for around a month now in a test tube, she's always had a tendency to pull at the cotton and after around 3 weeks of having her with no eggs I decided to give her some honey which was quickly accepted, after another 3ish weeks there is still no eggs and I have given her a cricket leg that she seemed to enjoy. So number one question im wondering is if she is even a queen? I didn't think workers could last a month on their own even with food/water, and if she is a queen do you think she will lay eggs next spring or she is just unfertilized and will die? Next question is what kind of ant is she (I will provide pictures) my guess is a carpenter ant queen as she is fairly large at around a centimeter, and has some defining features that I could find.

Thanks! Let me know if you need any more information :)

Rounded Thorax
Image
Single Node (Sorry this picture isn't the best but it shows the node)
Image
Overhead Picture (Bloated gastor)
Image
As close up as I could do :P
Image
Side Picture
Image

User avatar
Batspiderfish
Posts: 2344
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:47 pm
Location: Maine

Re: Will an unfertilized ant queen die?

Post: # 31285Post Batspiderfish
Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:05 pm

She is a Formica sp. from the fusca group, probably F. argentea or F. occulta, but I cannot tell from the pictures. Formica will not keep any brood over the winter, so she is probably waiting for the spring. Unfertilized queens still lay eggs, but because the eggs are haploid (containing only half of the mother's DNA), they will all develop into worthless males.
If you enjoy my expertise and identifications, please do not put wild populations at risk of disease by releasing pet colonies. We are responsible to give our pets the best care we can manage for the rest of their lives.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest