Ant Queen laying eggs - how many?

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Ant Queen laying eggs - how many?

Post: # 77330Post wardh99
Wed May 05, 2021 8:49 am


I am trying thinking about setting up an ant farm. However I am trying to work out how many eggs the queen might lay.

So does it work something like this the queen regulates how may workers are needed based on the nest size and available
food supply etc (by instinct) or will she keep laying until she dies. Or then again she lays for x number of days.

So if the ant nest is to small you will have to many works for your nest.



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Re: Ant Queen laying eggs - how many?

Post: # 77331Post AM1C39
Wed May 05, 2021 8:53 am

How big the colony will get will depend on the species.
My current colonies:
The miniature military(formica neogagates)
the power of war(camponotus novaeborecensis)
the black hearts(crematogaster cerasi
the blazing nation(Myrmica alaskensis)

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Re: Ant Queen laying eggs - how many?

Post: # 77350Post RuinedDrone
Wed May 05, 2021 2:01 pm

AValible food supply + colony numbers.

The queen is a egg laying machine, her purpose it to turn food in to eggs.

If you have a lot of food but only 1 worker, her cant feed her and look after a large brood so he intake is low hence her egg out put is low

If you have lots of workets but not food, then the workers need to feed all the other workers + her but with limited food again her intake is low egg out put is low.

Lots of food lots of workers mean the can feed each other, tend the brood and feed the queen and egg out put goes up.

This is a typical positive feed back loop, there is no thought behind it, as the number of workers incress as long as there is food the egg out put of the queen will incress to the physical limit of her body, but if either food or workers decress so will her output. Its a nicely regulated system. A colony can out grow its nest in captivity, this would not happen in the wild as any exposed ants would be eaten and brood would die if the conditions are not correct in terms of moisture and tempture. but again this limits the egg production as if the brood cant grow in number the worker number is limited and the feed back continues.

So number of eggs produces is more likley a physial feed back loop rather than any instinct or siganiling. There is a limit to how many eggs a queens body can prodcue in a day but in the case of some likethe fire ant the queen can at peek produce 1,000+ eggs a day. but will only do it when the colony is millions in size and food is plentiful.

(We can assume for most specices the queen sits there being fed and just laying eggs not adding much to the care of them.)

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Re: Ant Queen laying eggs - how many?

Post: # 77360Post AntsLuxembourg
Thu May 06, 2021 3:55 am

There are multiple factors.
First is Food Supply. It's the main one since the more food you give them, the more they can expand. That is, if they can store it somewhere. But if they find enough food, then they will keep growing.
Second is space available. If there isn't enough space for them, then they may try to escape if even possible and limit their activities.
Third is heat. If it's too cold the colony will only grow slowly and they will not expand as rapidly. Of course the same goes if it's too hot. If it's too hot then the queen may not lay any more eggs because of the stress or because the young may even die off.
Fourth is stress. If they are not under stress they will flourish but if stressed too much it could mean that the queen doesn't lay many eggs.
Doing some proper research is the best way to start an antcolony.

1 - Messor Barbarus
Founding colonies:
2 - Lasius Niger Colony
Need help or want to help?

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Re: Ant Queen laying eggs - how many?

Post: # 77372Post AntLuvForever
Thu May 06, 2021 11:34 am

A heat pad works well. However, you should carful before you risk it. It is better for a queen to be below her ideal temperature than above.
Ant Colonies I Own :

(lasius neoniger)—The Sugar Barons

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Re: Ant Queen laying eggs - how many?

Post: # 78170Post wardh99
Wed Jun 02, 2021 6:43 am

Hi Everybody,

Thanks great answers. As you have explained the build up cycle. Is there any way to guess when I might get my next egg and what rate initially (as a rough guess). I do understand this might be an impossible question for people to answer :)

I have at the moment a Polyrhachis Vermiculosa queen, 1 worker and 2 eggs. (This is how they arrived).

Also if known how long does it take the pupa to grow to adults from egg stage.

Thanks for all the great help,


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