Argentine Ant Queen
Argentine ant queens are different and unusual when compared to queens of other ant species. Some of those dissimilarities and behavioral characteristics are:
- Argentine ant queens are small, about 1/6 – 1/4 inches in length, much smaller than most other species of ant queens
- Winged Argentine ant queens mate once with a winged male, after which they can continuously produce fertile eggs for as long as they live. While other ant species have seasonal swarming flights, these ants do not form new nests through mating swarms. Instead, they mate inside the nest.
- A single Argentine ant colony will have several queens, each of them capable of laying as many as 60 eggs per day.
- Argentine ant queens help workers by feeding their young. Most other ant queens primarily lay eggs and depend on the ant workers to feed and care for the young.
- Argentine ant queens are mobile and may be seen outside the nest along with workers, unlike other ant queens who reside inside the nest for life. Queen mobility enables the rapid movement and establishment of nests to other areas if conditions become inhospitable.
- At times, due to temperature or colony pressures, an Argentine ant queen will leave her nest without taking flight and establish a new nest.