Male Argentine Ants

Male Argentine ants hatch from the queen’s unfertilized eggs and are fairly short lived. The single function of a male Argentine ant is to mate with a queen to preserve and proliferate the colony. The males usually die soon after mating.

Unlike other ant species, Argentine ants do not participate in mating flights, called swarms. Instead, the male Argentine ant mates with the fertile females inside the nest. These females become queens. They leave the nest on foot with a group of workers to begin new colonies, a process known as budding. While queens of other ant species will independently search for a new site to establish a colony, the Argentine ant queen can establish her new colony in close proximity to her original colony. Often the new colony’s burrow will become connected to the original colony’s burrow. At times, these neighboring colonies will share workers.