Birth of an Ant

A charming video of adult Lasius niger helping a young worker out of her cocoon:

The really big ant is the queen- the young ant’s mother. Queen ants are typically useless for most tasks other than egg-laying, so her participation in the eclosion is remarkable.

(video by YouTube contributor xGozzax)

11 thoughts on “Birth of an Ant”

  1. I never thought about the actual process before. But I agree with the first 2 comments, plus that she joins sisters and not brothers (or brethren as the YouTube site says). But yes, let’s see the long form birth certificate: I want to make sure she is an ant. After all, salticids make some pretty convincing ant mimics.

  2. Pingback: Lasius niger Gyne hilft beim Schlupf (Video) -

  3. Thanx for this wonderful vid, Alex – it is rather astonishing, regarding the near brainlessness of the queen (ah, another remarkable analogy to human queens?).
    Anyhow, Andrew, there was once one queen of Lasius niger that lived nearly thirty years – in professional care, that was. As much as I know the average life expectancy in nature should be around 5-8 years, with some rare queens/colonies in ideal surroundings getting much older.

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  5. Birth, bar mitzvah, or end of teens – it’s interesting how our use of language reveals our perception of holometabolous insects (or is it just confusing, not revealing?). I’ve repeatedly encountered – and am myself guilty of saying – things like “this larva will become a parasitoid wasp” or “the the Common Brimstone adults emerge in summer, hibernate, and then reproduce in spring, so this is a remarkably long-lived species”. That larva apparently belongs to some anonymous class of organisms; and I suppose species that hibernate at some other stage than imago don’t really exist during winter, they just magically emerge, and won’t get even close to the Brimstone’s thirteen months of age…

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