This morning I was very lucky to catch new queen ants taking flight! It is called the nuptial flight. The virgin queens meet up with males, mate and then start their own colony somewhere else! As this happens quickly I was lucky to catch these photos!
The queen ants and the males are kept separate in the colony until the time is right weather-wise for them to take off. Once the female is in flight she gives off pheromones that attract the male. Their mating is violent at best, and once he has fertilized the female he dies. She drops her wings and begins a new colony. Here are photos I was able to capture in the flight I saw this morning!
If you click on any of the photos you will notice how colorful the wings are, and you will see better detail!
This mass caught my eye.
More and more emerged!
Look for the arrows in this next photo. They point out the ants just lifting off. They have two wings on each side!
This next photo shows 12 ants in flight. Can you spot them all? Click on the photo to enlarge and you will see them really well!
Here is one final shot of more that just emerged from the ground.
Needless to say, the birds were really happy! When I advanced on the area where these little gals were coming up, birds flew off. Our flycatcher birds were all around me!
Have a terrific Tuesday, and thank you for stopping by! Be well! ^..^