Life Cycle of Black Ants

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Ants go through the different development processes of body shape from egg to adult. This process is called metamorphosis. D. thoracic black ants including insects experience complete metamorphosis or holometabola metamorphosis. Ant life cycles are: egg, larva, pupa, and imago or adult (Karindah, 1992).
a. Egg
Ant eggs are white, oval-shaped, 1-1.5 millimeters in length, and long phase of eggs is 14 days (Cadapan et al., 1990). Eggs are produced 10-20 days after copulation between the queen and male ants. Black ant egg production is about 1300-1700 eggs per year. The eggs are laid in the nest that is in holes of trees or behind foliage (Elzinga, 1978 in Rahmawadi, 1997).
The ant eggs in the nest are treated by worker ants. Worker ants will move the eggs from the nest if the nest condition turns humid or deteriorate, and put them back in the nest when the situation is normal. This is done to avoid fungal infections and interference from outside such as predators, antagonist ants, and others.
black ant
b. Larva
Ant eggs will hatch into larva. Ant larva looks like a maggot, white, the head consists of 13 segments, and the long phase is 15 days (Cadapan et al., 1990). Black ant larva is fed in the form of saliva liquid getting from queen salivary glands, from fat reserves of queen fly muscle, or if the colony already has workers then feeding done by the workers (Samiyanto, 1990).
Larva usually eats all the time because they have to store enough energy to enter pupa phase.
c. Pupa
Ant larva will turn into pupa. Black ant pupa is white, not wrapped in a cocoon like most other insects, and long phase of pupa is 14 days. At the time of pupa-shaped, black ants have period of not eating or non-feeding period (Cadapan et al., 1990).
d. Imago
The last phase in the metamorphosis of ants is imago. Imago is black, the body organs begin to function, and begin to separate based on their castes. Colony will produce more workers than the other castes in the early formation of colonies. This is done to ease the queen’s task because most of colony activity will be carried out by the workers. Long life cycle of black ants is about 40 days and ants can survive for 2-3 years (Cadapan et al., 1990).

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