Copyright

Queen Ant Lesson for Kids: Facts, Lifespan & Size

Instructor: Wendy McDougal

Wendy has taught high school Biology and has a master's degree in education.

A queen ant is very important within an ant colony, because she has a job that no one else can do. What is it, and how can you tell which ant is queen? Read on to find out.

A Very Busy Insect

Have you ever dropped a crumb of food, only to see it being carried away moments later by ants? Ants have the reputation of being some of the most organized and hard-working insects around. They hurry busily about with good reason. Ants usually live in huge, bustling ''cities'' and must tend to their powerful leader: the queen ant. What, exactly, is a queen ant and why is she so important? Join us as we take a closer look at this insect that rules the roost.

Ants are often bustling busily about
Ants

Ant Colonies

Ants live in busy communities known as colonies. Depending on the type, there can be up to hundreds of thousands of ants all living in one colony. Within their community, there are three kinds of ants: workers, males and a very important queen ant. Worker ants do exactly what their name suggests - work for the others and for the colony. Male ants will mate with future queen ants. And the queen ant has a job that belongs to her alone: she lays all the eggs.

The Life of a Queen Ant

A queen ant begins her life as a winged female ant. On certain days of the year, winged females and males fly together in a swarm to mate. For the male, this marks the end of life, as he dies after mating. For the female, life is just beginning as the new queen of a colony.

Winged future queen ant before mating
queen ant

There is now a sense of urgency for the newly crowned queen to build a nest. She tears off her wings and scrambles to dig her new underground home. Many new queens are eaten by predators before they can accomplish this.

If she succeeds in digging her nest, the new queen can now lay her first batch of eggs. This important moment marks the beginning of a whole new ant colony. The first batch of eggs will be only worker ants. Workers are female ants that will not be able to reproduce, or have babies. Their lifetime jobs will be to feed the queen and tend to babies, as well as work on the colony.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account
Support