Ant Life Cycle

Ants undergo complete metamorphosis, passing through a sequence of four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. An ant’s life begins as an egg. Ant eggs are soft, oval, and tiny – about the size of a period at the end of a sentence.

IMG_2829

Not all eggs are destined to become adults – some are eaten by nest mates for extra nourishment. An egg hatches into a worm-shaped larva with no eyes or legs. Larvae are eating machines that rely on adults to provide a constant supply of food. As a result, they grow rapidly, molting between sizes.

IMG_2830

When a larva is large enough, it metamorphoses into a pupa. This is a stage of rest and reorganization. Pupae look more like adults, but their legs and antennae are folded against their bodies. They start out whitish and gradually become darker. The pupae of some species spin a cocoon for protection, while others remain uncovered, or naked. Finally, the pupa emerges as an adult.

IMG_2841

Young adults are often lighter in color, but darken as they age. The process of development from egg to adult can take from several weeks to months, depending on the species and the environment. For this activity, we talked about the ant life cycle and the different ants within the colony. Using pre-made cutouts, students completed the life cycle by placing them into kinetic sand: starting with the queen, moving on to a larva, continuing to a pupa, and finishing with a worker ant!

IMG_2854

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s