It would seem to vary with the species of ant, but it will not start
until the completion of a suitable nest-site. Then it is a matter of
"The queens of most highly-evolved ants rear their first brood in
isolation, relying on their abdominal fat reserves and metabolized
flight muscles for larval food (Wilson 1971). Once Myrmecocystus
queens sequester themselves in small earthen chambers, initial colony
development proceeds quickly (Morgan 1991). Most begin laying eggs
within a day and have a small group of mature larvae within several
"Soon after landing, the female sheds her wings, and if she has found
a location for her nest, she begins to excavate a brood chamber.
Initially, this chamber consists of a small cell located at the end of
a vertical burrow. The vertical burrow may be 1 to 4 inches deep. Egg
laying begins within 24 to 48 hours after the completion of the brood
The queen initially lays 15 to 20 eggs within the first 2 to 3 days of
colony development and will produce about 20 to 125 eggs by the time
the first larvae emerge."
"Winged male and female carpenter ants (swarmers) emerge from mature
colonies usually from March to July. After mating, males die and newly
fertilized females (mated for life), establish a new colony in a small
cavity in wood, under bark, etc. and each lays 15 to 20 eggs in 15
days. The egg stage takes about 24 days, larval stage 21 days and
pupal stage 21 days or about 66 days from egg to adult at 70 to 90
"females reach sexual maturity within 2-3 days after emergence, and
oviposition begins a few days after mating and dealation"
Camponotus japonicus ant
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