Red imported fire ant nests consist that the brood and several varieties of adults: winged males, reproductives and also worker ants.

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Winged males are identified from females by smaller sized heads and also black bodies. (Fig. 1, Fig. 2)

Worker ants space wingless, sterile females. They defend the queen through defending the nest from intruders, by feeding the queen only food that the workers have eaten first, and by relocating the queen indigenous danger. They likewise forage and also care because that the emerging brood. The brood is comprised of cream-colored eggs, larvae, and pupae of all the castes.

The winged forms, or reproductives, live in the mound until their adjustment flight, which generally occurs in the afternoon soon after a rainy period. Mating flights space most usual in spring and also fall. Males die quickly after mating, if the fertilized queen alights to uncover a suitable nesting site, sheds her wings, and begins digging a chamber in i m sorry to start a brand-new colony. Sometimes, numerous queens can be discovered within a solitary nesting site.

A newly mated queen lays about a dozen eggs. As soon as they hatch 7 to 10 days later, the larvae room fed through the queen. Later on on, a queen fed by worker ants can lay up to 800 eggs per day. Larvae develop 6 to 10 days and then pupate. Adults emerge in 9 come 15 days. The average nest contains 100,000 to 500,000 workers and up to several hundred winged forms and queens. Queen ants have the right to live 7 years or more, while worker ants typically live about 5 weeks, although they have the right to survive lot longer.

Reproductives have actually wings. Male(top),female(bottom)

There room two kinds of red imported fire ants — the solitary queen and multiple queen forms. Workers in single queen colonies are territorial. Workers from many queen swarms move easily from one mound come another, which has actually resulted in a dramatic increase in the variety of mounds per acre. Areas infested with single queen swarms contain 40 come 150 mounds per acre (rarely more than 7 million ants per acre). In locations with lot of queen colonies, there may be 200 or an ext mounds and 40 million ants every acre.


Wingless worker ants often tend the larvae and also queen (large wingless ant)

The red imported fire ant builds piles in practically any form of soil, but prefers open, sunny areas such together pastures, parks, lawns, meadows and also cultivated fields. Mounds can reach 18 customs in height, depending on the form of soil. Often mounds are situated in rotting logs and also around stumps and also trees. Colonies additionally can occur in or under buildings.

Colonies commonly migrate native one site to another. The queen needs only half a dozen employees to start a new colony. They can build a new mound numerous hundred feed away from your previous location almost overnight. Flooding causes colonies to leave their mounds and also float until they deserve to reach floor to establish a brand-new mound. Colonies likewise can migrate to at home locations.

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Fire ants have the right to be beneficial. They feed primarily on insects and also arthropod pests, which have the right to reduce the need for insecticides in advertisement agriculture. In urban locations fire ants feed on flea larvae, chinch bugs, cockroach eggs, ticks and also other pests.