Compared to spiders, ants are born in a different way. They are born in a caste system, which means that they have different roles in the colony. There are three major castes, workers, queens, and males. The males are mainly food for other insects, while the workers are the ones that take care of the colony and lay eggs.
When a queen ant lays an egg, the egg hatches into a larva, which is a worm-like larvae. The larvae molt several times before becoming a pupa. The pupa then becomes an adult ant. The larvae may die if they are removed from their nest. The pupae is similar to a cocoon of a butterfly.
The larvae are fed by the queen’s saliva. In a few hours, the exoskeleton darkens. After several days, the worker ants emerge. They take care of the nest, feed the egg, and protect it.
After a few weeks, the larvae become adult worker ants. They can carry up to fifty times their own weight. The larvae need to eat constantly. The food they eat includes other insects, seeds, and dead meat. If there is no food for the larvae, they may die.
When a colony is attacked, the queen ants will leave the nest and search for a new location. Once the colony is healthy, they can continue to move to new locations.
The colony can survive for years. The queen ants produce thousands of eggs at a time. They store the sperm in a pouch in their abdomen. These sperms are used to fertilize the eggs.