Do Ants Grow Wings?


Yes, some ants grow wings. Reproductive ants grow wings during the breeding season to fly away and start their colony.

Ants, in their reproductive age, are ‘alates’. These are a group of reproductive males and a young queen. They move away from their queen’s nests and find a new nest. They pose no danger to humans.

This migration is known as dispersal or nuptial flight, occurring in spring and over early summer. They migrate in large numbers to protect themselves from predators. Once they mate, the males die, leaving the queens to find a suitable spot for their nests. They then shed their wings and feed on the dead males as they start a new colony.

Foraging worker ants never grow wings. In most cases, they are the ones you spot on the sidewalks and in the house. They must find food for the queen and the reproductive males.

The ‘swarmers’ (flying ants) have a specific time to thrive during the year. They see this time as the condition necessary for mating. High humidity, bright sun, low winds, and warm temperatures indicate that the reproductive adults should leave home. They observe the trends for about three days, and these conditions are met during spring and over early summer.