DR. JOHN BRACKENBURY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR. JOHN BRACKENBURY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Black garden ant. High-speed photograph of a black garden ant (Lasius niger) queen in flight. In August, fertile virgin female ants are mated by males during their nuptial flight. They then overwinter and emerge the following spring. Each queen lays and tends eggs, usually beneath a stone or in a flower bed. These hatch into sterile female workers, who take over the gathering of food and building of the nest. The colony grows as the queen continues to lay eggs. Black garden ants feed on dead insects and nectar as well as honeydew, a sweet substance secreted by aphids.
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