40.3 MB (4.2 MB compressed)
4504 x 3131 pixels
38.1 x 26.4 cm ⏐ 15.0 x 10.4 in (300dpi)
DR. JOHN BRACKENBURY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR. JOHN BRACKENBURY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Black garden ants. Macrophotograph of queen black garden ants (Lasius niger) congregating before they are mated. In August, these virgin females are each mated by a male 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, some of which will develop into fertile female queens capable of founding a new colony. Magnification unknown.
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