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Can Ants Fly?



Ants fly during the nuptial flight.

More Info:  Some species can fly during what is called the nuptial flight.  Fertile females (virgin queens) and males have wings and will fly in order to mate.

Which Ants Have Wings?

An ant colony consists of three castes, the queen, the workers, and the males.  The fertile females and males, called alates, are born with wings.  The fertile female will become queen once she has mated and established her own colony.  She will break off her wings after mating. The workers are sterile females and do not have wings.

What Is the Nuptial Flight?

During the mating season, the winged ants of the colony will fly in swarms hundreds of feet into the air away from the colony.  The nocturnal flight generally occurs based on specific climate conditions.  The swarms are more likely to take flight when the temperature rises above 70° Fahrenheit, the humidity is high and the wind is low, and following a fresh rainfall. The males will fall from the sky and die soon afterward.  The queens will continue to fly searching for a safe place to lay her eggs and begin a new colony.  She will then chew off her wings.



“Fire Ant Morphology, Reproduction, and Development .” UMass eXtension.. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2012. <>.

“Ant Information.” University of Arizona. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2012. <>.

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