Do Ants Have Wings?

During the reproductive phase, certain ant species develop wings. So, do ants have wings? Out of an estimated 22,000 species of ants, around 13,800 have been categorized to develop wings.

They have elongated waists that finish in a node and geniculate antennae that set them apart from other insects. Eusocial insects such as ants, wasps, and bees all share a common ancestor in the order Hymenoptera.

While their progenitors were vespoid wasps, ants diverged from them during the Cretaceous period and flourished after the appearance of flowers.


Do Ants Have Wings?

do ants have wings

It’s true that certain ants, like flying ants, have wings, but the vast majority of ants don’t. Within typical ant colonies.

There are some ant species that have wings whereas other ant species do not. These are the newly minted men and females who have not yet participated in the nuptial flight.

Only reproductive ants have wings, and during the breeding season, those reproductive ants are the only ones that are able to fly.

Ant species that do not swarm do not have members that can fly, and they build their populations by the process of budding rather than swarming.

This essentially means that a queen and the reproductive males who trail behind her leave the nest and walk to another location in order to establish a new colony.


Read also: Do Ants Eat Dead Ants?


Why Do Some Ants Have Wings?

In contrast to regular ant workers, flying ants belong to a distinct species that gives them the ability to fly.

These ants have the ability to fly to new locations, something that the other members of the colony are unable to achieve, and they can then establish new colonies there.

  • For the Purpose of Reproduction:

The presence or absence of wings on worker ants is a topic that leads to frequent misunderstandings among humans.

The only ant that can fly is the queen, and she utilizes her wings for reproduction (i.e., mating with male ants that can also fly) and flying out to form a new colony.

Worker ants will never develop wings because they have no use for them.

  • For the purpose of Mating:

Virgin queens and male alates (winged reproductive males) leave their colonies to mate throughout the flying process.

Large numbers of flying ants may likely be observed around your residence starting in the afternoon when temperatures are at their peak.


Read also: How Far Do Ants Travel?


Which Ants Do Have Wings?

The term “alates” refers to sexually mature ants and is used interchangeably with the term “winged ants.” This indicates that they are able to have offspring. These insects are also referred to as reproductive ants.

These ants can be broken down into two distinct groups: males and queens (sexually mature female ants).


Read also: How do ants find food?


Do Queen Ants Have Wings?

The queen ants are the ones that most people notice, and they are the ones that most people find to be so unpleasant.

Even though they normally only fly when the weather is warm like in the spring or summer, it is possible to spot them in the air at other times of the year.

The bodies of reproductive females are larger than those of winged male flying queens, and their wings have a comparable look to the wings found on winged male flying queens.

This behavior is typical of larger animals. The colony of these species spreads through a process known as fission, in which a new queen would take a certain number of workers and form a new colony on her own.

Within the nest of their parents, drones and young queens of many species live for an abnormally extended period of time.

This is true for both species. However, only some of the colonies that have ergatoid queens will tolerate the presence of more than one queen; the others will continue to eliminate more monarchs.

An example of this alternative mode of dissemination is provided by army ants, which demonstrate that not all queens require their wings in order to be successful.


Read also: Does Bleach Kill Ants?


Do Carpenter Ants Have Wings?

Do ants have wings

Swarmers have wings, but worker ants and the queen do not have any wing structures of their own. If you have a problem with carpenter ants on your property.

You can notice “flying ants” around your house as a result of the infestation. This is not an unusual occurrence.

Swarmers of the carpenter ant have two separate sets of wings. These wings are positioned on their thorax, which is located above their waist.

The normal swamer has a set of front wings that are longer than the pair of wings in the back. These ants are significantly greater in size compared to the other members of the colony.

Male swarmers are significantly smaller in size compared to their female counterparts, who can grow up to three-quarters of an inch in length.

Because they are both winged insects, carpenter ant swarmers and termite swarmers are frequently confused with one another.

Nevertheless, there are discernible distinctions between the two in terms of wing size, body structure, and antennae morphology.



Do ants have wings? Certain species of ants will develop wings at their reproductive stage. These are called “alates,” and their mission is crucial, they need to reproduce.

Males and young queens are the most common types of winged ants. Fortunately, these ants are mainly concerned with reproduction and establishing a colony, so they are not a serious threat to people.

These winged ants normally perform a “nuptial flight” or “dispersal” once a year, in the late spring or early summer.

Massive swarms form when ant queens and kings mate in midair. They feel safer in a large group, and that group’s presence deters potential predators.

Males are mortally wounded in the act of mating. Females who have successfully mated continue their quest for a safe nesting area as they fly around.

Upon locating a suitable location, the queens will shed their wings and consume them as a source of nutrition as they establish their colonies.

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