Why Do Male Ants Die After Mating?

Why Do Male Ants Die After Mating?

The ants prefer to mate during spring and summer when the weather is favorable for their nuptial flight. Many people do not know that the small ants they see everywhere are the females.

Moreover, worker ants are females who play a role in collecting food, feeding their queen, and preparing it for mating and reproduction.

Why Do Male Ants Die After Mating? Male ants die after mating because they cannot tolerate the stress and feel exhausted. In addition, their reproductive organs can break apart into the queen’s genital chamber. They cannot re-mate because they can produce a limited number of sperms, and the process of spermatogenesis halts when they enter a late pupa stage. Moreover, they get lesser attention from the colony after mating because they are of no use to them. Furthermore, the death of males does not matter for a colony because females can produce them quickly. The queen avoids repetitive mating and stores sperms for fertilization in the future. 

A swarm of male ants waits for the queen to come out of the nest for mating, and it can transfer all of their sperm at once.

In addition, a queen ant can produce an infinite number of eggs in a single day by using the stored sperms.

Do Male Ants Die After Mating?

The male insects cannot live for many years like a queen ant, but they live until transferring the sperms. There are many reasons behind their death after mating with their partner.

Limited sperm production

The male ants cannot produce sperms when they enter a late pupa stage.

When they cannot release an infinite number of sperms as the queen produces many eggs, the colony does not take care of them.

Moreover, these male insects feed on the resources collected by ants after mating. So, all the workers kick them out of their nests. They are of no use for the insect anymore.

Lifetime mating

The male partners lose their life after mating because the queen needs them once in her life. They exist because they have to mate with a flying partner.

The queen can store the sperms for a long time and use them for fertilizing the eggs. Therefore, the sperms remain active for many years and fertilize the eggs efficiently.

So, she does not need male partners to mate after some time because they are viable for an extended time.

Lesser attention and care

When they fulfill their task of transferring the sperms to the mother, workers ants do not care for them. Therefore, they cannot get proper food and nutrition like the queen ants.

In addition, they get lesser nutrition than the queen, even before mating.

However, they will die when others do not pay attention to their nutrition requirements and do not care about them.

The difference in the longevity of male and female ants is due to changes in their genes and the time of their switching on and off.

Damage to reproductive organs

The genital organs of the male ants get damaged when they are mating vigorously with the large size healthy queen.

Therefore, their genitalia explodes and enter the chamber of the partner. It results in quick death because they cannot tolerate the stress.

So, their reproductive organs lose their viability, and they cannot re-mate anymore. You can consider it a “suicidal mating” because these insects know they will die after this process.

However, they prefer to mate; instead of knowing that they cannot survive for a long time after this process.

Lack of energy

These are smaller than the queen and have lesser energy. As a result, they feel exhausted after mating and require proper nutrition to survive.

Therefore, they shed their wings and start eating to get nutrition and feel energetic. However, they cannot survive more than a week on wings and need food.

As they cannot fulfill their nutritional requirement, so they cannot survive and die in a few days.

Quick reproduction

Unfertilized eggs will become male ants and they are produced in an uncountable manner by both the worker ants and the queen.

In addition, mating is essential to produce female offspring because they need the genetic makeup of their mother and father.

There is no need for the fertilization of eggs to produce male offspring because the genetic makeup of females is sufficient for their production.

The colony does not consider them an essential component of their nest because females can quickly reproduce them without fertilizing eggs.

The worker ants find it difficult to feed all of them, so they kick them out of the nest when they have done their job.

Therefore, the worker insects consider it is easy to produce new offspring rather than feed them without any purpose.

Do ants shed their wings after mating? 

When both the partners need to mate, the queen flies high in the air and finds a competent male that can mate with her.

Both partners are involved in nuptial flight and return to the ground after transferring sperms. When they return, they remove wings from their body quickly.

The female has to build a new colony, so it uses the wings to obtain nutrition that helps produce offspring.

Furthermore, the wings muscles are a rich source of nutrients that helps in the development of a new colony.

The male partner pulls his wings off their body, goes into isolation for a short time, and dies.

So, both the partner ants shed their wings after mating and use them for nutrition because they have no colony that can feed them.

Do all male ants die after mating?

Queen ants have to maintain the continuity of generations by producing new offspring. In addition, they need to perform crucial tasks and bring coordination among the insects.

Moreover, they have to ensure the colony’s survival by providing new worker ants that collect food and feed the queen and larvae.

However, these insects do not have specific duties like female worker ants and the queen. Therefore, they are not playing a role in collecting food and colony survival.

Therefore, they die after mating because they do not have to perform other jobs except it.

So, these ants die after mating, and they cannot remain a part of the colony afterward.

Can a queen re-mate to male ants? 

The queen can store the sperms that remain viable for many years. For example, she can keep the sperms of a male ant that died years ago.

Moreover, there is a special pouch inside her body where she hides the sperms to avoid damage. She opens the pouch to fertilize the eggs with the sperms to produce offspring and then closes it.

She does not prefer to mate frequently because males can transfer all of their sperms at once that are enough to reproduce. A single flight is enough to collect sperms for a lifetime.

Furthermore, she sheds her wings after the nuptial flight, so she cannot fly for re-mating. Therefore, her purpose in life is to remain inside a nest and propagate the colony.

How long do male ants live after mating?

They have a short lifespan after mating and disappear within a few days. The new one takes their place when they turn into an adult from the larvae stage.

All the male ants have the same genetic makeup in a colony because they all contain genes of the female ant only.

Furthermore, they can survive for almost 4 to 8 days until they have the energy to survive without food. At the same time, some males die during mating due to damage to their reproductive organs.

In addition, they transfer all their sperms at once inside the female genital chamber and become free of sperms.

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