Black Garden Queen Ant


    In News 

    According to a recent study, insulin-suppressing protein may be responsible for the five-fold increase in longevity in queen ants compared to worker ants.

    • Generally, species with a faster metabolism for reproduction are associated with a shorter life span. 
      • Ants are a notable exception to this generally accepted rule.

    About Black Garden Queen Ant

    • The queen ants, who are in charge of the colony’s reproduction, have a substantially longer lifespan than the worker ants despite having the same DNA.
      • For instance, a black garden queen ant can produce one million eggs and live for 30 years, unlike her sterile worker sisters, who only have one year’s lifespan.
    • Queen ants and worker ants are the two female groups in ant colonies.
      •  Queen ants lay eggs and worker ants stay in the nest and complete tasks like tending to the young.
    • Queen ants produce an anti-insulin protein that blocks a portion of the insulin chemical pathway in the body, responsible for ageing.

    Other Studies 

    • The researchers observed Harpegnathos saltator ant, a native of India, whose queens often live for five years, but workers live for around seven months.
    • Harpegnathos ants provide a unique opportunity to study how ageing and reproduction can be disconnected.
    • A strange thing happens when a Harpegnathos queen dies in a colony. Female worker ants fight with their antennae to become the new queen. While still residing in a worker ant’s petite body, the winner transforms into a ‘pseudoqueen’ and alters their position in the ant colony.
      • Pseudoqueens extend their lifespan from seven months to four years and develop queen-like traits, such as the production of eggs.

     Source: DTE