Red Ants (Solenopsisgerminata)
Major workers with large heads and sharp mandibles, 7mm long, reddish-yellow with mandibles and gaster dark reddish-brown; minor workers, 3-4.5mm, pale yellow with oval, reddish-brown gaster; two nodes. Polymorphic, with major and minor workers.
The life cycle of the ant consists of four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Fertilized eggs produce female ants (queens, workers, or soldiers); unfertilized eggs produce male ants. Ant eggs are oval shaped and tiny (they are on the order of 1 mm long, but the queen's egg is many times larger). The worm-like larvae have no eyes and no legs; they eat food regurgitated by adult ants. The larvae molt (shed their skin) many times as they increase in size. After reaching a certain size, the larva spins a silk-like cocoon around itself (against a solid object, like the wall of the chamber) and pupates. During this time the body metamorphoses (changes) into its adult form.The pupa emerges as an adult. The entire life cycle usually lasts from 6 to 10 weeks. Some queens can live over 15 years, and some workers can live for up to 7 years.4