Ant's egg, larva and pupa

Raised by the mother

The mother of Camponotus japonicus ants raises the firstborn offspring herself. Because her wings have fallen off, her now redundant chest muscle is dissolved with saliva and serves as milk. Eggs and larvae which grow later may sometimes be used as food. (Mother=Female)

Lays eggs in an egg-laying chamber with no exits

The mother creeps under a stone or wood to make the initial nest. When a chamber with a size permitting her to turn around is formed, the entrance is closed with soil. She then lays about one egg every day.

Mother of Camponotus japonicus taking care of eggs

The egg changes to a larva and further to a pupa after spining a cocoon.

An egg changes to a larva within about 25 days. The larva produces threads by itself after some 10 days to form a white cocoon. The larva casts off the skin inside the cocoon and turns into an ant-shaped pupa.

She takes care of the larvae and cocoons containing pupae.

Workers are born

About 60 days after the eggs are laid, the initial worker is born. The body is black and very small due to lack of nutrition. However, it emerges from the cocoon vigorously and carries food.
Workers take care of the mother.

Sooner or later, the number of workers increases to around 10. The mother receives food from the workers and makes them take care of the larvae. As such, a mother that is accompanied by workers is called the Queen. (Mother=Queen=Female)