ant fact archive

Bridget Mullen, Birthday Series #35, 2021

Bridget Mullen

Birthday Series #35
flashe on linen
photo by Marten Elder
courtesy of the artist

Male ants are often outlived by their sperm, dying just days after mating.38 The queen stores their ejaculate in a pouch-like organ and uses it to fertilize eggs for a decade or more.39,40

  • According to research conducted on Crernatogaster opuntiae.
  • The bean-shaped spermatheca features a precise valving system, releasing just a few sperm cells per egg.
  • Wheeler & Krutzsch, 1994