June 18, 2020
Just how much larger is the queen than the workers inside the museum's leafcutter ant colony? See for yourself! As you can see, the workers are always crawling around the queen and tending to her needs, like feeding her and cleaning her. Thanks to VMNH Research Technician Liberty Hightower for taking this short clip of a rare queen ant sighting.
When the queen moves (either on her own or by force of the other ants), it is to get her to what is deemed to be the best temperature and humidity available inside the colony, as well as where she would be safest from possible predators. Of course, sometimes the queen and the workers have different ideas of where the best place within the colony is for her. Staff sometimes observe her trying to go one direction, while a bunch of the workers are dragging her the other way!