Beckett's picture

Eggs in soil

Observed: 11th June 2011 By: Beckett

I was planting some tomato plants in a raised bed in my garden the other week and came across hundreds of these eggs buried in the soil, some near the surface but others up to about 10cm down.
There were two sizes as you can see, the larger ones were about 1cm long and looked like medecine capsules. In the areas where the eggs were there were also lots of ants, so I wondered if the ants might be farming them in some way?
Any help in identification much appreciated.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which an ant (Formicidae) interacts


BDeed's picture

I think they are likely to be

I think they are likely to be ant eggs, and there was probably a nest in the soil that was disturbed by the digging.

You may have noticed some of the ants picking up the eggs and carrying them back down any remaining tunnels, shortly after they were disturbed?

Alan Thornhill's picture

larvae and pupae maybe

Wouldn't they be ant larvae or pupae rather than eggs? Eggs would be very small, and wouldn't be in two sizes. The ants 'eggs' sold in pet / fishing shops are actually pupae, I think.

Beckett's picture


Thanks everyone, I thought they looked too big to be ant eggs - much bigger than the ants themselves - but that explains all the ants around them.