Suppose I manually remove the queen ant from a colony, and take it to a completely different place (ant cannot visually travel back to its colony). Will it start a new colony in its new surroundings, similarly to the way in which it did after the nuptial flight? Or will it keep on looking for its old colony?

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    $\begingroup$ I didn't find any previous attempts of that artificial test, it depends a lot what kind of new habitat she is placed into. Ants use a lot of chemical queues, that tell them if they are in the right kind of habitat, humidity, rock, wood, to use as a burrow, and queens have an instinct to hide from light. There may be a question of time before the queen ant changes behavior, if she has no colony chemistry to react from, so it may take her 1 hour, 1 day, 3 days to return to solitary behavior. So she would search for her perfect scenario, as similar to a nest as she can find, and start a brood. $\endgroup$ Apr 21, 2017 at 10:08


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