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Questions tagged [ant]

Ants are social insects in the family Formicidae, a member of the Hymenoptera, which also includes the wasps and bees.

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1 answer
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Why do ants live so long?

I was surprised to learn that worker ants in some species live many years. I would have expected a lifespan of a few weeks or months (which is apparently the case for many species). What factors ...
yep's user avatar
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39 votes
2 answers
20k views

What do ants do with human finger nails?

There is place in my house where I cut my nails. Here, there is an ant hole where an ant colony is seen. Whenever I cut my nails from here, they take my nails inside their hole. I was wondering what ...
Aishwarya Shiva's user avatar
35 votes
1 answer
1k views

Can someone identify this ant?

This is one of seven ant queens I just collected yesterday morning (2015-09-21 9AM) around home. I live in Hong Kong, at a hillside facing south. The weather was as follows (Hong Kong Observatory ...
Kal's user avatar
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25 votes
1 answer
4k views

Do ants really find the shortest path to a food source?

There exist many computational intelligence algorithms based on the observation that ants deposit pheromones in such a way that they find the shortest path to food sources. This logic is used to ...
Nav's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
4k views

Do ants really dispose of their own dead, and how/why?

I just read this from Wikipedia's Swarm Behavior article: Despite the lack of centralized decision making, ant colonies exhibit complex behaviour and have even been able to demonstrate the ability ...
DrZ214's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
7k views

How do ants sense imminent rainfall?

I have always been told to watch to see if ant-hole mounds are built up as a sign of imminent rainfall. My questions are, if what I have always been told is true, then by what mechanism do ants '...
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10 votes
2 answers
4k views

Are these images of carpenter ants?

When I searched carpenter ant in Google, this looks kind of like some of the images. Some other images show reddish or winged ants and I have not seen any of those. I've seen 3 or 4 of these big ...
Smern's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
978 views

Why do ants dig surface paths?

A few days ago I observed a corridor built and used by ants that went over a path in fields: Why do they build it? It seems it doesn't bring any considerable protection from the surrounding ...
Petr's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
8k views

Do ants feel pain?

I have watched video on youtube where guy pours molten aluminium into fire ant colony to make casing. In the comments below there's huge discussion on is that a right thing to do. I am on the side ...
Matas Vaitkevicius's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
11k views

Can ants sense food from a long distance?

I recently had ants find and then swarm to a food container that I put down on a desk. I'm curious as to whether an ant would have needed to get lucky (i.e., discovering the food after crawling up the ...
J.Todd's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
2k views

How should I feed and keep an ant queen?

I have captured wandering ant queen. I guess she was just fertilised and was looking for a place to start a hive. I'd like to create my own ant hive in artificial environment. I unfortunately only ...
Tomáš Zato's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
254 views

Do ant colonies prioritize survival of particular members above others?

In some (perhaps small) human communities people may starve because they have no income. This could be interpreted as a consequence of them not participating in the community, hence they don't get any ...
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8 votes
1 answer
513 views

Do ants feel acceleration?

The organ we have to provide us with current acceleration information is quite complicated. Because an ant queen didn't seem to notice when I picked up the bottle she was in, I have a suspicion that ...
Tomáš Zato's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
2k views

What happens to an ant colony when the queen dies?

Does the colony collapse? Do workers keep following the last orders? Or can future queens replace the dead one? I'm guessing this might also depend on each specific sub-species.
leokhorn's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why don't all ants have wings?

Since the new queens-to-be have wings, it means that ants either evolved from insects that can fly, or insects that can fly evolved from ants, or that we have a case of parallel evolution (which is ...
Jari Komppa's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
324 views

Would a stray ant re-home into a foreign colony (of the same kind) and will the colony accept an alien ant?

Let's say an ant got into my pocket as I was sitting in the park today. At home, I shook off my coat and the ant fell out and scurried out to my garden, which has ant colonies of the same kind. ...
Todd Messenger's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
3k views

How genetically similar are worker ants from the same colony?

I've been reading https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ant and it says If the egg is fertilised, the progeny will be female diploid; if not, it will be male haploid. Since the males have only one set of ...
CJ Dennis's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
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Do ants see, have brain? [closed]

I'm new here and I would like to know if ants can see, I mean with their eyes not with antennas: I was walking around and found an ant specy, they were reacting when I moved my fingers towards them, ...
esQmo_'s user avatar
  • 337
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

If ants have an antibiotic gland, how can they spread hospital infections?

Wikipedia describes how antibiotics are produced in ants: "Metapleural glands ... are responsible for the production of an antibiotic fluid that then collects in a reservoir ... also referred ...
Rodrigo's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
130 views

what species of ant is this?

I found this queen ant on the pavement (in Adelaide) its about 1 cm long and I am not sure what species it is, is someone able to help me?
Luke's user avatar
  • 51
5 votes
1 answer
8k views

Will ants arriving with travel luggage form a new colony?

I have found a few dozens of ants in my luggage after arriving back from holiday. Am I at the risk that they will form a colony in my home? Are those ants able to form colonies that are normally ...
winerd's user avatar
  • 519
5 votes
1 answer
134 views

Can anyone ID this ant queen species?

It was found in Hong Kong! Below are a few basic information: Place: Hong Kong Habitat: Forest. I live very close to a mountain with lots of forestation. Where Collected: Found it in my window slit ...
daniel lee's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
190 views

The emergence of Phengaris butterflies from ant nests

The butterflies of the Phengaris genus (also known as Maculinea) are known to be brood parasitic. During the fourth instar, the caterpillars leave their food plant and mimic ant larvae, causing the ...
Astrid_Redfern's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
367 views

Can ants learn things?

I have an ant nest in a jar. Whenever I want to observe them, I have to remove the cover and therefore put them in light - that scares them. They also can see shadow cast by myself. I often throw in ...
Tomáš Zato's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why does ant queen keep the eggs out of her hive?

I have captured an ant queen and now I'm trying to create an artificial ant nest. I have noticed that though she has dug a hole to hide in, she keeps the eggs out of it unless she feels that they ...
Tomáš Zato's user avatar
  • 1,096
5 votes
0 answers
454 views

My Queen ant has laid eggs but has not dropped her wings, is this ok?

My Queen ant has laid eggs but has not dropped her wings! I caught this Queen in England, I've had her for three days and she's laid eggs already but I was expecting her to to drop her wings first as ...
Lyds's user avatar
  • 99
4 votes
3 answers
7k views

Is there a durable surface that ants can't pass?

I'm looking for a surface, that will be impassable for ant's yet not poisonous or easily decaying. One idea is water - they really can't cross that. But water easily dries and is quite uncomfortable. ...
Tomáš Zato's user avatar
  • 1,096
4 votes
1 answer
210 views

Why are these ants moving as a pack?

Recently I took this shot of a 'pack' of ants moving towards some destination, and I was wondering, is this normal? Aren't ant scouts lone wolfs, and when a viable source of food is found near the ant ...
Abhinav's user avatar
  • 153
4 votes
1 answer
177 views

How do parasites "reprogram" brains?

Dicrocoelium dendriticum is a parasite that uses ants as a second intermediate host (which means that ants aren't its primary host/target, but are rather a temporary host to help reach their main/...
F16Falcon's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
212 views

Do ant pheromones indicate the direction to go?

I know that ants communicate with pheromones but I am wondering if these pheromones can indicate in which direction to go. For example the ants leave pheromones to indicate a food source and when they ...
rold2007's user avatar
  • 143
4 votes
1 answer
263 views

What species of ant is this, and is it a queen?

I found her underneath a big rock along with a bunch of much smaller Lasius niger workers, so I suspect it might be a queen. I know Lasius niger doesn't have soldiers, so what could it have been ...
Bunyan van Asten's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

Do "virgin" ant queens ever shed their wings?

In species that reproduce sexually, if an ant queen goes on a nuptial flight and does not successfully mate, will she still shed her wings and try to found a colony (although she probably won't ...
Kal's user avatar
  • 1,328
4 votes
0 answers
29 views

Why do ants raid the house in summer when it is hot, but in cooler months they don't come in?

Over summer the ants invade our house, including our kitchen. In winter and the shoulder seasons they are not to be seen. I can think of a number of possible reasons for this, including: they are ...
hawkeye's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
72 views

Why do some ant workers still wander at night?

As far as I have seen, the vast majority of workers in colonies of diurnal, non-nomadic species return to their nests and remain there at night. The colonies seem to forage largely during the day. ...
Kal's user avatar
  • 1,328
4 votes
0 answers
177 views

How do ants get oxygen in deep colonies?

With ant colonies getting to be +7 feet deep, how does oxygen renew that deep for their respiration demand?
Arrrstin's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
336 views

Do Ants have a sense of Direction?

Do ants understand which way is up or down? Could they differentiate between uphill and downhill?
Devashish Das's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
107 views

Do ants know the direct (approximately shortest) path to their nest from the food morsel?

I've been studying a bit on the foraging habits of ants, and one of the things I'm not clear on is whether ants know the shortest path from the food that they find to their nest. I understand that ...
Tejas's user avatar
  • 133
3 votes
2 answers
348 views

Is this a carpenter ant?

I stumbled upon a few hundred of these swarming around two different places in my living room today. They kind of look like a carpenter ant to me, but I'm not sure. Also, I'd love to know how you ...
Daniel James's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
476 views

What are the ants underneath leafs in my garden doing?

So a few days ago I spotted a couple of ants underneath some leafs of a major branch of a tree in my garden. Yesterday I had the impression the amount of leafs being occupied by ants has increased a ...
Zaibis's user avatar
  • 172
3 votes
1 answer
78 views

Can someone help me identify this queen ant?

I found this queen ant near a river on the 14 july in Braga-Portugal, it was on a river bank, and it measures around 8 mm. Can someone help me identifying the species? thank you for your time :)
Bruno Esteves's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
95 views

Argentine Ant Trails

What is the maximum distance for an argentine ant (Linepithema humile) trail? I imagine that there is some point where the ants are unable to make the return trip either through exhaustion or from ...
nick's user avatar
  • 133
3 votes
0 answers
127 views

Ants carrying metal scew

Today I saw a few ants carrying a metal screw with them. Video What might be the reason behind this? (nesting material?)
Shub's user avatar
  • 147
3 votes
0 answers
658 views

What changes do ants make to the soil they use for building ant hills

I live in South India ,and among the many species of ants in and around our house, some of them except the weaver ants build the typical small ant hills in the garden. I have examined the coarse sand ...
Amarylis Vaselaar's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
9k views

How do ants transport water?

All living things need water to survive. Worker ants can drink directly from the source. But a queen ant would need help from the colony to get its daily supply of food and water. I have seen ants ...
Question Overflow's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
211 views

Do Pharaoh ants eat sealant?

My high-rise apartment has had pharaoh ants for the past 3 years (maybe more). It is being handled by a pest control company. I am not looking for countermeasures. One of the countermeasures advised ...
user2153235's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can I identify this black ant queen?

I have an ant queen in a jar. This is what she looks like: Because I'm planning to start an artificial ant nest, I'd like to learn something about that specific species of ant. This particular queen ...
Tomáš Zato's user avatar
  • 1,096
2 votes
1 answer
187 views

How Ants know about Earthquake?

How does an ant know about Earthquake is it because of an organ or due to other factors?
Devashish Das's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
76 views

Can ants distinguish individual ants in the colony?

I am aware that ants have the ability to distinguish which female is the queen and which ones aren't. However, can ants also uniquely distinguish other individual ants in the colony? Is the ...
user0193's user avatar
  • 246
2 votes
0 answers
146 views

What are the various parts of an ant hill

How can I identify the parts of an ant hill structure from a casting? Specifically, if there is no real commonality between species, I would like to identify the various parts of a fire ant mound in ...
Mobius's user avatar
  • 121
2 votes
0 answers
38 views

How to get ants/termites to attack

I am working on ant resistant coatings that are meant to make a material resistant to ants or chewing through them. The question is - how do I get ants to attack the material? I have considered ...
Hypnos Stratagem's user avatar