October 16, 2007
by: jovial_cynic
It's possible the ants slowed down their foraging due to the seasonal change, or perhaps because after feeding them a cranefly every day for a week, they had too much food to deal with. I think the latter is more likely, as I stopped feeding them for a little while and restarted, and they dragged away the prey like they did before.

A while back, I mentioned that the ants took care of their dead. Well, the concept of taking care of the dead is a little odd, because I don't know exactly what they're doing with their dead. The video several posts back showed an ant dragging a fallen fellow ant under a wet paper towel, along with the nursery, as though preserving the dead was built into their behavior.

A few weeks ago, I noticed an ant crawling on the glass of the terrarium with a dead ant in its mandibles, but the dead ant had no limbs, and looked like it was molding a bit. I took a picture of the ants and after a few hours, I checked again, and the dead ant was lodged in the rubber caulk where two panes of glass come together. I think the live ant was trying to quarantine this dead ant.

Interesting. I'll take a picture of the dead ant in the caulk when I get home tonight.

Also, I was curious if my ants would eat bread, since I know that other ants do, and sure enough, they do. They picked up every little crumb I dropped in for them. They would not, however, eat the cracker bits I put in there, although this ant carried a piece around in the dirt and finally dropped it off in a corner, abandoning it there. They don't like these crackers, apparently.

np category: ants


Ghostrider4450 said:
There is a type of mold spore that invades ants bodies. It can kill entire colonies, and the ants that are uninfected will do exactly what you saw: quarantine the infected.
December 09, 2007

jovial_cynic said:
Thanks for the info!
December 10, 2007

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