Camponotus tragedy!

General discussions about ants

Moderator: ooper01

Post Reply
dinoman9877
Posts: 70
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2016 7:03 pm
Location: Covington, Kentucky

Camponotus tragedy!

Post: # 26843Post dinoman9877
Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:04 pm

I am here to tell of my part in a tragic tale of two camponotus ants, to whom the world had not been kind. The events leading to their unfortunate and cruel fates are unknown, but their moments of suffering were documented by yours truly to see if anyone can guess what happened.

I was walking a nice path next to a local water treatment plant, shaded by trees and crawling with ants, seeing if there wasn't a queen to be found. What I found was so much more tragic.

First I came upon a relatively small looking camponotus worker. Walking in a clockwise circle. Again and again and again. Unending. I could not see close enough to see any other wounds besides that one of her antenna seemed to be broken, not sitting right and making me think she took a blunt blow to the head. I must apologize in advance for the quality of the following videos, they were recorded in the evening, in the shade, with a phone.
https://youtu.be/QKfCXuxiftc
I lost track of her after some time, and not ten steps away did I come across another Camponotus in much worse condition. She was struggling for life itself it seemed, unable to stand but her size and struggling keeping smaller ants from attempting to attack her. I was curious to find out her condition. And upon flipping her over and looking closer, I was shocked. Her right rear and middle leg were completely severed and the front seemed to be entirely broken. Her antenna on the left was also broken.
https://youtu.be/kThe_SWmevI
Knowing she should not suffer like this, I did all I could do: Took a nearby piece of bark and crushed her head. I took the body to a nearby nest of what I assume to be Lasius neoniger and dropped it near the entrance. At first the workers that found it went into a blind panic, but after some time one found it not to be struggling enough to warrant it being danger and decided it was food, trying to drag the whole comparitively massive ant in by itself. I went back to see if I could find the circle runner and indeed I did. She was still running laps. I guessed she would keep running until she collapsed, starved, or was eaten, so I pinned her and took the bark to her head as well. I also left her for the Lasius to find.

What do you think could have happened? Two carpenter ants maimed but not killed? Are they the abandoned remains of some unseen battle, two casualties left for dead? The unfortunate victims of predation only to struggle free with mortal wounds? Perhaps victims of the environment, struck by a falling branch or piece of bark? Or even cruel humans doing the cruel pluck and toss to one and hitting another with a stick or some other blunt object just to damage its antenna, eye and brain and leave it to walk forever in a circle? If you'd like to theorize or join others in mourning, just comment below. Let's see if we can't piece together the unfortunate tale of these two ladies.

User avatar
Serafine
Posts: 404
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:23 am
Location: Germany

Re: Camponotus tragedy!

Post: # 26946Post Serafine
Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:54 pm

When Camponotus workers realize they are dying they usually leave their nest and walk away as far as they can. Reason is that if they are sick or have parasites they won't spread them around in the colony after they died. Also their sisters do not need to remove the dead bodies from the nest.
"We should respect all forms of consciousness. The body is just a vessel, a mere hull."

Join the Antkeeping Discord chat: https://discordapp.com/invite/ZXFTVzD

KSkuroooari
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:36 pm
Location: Washington

Re: Camponotus tragedy!

Post: # 26969Post KSkuroooari
Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:09 pm

Serafine wrote:
Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:54 pm
When Camponotus workers realize they are dying they usually leave their nest and walk away as far as they can. Reason is that if they are sick or have parasites they won't spread them around in the colony after they died. Also their sisters do not need to remove the dead bodies from the nest.
That's what my son said, too. Like the cordyceps, right?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XuKjBIBBAL8

dinoman9877
Posts: 70
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2016 7:03 pm
Location: Covington, Kentucky

Re: Camponotus tragedy!

Post: # 26991Post dinoman9877
Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:47 am

I considered illness for the ant running in circles, but the ant with the missing limbs made me think predation. Then again, ants have a tendency to have diseases that make them fall apart, don't they?

I really hope I didn't infect the ants I fed them too. I'll have to see if I can find the nest next week. I went back today and saw some freshly excavated earth and neither of the camponotus bodies, so at least something ate them. It seemed irresponsible to leave them there to rot so I figured I'd make one colony very happy and get a lot of new protein for the larva. I mean, two camponotus for ants as small as those. It's practically a feast.

Still now I'm afraid I've killed the colony's entire next generation...

User avatar
Serafine
Posts: 404
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:23 am
Location: Germany

Re: Camponotus tragedy!

Post: # 27000Post Serafine
Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:58 am

Camponotus workers can live for several years if they don't die violently. It's probably not completely odd for older workers to have some scars or a missing limb. They could have died from some attack though or they got themselves injured while running around dying.
"We should respect all forms of consciousness. The body is just a vessel, a mere hull."

Join the Antkeeping Discord chat: https://discordapp.com/invite/ZXFTVzD

dinoman9877
Posts: 70
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2016 7:03 pm
Location: Covington, Kentucky

Re: Camponotus tragedy!

Post: # 27031Post dinoman9877
Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:44 am

I agree but these two were on death's door step. One was stuck in a literal loop and the other was nearly torn in two. I just helped the inevitable.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest