Red light

Questions from those who are just starting or considering getting into the ant keeping hobby. If you’re intimidated or confused by the in-depth posts of the other sections of this forum, feel free to post here, and we'll start from square one!

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Annexis

Red light

Post: # 15097Post Annexis
Thu Dec 01, 2016 4:16 pm

I currently have an S. Invicta queen and I havent looked at her in a while. I dont want to bug her by exposing her to light yet and I was wondering if Red Light works for ants. Like if they see the light because ive heard that they see it as black. :D :D :D :lol: :P

Serafine

Re: Red light

Post: # 15100Post Serafine
Thu Dec 01, 2016 5:26 pm

It depends on the species. Some ants may barely see it but others (mostly the larger species like Camponotus) definitely can see it and have receptors that explicitly react to red light.

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larynx
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Re: Red light

Post: # 15102Post larynx
Thu Dec 01, 2016 6:28 pm

:idea:
Annexis wrote:I currently have an S. Invicta queen and I havent looked at her in a while. I dont want to bug her by exposing her to light yet and I was wondering if Red Light works for ants. Like if they see the light because ive heard that they see it as black. :D :D :D :lol: :P
Reptiles and insects lack the ability to see red spectrum lights at low wattage. Red film or a red light will work perfectly as long as its not high watt.
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Serafine

Re: Red light

Post: # 15108Post Serafine
Fri Dec 02, 2016 1:00 am

Well, my Camponotus barbaricus have a red foil around their tube and it has ZERO effect. Even at relatively low brightness they INSTANTLY know when they're no longer in the dark.

When I was at university we once made vision tests on fruit flies (these indeed can't see red) - it started with a third of them being entirely color blind and the rest having a wild mixture of green, blue and UV receptors with about 10% having all three.
Now note that these were (most likely pretty degenerated) lab fruit flies and you're unlikely to see that sort of variety within a single ant genus but between the different ant families (sometimes even castes) visual capabilities vary even more wildly with some of them being completely blind (like driver ant soldiers) and others being able to recognize blue, green, ultraviolet, polarized light and even red at relatively low intensity. Some ants even entirely rely on their eyes for orientation above ground (mostly desert species like silver ants because pheromone trails do not work in the desert) - these ants can even memorize their surrounding environment to a certain point.

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larynx
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Re: Red light

Post: # 15113Post larynx
Fri Dec 02, 2016 1:07 pm

Yes of course there are always exceptions. Lol. There are many sources of red light that give many different intensities of the red spectrum. Some even let other spectrums in slightly. Out of the three I use, Incandescent lights are the worst, film being in the middle, and LED being the best and giving the most pure red. My camponotus sp., Solenopsis sp. Monomorium sp. And my Formica sp. All dont react to my red light. The thousands of reptiles and insects I've raised throughout the past 20 years haven't either. With maybe a couple exceptions. But those couple did not react in a stressful manner.
So to conclude, yes you are fine looking at your ants with red light, just pay attention to them and make sure they aren't reacting in a stressful way. If not then you are good. If they do then just move the light away a little so it isn't as intense.
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AntsDakota
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Re: Red light

Post: # 41033Post AntsDakota
Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:17 pm

Serafine wrote:
Thu Dec 01, 2016 5:26 pm
It depends on the species. Some ants may barely see it but others (mostly the larger species like Camponotus) definitely can see it and have receptors that explicitly react to red light.
Can Lasius flavus, Formica sp., and Tetramorium immigrans see red light? (especially concerned about Tetramorium)
"God made every kind of wild beasts and every kind of livestock and every kind of creeping things;" (including ants) "and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:25

TheRealAntMan
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Re: Red light

Post: # 41037Post TheRealAntMan
Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:40 pm

AntsDakota wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:17 pm
Serafine wrote:
Thu Dec 01, 2016 5:26 pm
It depends on the species. Some ants may barely see it but others (mostly the larger species like Camponotus) definitely can see it and have receptors that explicitly react to red light.
Can Lasius flavus, Formica sp., and Tetramorium immigrans see red light? (especially concerned about Tetramorium)
Most compound eyes (like ant eyes cannot see red) however. Arthropods (like spiders) can see red. So no I doubt your ants can see red.
An ants' strength can be rivaled by few animals compared to relative body size.

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