How Intelligent Are Ants?

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Location: Indiana

How Intelligent Are Ants?

Post: # 1563Post BeholdAProphet
Wed Aug 05, 2015 5:29 pm

I live in central Indiana, so there have been nuptial flights of many species in my area including Tetramorium caespitum , Lasius niger, and some Camponotus ants. I have found only one Camponotus queen, and when I caught her, I didn't have a test tube setup prepared for her. When I found her, she was right in front of my garage, and she ran and hid inside a little hole in the brick that was slightly larger than her (I was able to see her inside but I didn't try to get her out in case I hurt her in the process). She eventually crawled back out, and I caught her and put her in a cup with a cloth over it for a temporary setup while I ran inside to prepare a test tube. I placed the temp. setup in the back of my garage about 20 or so feet from where I caught her. I came back out in about five minutes, and she had escaped the temp. setup. I was upset, but something compelled me to check where I caught her (like I said, the temp. setup was 20 feet from where I caught her), and I found her inside the same little hole in the brick! I carried her in my hand (she was inside my fist so she couldn't escape) to the temp. setup so there was no way she could have left a scent trail on the ground. She had previously torn her wings off so there was no way she could've flown. I scoured everywhere in my garage for the queen to make sure there weren't two of them. I didn't find her in my garage, and I hadn't seen any Camponotus queens anywhere in my neighborhood except that one. There is a slim chance that they were not the same queen, so this makes me really wonder how smart they are.

The queen died two weeks ago in her test-tube setup, so I cannot do any experimenting with the same queen. Perhaps some of you could try this with queen ants you catch?

Thanks for reading!

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