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How do ants deal with rain?


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6 replies to this topic

#1 Offline ANTdrew - Posted May 16 2019 - 4:41 PM

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I’m wondering how soil nesting ants cope with heavy rains? Beyond nesting under rocks, how do they prevent flooding and tunnel collapses? I’d like to know to figure out the best way to hydrate an ant vivarium I just set up. Thanks!

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#2 Offline Leo - Posted May 17 2019 - 1:10 AM

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Well depends. Most species I have no idea, but harpegnathos nests on mountainsides with a funneled entrance to prevent water getting in. They then have a chamber above the chamber behind the entrance which is coated in discarded pupae shells, which is where the queens and brood are. This makes them really easy to collect.



#3 Offline Serafine - Posted May 17 2019 - 2:07 AM

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Ants from areas with regular floodings will quickly evactuate the nest (that's where the lemon myth comes from), some of them forming rafts that swim on the surface (Solenopsis fire ants can do this and apparently Formica wood ants (rufa group) are capable of doing the same). Most other ants will just wait for the water to sicker away through the ground - many ants can survive submerged for hours or even days. Ants in particularly rainy areas also often adapt their nest entrances, creating funnels or other designs to reduce water income (Pogonomyrmex ants put a lot of small pebbles close to their entrances which interact with water surface tension and keep the nest area much drier than the regular ground).


Edited by Serafine, May 17 2019 - 2:07 AM.

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We should respect all forms of consciousness. The body is just a vessel, a mere hull.

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#4 Offline NickAnter - Posted May 19 2019 - 2:44 PM

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In my backyard, there are cracks in the concrete, filled with dirt that a few species nest in. When it rains, or pool water splashes out over their nests and floods the area, this flooding will generally clog/collapse
the entrances. It is also possible that they themselves plug the entrances at the first sign of flooding.

Edited by NickAnter, May 19 2019 - 2:47 PM.

Colonies:
Nylanderia vividula
Pheidole navigans
Camponotus hyatti
Founding queens:   Lasius cf.americanus, Solenopsis molesta, Temnothorax cf. nevadnsis, , Camponotus vicinus, Pogonomyrmex californicus, and a Leptothorax species.


#5 Offline NickAnter - Posted May 19 2019 - 2:46 PM

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Also, what is the lemon myth you mentioned Serafine?

Colonies:
Nylanderia vividula
Pheidole navigans
Camponotus hyatti
Founding queens:   Lasius cf.americanus, Solenopsis molesta, Temnothorax cf. nevadnsis, , Camponotus vicinus, Pogonomyrmex californicus, and a Leptothorax species.


#6 Online Zeiss - Posted May 19 2019 - 3:00 PM

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Also, what is the lemon myth you mentioned Serafine?

People think lemon juice makes ants come out of their nest, when in reality it's usually just a response to their nest appearing to flood that drives them to the surface.



#7 Offline NickAnter - Posted May 19 2019 - 5:22 PM

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Thank you!

Colonies:
Nylanderia vividula
Pheidole navigans
Camponotus hyatti
Founding queens:   Lasius cf.americanus, Solenopsis molesta, Temnothorax cf. nevadnsis, , Camponotus vicinus, Pogonomyrmex californicus, and a Leptothorax species.





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