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What Are My Ants Doing?

pavement ants tetramorium

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7 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Luke925 - Posted April 18 2020 - 7:24 PM

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Hello, 
 
Recently my pavement ants have started doing something I have not witnessed before.
 
I have a small acrylic disc with two dimples in it that I use as an additional water source (aside from the standard test tube full to the brim with water and plugged with a cotton ball at the end).
 
Usually the water on the disk is gone in 24 - 36 hours and the disk is left clean and smooth. Now everytime the disk is empty of water, there is a huge mess left on it.

 

 

 

This is what their Water Disk looks like after I clean it:

 

20200324-101929.jpg

 

 

 

 

This is what the Disc looks like when I fill the two dimples up with Water And/Or Sugar Water.

 

I also add a few drops on either side as well so as to provide them with even more hydration

 

20200418-153908.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Here is another view of it after it is loaded up with Water and Sugar Water:

 

20200418-153916.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometime after 24 - 36 hour, they use to leave it spotless clean. Now they leave it looking like this:

 

20200418-153344.jpg

 

 

Would you please help us with these questions:

 

  • Does anyone know what is going on?
     
  • Why they are doing this?
     
  • Does this indicate any problems?

 

 

Thanks for any and all of your help and advise as my son and I are new to Ant Keeping.

 

 

Best regards,

 

Luke and Adam



#2 Offline Broncos - Posted April 18 2020 - 7:45 PM

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As far as I know all of my ants do this. I’m not sure why but it is normal


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#3 Offline FSTP - Posted April 18 2020 - 9:19 PM

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If the ants don't feel the need to drink any liquids they come across they will often pile jetsam and flotsam on the it. I think they do this as a measure to help prevent and control flooding. Even if the liquid isn't directly in the nest it still triggers this response. They don't know the difference.  


Edited by FSTP, April 18 2020 - 9:19 PM.

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#4 Offline madbiologist - Posted April 18 2020 - 9:59 PM

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They are simply using it to dispose trash, as well as the plugging up liquids behavior mentioned above.

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#5 Offline ANTdrew - Posted April 19 2020 - 3:00 AM

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Tetramorium HATE open liquids near their nest. They will cover puddles up with anything they have on hand, sand, trash, dead sisters, etc. They will even cover up byFormica liquid feeders if they are too close.
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#6 Offline Luke925 - Posted April 21 2020 - 11:05 AM

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As far as I know all of my ants do this. I’m not sure why but it is normal


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Thank you and I am glad our ants are not the only ones doing this!

 

Luke



#7 Offline Luke925 - Posted April 21 2020 - 11:47 AM

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If the ants don't feel the need to drink any liquids they come across they will often pile jetsam and flotsam on the it. I think they do this as a measure to help prevent and control flooding. Even if the liquid isn't directly in the nest it still triggers this response. They don't know the difference.  

 

That's a pretty smart response mechanism for these little ants to help control flooding!

 

We also have a test tube that sits parallel to their nest full of water and blocked at the end with a cotton ball. Is this enough water for them, I do not need to provide this extra little dish?

 

Best regards, 

 

Luke



#8 Offline Luke925 - Posted April 21 2020 - 11:49 AM

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Tetramorium HATE open liquids near their nest. They will cover puddles up with anything they have on hand, sand, trash, dead sisters, etc. They will even cover up byFormica liquid feeders if they are too close.

 

You know, I have seen a dead sister in the water a few times. I thought that perhaps somehow the sister got trapped in the water and drowned, but this makes more sense! However after the water was all gone, where did the dead sister go? She dissapeared.

 

So perhaps it's a better idea to move this dish farther away if I decide to keep trying to use it.

 

Best regards,

 

Luke







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