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is there any way to help a worker with a broken leg?


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#1 Offline futurebird - Posted August 10 2021 - 3:33 AM

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I noticed this worker having trouble walking. Since the last queen that I had died of fungus in the same glass enclosure (which I cleaned with boiling water before reusing it and I threw out all the sand and even steamed the rocks.)

 

... I was worried it was some kind of infection and that it'd spread. 

 

But looking at her more closely one of her back legs is broken. Bent where it shouldn't be, like she got crushed. 

 

Thing is I don't know how this could have happened... But I decided to put her back. 

 

I know she's just one little worker but do you think she'll be able to live with 5 legs? 

 


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#2 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted August 10 2021 - 3:42 AM

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Ants can survive with a leg or two missing. My C. pennsylvanicus queen has a paralyzed back leg, and she's completely healthy. The minimum number of legs an insect needs to move is 3 (though they're better with 6).


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#3 Offline futurebird - Posted August 10 2021 - 6:03 PM

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Update. 

 

After I returned her to the colony she was collected by two other workers who proceeded to fuss over her cleaning and feeding and just... fussing for about two hours. 

 

After this was over her leg had been fully removed. I think they basically amputated it. 

 

She seems much better without the dead leg sticking to things and I watched her feed several larva in the nest.

 

I was considering cutting it myself, but I had a hunch the ants would do a much better job. 

 

It's fun that I can identify her. I'll call her "Penta"

 

(naming an ant is a great way to curse it into dying in the next few days... but I think Penta is a survivor. )

 

Being removed and photographed must have been like a little alien abduction for the poor girl. 


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Starting this July I'm posting videos of my ants every week on youTube.

I like to make relaxing videos that capture the joy of watching ants.

If that sounds like your kind of thing... follow me >here<


#4 Offline MysticNanitic - Posted August 11 2021 - 8:33 AM

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This is interesting.  I'm no entomologist, but do remember from a course I took that insects often die from broken appendages.  They just bleed out.  I wonder if the ants remove it at a joint or spot where it's most likely to close up.


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