In my colony of Camponotus barbaricus I noticed this behavior on multiple occasions. Not so much in other species I keep.
An ant would appear dead in the graveyard... well.. the place where they dump trash, really.
I usually touch them with a brush, or wet them with a drop of water, just in case they got dehydrated or covered in a sticky substance.
More often than not, the ant springs to life, runs around alert at full speed, seemingly unhurt and full of energy. The next day, it's dead.
Unfortunately, the queen of this colony developed paralysis that took her four hind legs, and finally died. In her last 2-3 days, she kept dragging herself out into the outworld, towards the trash pile. The workers kept carrying her in. She's in the nest currently, still not taken out, 3 days after death.
So, could it be that the ants have evolved pre-death instincts that prevent plague in the community?
Did you observe a similar behavior in your colonies?
Edited by skocko76, September 13 2018 - 11:53 PM.