Communtication of ants
Like social animals it is very important for ants to be able to communicate to each other. This helps them by coordinating ther actions, as well as by keeping a closed knit society. The main sense of ants is their antennae. This is why ants often clean their antennae. Thanks to them ants can sense two main types of irritatements:
- Chemical irritatements:Thanks to their antennae ants can sense chemicals, secreted by other ants. They can be used to:
- Alarm-In danger ants secrete a chemical (hormone), which they warn their sisters through.
- Orientation-If an ant finds a source of food, which is too big for it to carry, it would leave a trail of a chemical from the source of food to the inside of the nest. The other ants follow this trail and easily find the source of food.
- Recognition-Ants of every colony secrete a different chemical. When two ants meet, they touch each other with its antennae and recognize the other ant's belonging. According to my observations, ants change their scent in the course of time. My colony was started by digging a queen from another colony where 2-3 more queens were present. Some time after that I cought some workers from the colony in the wild and put them by their sisters in the antfarm. They started fighting.
- Mechanical irritatements:Thanks to their antennae, ants can sense very precisely many mechanical irritatements. They can define the temperature, air pressure and hunidity, sense vibrations and if the air is moving (is there wind).