ELI5, If you take a random ant from a colony and put it 20 meters away, will it find way “home”? Also, if you put an ant so far away from the colony, that it won’t be able to go back, will it survive on its own?

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ELI5, If you take a random ant from a colony and put it 20 meters away, will it find way “home”? Also, if you put an ant so far away from the colony, that it won’t be able to go back, will it survive on its own?

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16 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

20 meters is possible to get back home, the ant will wander until he cross the trail of chemicals that other ants from his colony leave behind (so they can get back home).

If you take an ant really far, it will never get back. He will try to find food and water, and he will keep looking for its home until somebody eats him.

Anonymous 0 Comments

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Anonymous 0 Comments

What if the ant that was moved was a non-pregnant queen ant? Would another ant colony accept it as a new branch of their colony or would they kill her as a threat?

Anonymous 0 Comments

If ant missionaries from one colony approach another colony, can they convert them?

Anonymous 0 Comments

On a related note, if you lick or eat an ant it tastes like lemon juice…at summer camp I learned ants secrete formic acid as they travel around.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I think I read somewhere that it’ll wander around aimlessly until it starves or dies some other way. Ants have no purpose without a colony and thus a life in solitude becomes meaningless.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Did you know…if you take a shovel of ants from one pile and put it on another ant pile, the two colonies will battle each other? Some gardeners use this method to control ant populations, organically.

Anonymous 0 Comments

If you take three? Will they form their own cult?

Anonymous 0 Comments

This question triggered a memory…

When i was 5 i trapped an ant in one of those acorn capsules you get from the prize machine. He was trapped for 3 days, and i let him out in the same spot i kidnapped him from. I wonder if he ever made it home.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Kind of depends on the type of ant. Here in the south we have fire ants. They have huge colonies underground that can can span a large area. You don’t see them except a mound here and there particularly after the rain. But given how long their tunnels are for one colony, 20 meters may still be home territory. If you took an ant far enough it can’t get back to its colony it will eventually just die. Won’t last long without the colony.