This video shows mysterious ant behavior

Ants are incredible little creatures, known specially for their self organization and team work, but we’ve never quite seen them work as a team like this. In this video, you will watch how the ants gather forming a daisy chain to move a millipede prey to their nest.

To check whether the curious behavior of ants had ever been documented in literature, the video was sent to Terry McGlynn, an entomologist at California State University at Dominguez Hills. The scientist replied through an email that the video  shows a species of Leptogenys ants gathering to form a long daisy chain to drag a large prey (sure looks like a millipede).

McGlynn says,

it’s a particular kind of behavior that ant experts haven’t noticed so far. It’s not that they haven’t seen such behavior of ants working together to move things but the daisy chain system  you see in this video is new to them.

Helen McCreery, a Ph.D. student at the University of Colorado, recently published a paper covering different kinds of cooperative transport strategies in ants. In it she explains that at least 40 genera of ants work together to transport things, from two ants grasping something together to weaver ant workers who band together to “collectively carry birds, bats and snakes vertically up tree trunks.”

But McCreery says, that this video shows something special. According to her, such behavior seems to be different from what’s been observed in other ants (including the weaver ants) in an peculiar way. Usually ants grasp on to anything they want to move, but in this video the ants are trying to move their prey by grasping themselves to each other. Hence, this daisy chain behavior is very different from other documented cooperative transport.

Ant expert Alex Wild shares another video of similar behavior on Youtube uploaded by a Cambodian beekeeper.

Via: TheAtlantic