Ants are unsociable insects, which means that they live in organized colonies where each member performs a specific function. In addition, along with the bees, they have earned a hardworking and tireless reputation, all to keep the anthill in top condition.
Now, thinking about this industriousness, do ants sleep? Or are they don’t sleep? Discover this and other curiosities about these insects in the following article from milanospettacoli.com. Keep reading!
Characteristics of ants
Ants belong to the family Formicate and live in large colonies consisting of a queen ant, thousands of worker ants, and some winged males. Currently, they are distributed all over the world, with the exception of the Arctic and Antarctic regions.
There are countless species with varying characteristics. In general, they all have sectional bodies, which include a prominent chest and antennae at the head. They can be herbivores, carnivores, and scavengers.
Have you ever wondered if ants have a heart? They do not have a heart like that described in other species. Instead, they have a dorsal aorta, a kind of artery that extends into the body and is responsible for transporting the hem lymph. Hem lymph is the circulatory fluid of insects. Now, do ants have brains? It is the same as the organ of the heart. Like other invertebrates, ants have ganglia attached to nerve endings, which are responsible for carrying orders throughout the body.
As is evident, these insects have eyes, but do ants see? They are able to perceive movements around them, although they find it difficult to distinguish shapes and objects, as their ability to see is limited. To solve this situation, the antennas of the head are responsible for perceiving air currents, detecting textures, among other functions.
With all this in mind, do ants sleep? Let’s go there!
Do ants sleep?
In gardens or in a home anthill, you’ve probably never seen an ant sleeping. Looking at them, they seem to work relentlessly and this is not far from reality. Ants sleep, just in a very different way than humans know.
In any anthill, the queen ant is the most important, as it depends on the task of producing more worker ants, as well as directing the activities of the colony. Thanks to this privileged position, the queen ant sleeps up to 9 hours straight every day. This activity takes place only inside the anthill, where it never abandons itself after mating.
The workers, meanwhile, have an incredible routine: they are able to take up to 250 naps a day, even if only one minute each. These naps take them without quitting their work, they simply remain inactive during that minute and then resume the work they did. These 250 naps are equivalent to about 4 hours a day of rest.
And do flies sleep?
Many people wonder if the dream of all insects is the same, which leads them to doubt that ants or flies sleep. Flies also appear to be animals that do not sleep. However, they have a deep sleep, during which they abstract themselves from what is happening around them. Most species also prefer to do this during the night, although some also take naps during the day.
How do ants sleep?
While the queen and enjoys long hours of sleep, workers only take interrupted naps which, to human eyes, offer them little rest. Now, how do ants sleep? What happens in their bodies?
It is possible to enclose the 4 hours of sleep of ants in two blocks because only during one of these insects do they have a deep sleep. During this phase, it is observed that the movements of the jaws and antennae are reduced by almost 65%, although they can be apparently inadvertently shaken. In addition, during this “deep sleep,” they may be tripped or beaten by their workmates, while some are moved so that another ant takes up a more comfortable space. None of these offers cause irritability or violence in the sleepers, who either continue with sleep or wake up to return to their duties in the colony.
With that in mind, do ants sleep at night? After spending much of their time underground, they are very unlikely to recognize the notions of day or night. In this sense, they can sleep at any time.
How long does an ant last?
The life expectancy of ants varies by species. However, it is influenced by the routines they perform and, therefore, also by the time they spend in sleep.
In this sense, a queen ant can live between 15 and 30 years, while workers only reach 3 years. The fertilizing males, meanwhile, survive for a few weeks