Do Ants Ever Sleep?
Ants' sleep is a great mystery. It turns out that they do sleep, although the form and duration of their sleep changes depending on where they are and the work they are involved in.
This is the conclusion of specialists at the Universities of Texas and St Petersburg who have delved into the subject and discovered several interesting things.
The first study conducted on the sleeping habits of ants reveals that queens sleep an average of 9 hours a day, while worker ants not only sleep only half that time but do so intermittently, napping about 250 times a day and taking every opportunity to take a nap.
This would explain why queens live several years and worker ants only a few months.
Revealing Mysteries: Yes, Ants Do Sleep
Worker ants can be awake and active at any time, they don't have a day or night cycle, and the breaks of these tireless creatures last about a minute, making for about 4 or 5 hours of rest at the end of the day.
The queens' rest time is up to 9 minutes. It remains a mystery how sleep works in these little creatures.
To date, the largest ant colony is in Japan, with 300 million ants and 1 million queen ants. They may be able to lift 50 times their own weight and have a unique communication system.
Having a 'good' nose, they generate various chemical reactions (odors), which are picked up by the antennae of nearby ants and interpreted, for example, in case of danger, evacuation or attack.
They also have another way of communicating, by rubbing their antennae or by a high-pitched sound, a kind of chirping.