Ant kingdom
Structures of ants
Winged ants
Marriage flight
Ant Kingdom from a queen
Egg-laying by a queen
Ants are strong
Procession of ants
Ants like sweets
Ants raising insects
Slave-making ants
A fight of ants
Ant lion
Hibernation of ants
How to raise ants































Why do ants march in procession?


Have you ever seen ants marching in procession? In such a procession, a troop of as many as dozens of ants crawls as if they have formed a line.

Why on earth do ants march in procession?

A procession of ants of the Pristomyrmex pungens species: Ants of the Pristomyrmex pungens species usually live in nests constructed under a stone or in a space under a fallen tree. However, when the nest is damaged or when food available near their nest has run short, they move in a procession to find another suitable nest site.

From food source discovery to marching in procession

Marching in procession is not seen in all species of ants. It is only the ants of species that habitually carry food in a team of dozens of ants that march in procession.

In such species*, a worker ant that has discovered a food source leaves an odor trail as she walks back to the nest. To leave such an odor trail, the ant secretes an odorous substance in drops from glands at the end of her abdomen on her way back to the nest. On reaching the nest, her excitement and feeding of the other workers stimulate them into activity, but instead of dispersing at random from the nest entrance, the workers march in procession because of following the odor trail left by the scout ant.

*Such species include Pheidole fervida and Lasius Fuliginosus.

Communication methods of ants

Ants also secrete an odorous substance for purposes other than leaving a trail from a discovered food source to the nest entrance.
For example, when they sense imminent danger, ants open their mandibles widely. At this point, they secrete a special odorous substance from the glands in their mandibles to inform other members in the nest of the impending danger. Moreover, in Camponotus japonicus, winged male ants secrete an odorous substance from the gland at the end of the abdomen to inform female winged ants of their locations.
In addition to the above-mentioned communication methods, some ants rub their body surfaces to send an auditory signal to other members of the nest.
As mentioned in the above-described examples, in ants, odor and sound made by rubbing their body surfaces correspond to language used by humans.

Communication between the ants of the Messor aciculatus species: they rub their antennae to smell the ant in front and confirm their membership of the same nest.