Do Ants Actually Sleep?
You would assume that ants never actually rest, but in fact, you never actually get the chance to see an ant taking a break or having a sleep. Ants being really busy and non-stop moving around might make you think do ants sleep?. If you are thinking if ants sleep or not you may also be thinking how often do ants sleep? what are the sleeping habits of ants? and so on. A study by researchers found an interesting sleeping behaviour for ants.
Ants Do Sleep.
The study carried out found that ants do sleep, and some ants even have dreams. Workers ants in an ant colony have little tiny naps maybe for a few minutes a day. This helps the worker ant keep up its work efficiency, survival rate and the ability to go out and work all day and night. On the other hand, the queen ant of the colony will sleep often totalling up to 9 hours a day. The queen ant will sleep for more than a few minutes every so often which totals up to around 9 hours depending on the species of ant.
Lifespan Of Worker Ants.
Worker ants are easily replaced by the queen ant producing new workers. Queen ants can live up to 25 years or more if the colony is well established. However, the poor little worker ants have a very short lifespan of only a couple of months to a year. This could be down to the fact that worker ants have so little sleep and are always busy working.
Sleeping Habit of the Queen Ant.
In a study of a fire ant colony with two queen ants. They found that the queen ants would go to sleep around the same time and sleep next to each other or on top of each other. The queen ants slept for up to 6 minutes on an average of 90 times a day. The queen ant appeared to have two different stages of sleep, the first being a really light sleep where the queen ant can still be seen to be slightly moving and if a worker passed or approached she would wake up. In the other stage of sleep the queen ant appeared to have the antenna placed down and a closed mouth, she would also twitch and move as if she was having a dream.
Most of the ant sleeping is still a mystery to this day. However, we do know that the sleeping is vital to the survival of the ant colony and the reproduction of the queen ant. Sleep for ants is necessary for the long life of a queen ant and the growth of the colony. The queen ant is always very well rested unfortunately this is not the same for the worker ants and they lose out on this luxury.