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Full text of "Ants, bees, and wasps. A record of observations on the habits of the social Hymenoptera"

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THE INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC SERIES. 



ANTS, BEES, AND WASPS, 



A RECORD OF OBSERVATIONS 

ON THE 

HABITS OF THE SOCIAL HYMENOPTERxi. 



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Sir JOHN LUBBOCK, Bart., M.P., F.R.S., D.C.L., LL.D., 

PKESIDENT OF THE BEITISH ASSOCIATION ; 

PRESIDENT OF THE LINN^AN SOCIETY ; PRESIDENT OF THE INSTITrTE OF BANKERS J 

AUTHOR OF ' PREHISTORIC TIMES,' ' THE ORIGIN OF CrVILISATlON,' ETC. ; 

HONORARY SECRETARY OF THE LONDON BANKERS ; 

FELLOW OF THE ENTO.MOLOGICAL, GEOLOGICAL, AND OTUEK SCIENTIFIC SOCIETIES. 



NEW YORK: 
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY, 

1, 3, AND 5 BOND STREET. 

1882. 



"'^^^cl^iM 



PEEFACE. 



This volume contains the record of various experiments 
made with ants, bees, and wasps during the past ten 
years. Other occupations and many interruptions, 
poHtical and professional, have prevented me from 
making them so full and complete as I had hoped. 
My parliamentary duties, in particular, have absorbed 
most of my time just at the season of year when these 
insects can be most profitably studied. I have, there- 
fore, whenever it seemed necessary, carefully recorded 
the month during which the observations were made ; 
for the instincts and behaviour of ants, bees, and wasps 
are by no means the same throughout the year. My 
object has been not so much to describe the usual 
habits of these insects as to test their mental condition 
and powers of sense. 



Vi PREFACE. 

Although the observations of Huber, Forel, McCook, 
and others are no doubt perfectly trustworthy, there are 
a number of scattered stories about ants which are quite 
unworthy of credence ; and there is also a large class 
in which, although the facts may be correctly recorded, 
the inferences drawn from them are very questionable. 
I have endeavoured, therefore, by actual experiments 
which any one may, and I hope others will, repeat 
and verify, to throw some light on these interesting 
questions. 

The principal point in which my mode of experi- 
menting has differed from that of previous observers 
has been that I have carefully marked and watched 
particular insects ; and secondly, that I have had nests 
under observation for long periods. No one before had 
ever kept an ants' nest for more than a few months. 
I have one now in my room which has been under 
constant observation ever since 1874, i.e. for more than 
seven years.' 

' I may add that these auts are still (March 1882) alive and 
well. The queens at least are now eight years old, if not more. 



PREFACE. vii 

I had intended to make my observations principally 
on bees; but I soon found that ants were more con- 
venient for most experimental purposes, and I think 
they have also more power and flexibility of mind. 
They are certainly far calmer, and less excitable. 

I do not attempt to give anything like a full life- 
history of ants, but I have reproduced the substance of 
two Eoyal Institution lectures, which may serve as an 
introduction to the subject. Many of the facts there 
recorded will doubtless be familiar to most of my 
readers, but without the knowledge of them the ex- 
periments described in the subsequent chapters would 
scarcely be intelligible. 

I have given a few plates illustrating some of the 
species to which reference has been most frequently 
made ; selecting Lithography (as I was anxious that the 
figures should be coloured), and having all the species 
of ants drawn to one scale, although I was thus obliged 
in some measure to sacrifice the sharpness of outline, 
and the more minute details. I am indebted to Mr. 



viii PKEFACE, 

Bates, Dr. Gunther, Mr. Kirby, and Mr. Waterhouse, 

for their kind assistance in the preparation of the 

phites. 

As regards bees and wasps, I have confined myself 
for want of space to the simple record of my own 
observations. 

I am fully conscious that experiments conducted 
as mine have been leave much to be desired, and 
are scarcely fair upon the ants. In their native 
haunts and under natural conditions, more especially 
in warmer climates, they may well be expected not 
only to manifest a more vivid life, but to develop 
higher powers. 

I think, however, that my volume will at least show 
the gi-eat interest of the subject, and the numerous 
problems which still remain to be solved. 

High Elms, Down, Kent : 
October 18, 1881. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 
INTRODUCTION. 

PAGE 

Position of ants in the Animal Kingdom— Ants divided into 
three families— Number of species— Mode of observation- 
Nests— Mode of marking ants— Stages in life of ants— Egg, 
larva, pupa, imago— Length of life— Structure of ants- 
Head, thorax, abdomen, antennse, eyes, ocelli, mouth parts, 
legs, wings, sting— Origin of the sting— Character of ants- 
War's among ants— Modes of fighting— Queen ants— Workers 
—Different classes of workers— The honey ant— Soldiers- 
Origin of the soldiers— Division of labour— Habitations of 
ants— Communities of ants— Food— Enemies— Character— 
Industry— Games— Cleanliness . . • • 1 

CHAPTER H. 

FORMATION AND MAINTENANCE OF NESTS. 

Foundation of new nests— Doubts on the subject— Views of 
Huber, Blanchard, Forel, St. Fargeau, Ebrard- Experiments 
with queens- Foundation of a nest of 3Iyrviica by two 
queens— Adoption of queens— Fertility of workers— Eggs 
laid by fertile workers always produce males— Queens seldom 
produced in captivity— Origin of difference between queens 
and workers— Longevity of ants— Arrangement of chambers 
in a nest— Division of labour— The honey ant . • 30 



X CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER III. 
ON THE RELATION OF ANTS TO PLANTS. 

PAGE 

Flowers and insects — Ants not so important in relation to 
flowers as bees, but not without influence — Ants seldom 
promote cross-fertilisation, and hence injurious to flowers — 
Modes by which they are excluded — Belt — Kerner — 
Aquatic plants — Moats — Dij}sacus — Slippery surfaces — 
Gentian, snowdrop, cyclamen — Concealment of honey — 
Antirrhinum, Linaria, Campanula, Jianuncuhis, Lamium, 
Primula, Geranium, k,Q. — Protection of honey by thickets 
of spines or hairs^Protection by viscid secretions — Silene, 
Senedo, Linncea, Polygonum, &c. — Milky juice — Lactuca — 
Nectaries on leaves — Leaf-cutting ants — Ants as tree guards 
— Importance of ants in destroying other insects— Har- 
vesting ants— Solomon — The Mischna — Meer Hassan Ali — 
Sykes — Moggridge — Agricultural ants— Lincecum — McCook 50 

CHAPTER IV. 
RELATIONS TO OTHER ANIMALS. 

Hunting ants — The Driver ants — Ecitons — Insects mimicking 
ants — Enemies of ants — Parisites — Mites — Phora — Domestic 
animals of z.xi.i&— Aphides — Eggs of Aphides kept through 
the winter by ants — Blind beetles — Pets— Progress among 
ants — Relationsof ants to one another— *S;<'7i«»i7«a — Solenopsit 
— Slave-making ants — Formica sanguinca — Polyergus — 
Expeditions of Polyergus — Polyergus fed by the slaves — 
Strongylognathus — Degradation of Strongylognathus — Aner- 
gates — Explanation of the present state of Strongylognathus 
and Anergates — Progress among ants — Phases of life — 
Hunting, pastoral, and agricultural species . . .63 

CHAPTER V. 

BEHAVIOUR TO RELATIONS. 

Mr. G rote on ' Morali'^y as a necessity of society' — Beha\'iour 
of ants to one another— Statements of previous writers: 



CONTENTS. xi 

PAGE 

Latreille, St. Fargeau, Forel— Difference of character among 
ants — Experiments — -Isolated combats — Neglect of com- 
panions if in trouble — Experiments with insensible ants — 
Drowned ants — Buried ants — Contrast of behaviour to 
friends and strangers — Instances of kindness — A crippled 
ant — A dead queen — Behaviour to chloroformed friends — 
Behaviour to intoxicated friends . . ,93 



CHAPTER VI 

RECOGNITION OF FRIENDS. 

Number of ants in a community — They all recognise one another 
— All others are enemies — Recognition after separation — 
Strange ants never tolerated in a nest — Experiments — Be- 
haviour to one another after a separation of more than a 
year — Recognition unmistakable — How are they recognised ? 
— Some naturalists have suggested by scent, some by a 
pass-word — Experiments with intoxicated ants— With pupte 
removed from the nest and subsequently returned — Separa- 
tion of a nest into two halves, and recognition as friends by 
the ants in each half of young bred in the other half — Pupje 
tended by ants from a different nest treated as friends in 
the nest from which they were taken, and as strangers if 
put into the nest of their nurses — Recognition neither per- 
sonal nor by means of a pass- word . . . .119 



CHAPTER VII. 

POWER OF CO^LVUNICATION. 

Statemen's of previous writers : Kirby and Spence, Huber, 
Franklin, Dugardin, Forel — Habit of bringing friends to 
food — Exceptional cases — Experiments to determine whether 
ants are brought or directed to stores of food — Scent — Sight 
— Experiments with different quantities of food — Ants 
which returned empty-handed and brought friends to 
assist ........ 153 



xii CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER VIII. 

THE SEXSES OF ANTS. 

PAOE 

Sight :~DifRculty of understanding how insects see— Number 
of eyes — Two theories — Views of Miiller, Grenacher, 
Lowne, Claparede — Appreciation of colour — Sensitiveness 
to violet— Perception of ultra-violet rays. Hearing: — An- 
tennae regarded by many entomologists as organs of hearing 
— Opinions as to whether ants, bees, and wasps bear- 
General opinion that bees and wasps can hear — Huber and 
Forel doubt in the case of ants — Experiments with ants — 
Forel's observations — Colonel Long — Mr. Tait — Structure of 
anterior tibia. The Sense of Smell . . . 182 

CHAPTER IX. 
GENERAL INTELLIGENCE 

Statements of previous writers — Economy of labour — Experi- 
ments as to ingenuity in overcoming obstacles and econo- 
mising labour — Experiments with bridges, embankments, 
and moats — Earthworks — Ingenuity in building nests — 
Difficulty in finding their way — Experiments with movable 
objects — Sense of direction — Experiments with rotating 
disks — Experiments with rotating table — Influence of light 236 

CHAPTER X. 
BEES. 

Difficulty experienced by bees in finding their way— Communi- 
cation between bees — Bees do not by any means always 
summon one another when they have discovered a store of 
food — Bees in strange hives — Infatuation of bees — Want of 
affection — Behaviour to queen — Sentinels — The sense of 
hearing — The sense of colour— Experiments with coloured 
papers— Power of distinguishing colours— Preference for 
blue— Influence of bees on the colours of flowers — Blue 
flowers — Paucity of blue flowers — Blue flowers of compara- 
tively recent origin ...... 274 



CONTENTS. xiii 

CHAPTER XI. 
WASPS. 

PAOB 

Communication among wasps — Like bees, they by no means 
invariably bring companions when they have discovered a 
store of food — Courage of wasps — Polistes gallica—k tame 
wasp— Power of distinguishing colours — Wasps less guided 
by colour than bees — Industry of wasps — A daj^'s work — 
Directness of flight of wasps . . . .311 

ArPENDICES .323 



LIST OF ILLUSTEATIONS. 



PLATE I. 



Fig. 1. Lasius niger 5. 
„ 2. „ flavug 5- 
„ 3. Formica fxisca $, 



Fig. 4. Myrmxca rxiginodis ^. 
„ 5. Polyergus rufesccns $ . 
„ 6, Formica sanguinea ^. 



PLATE II. 



Fig. 1. Atta barhara $ major. 
„ 2. „ „ $ minor. 

„ 3. Pheidule megacephala $ 
major. 



Fig. 4. Phcidole megacepliala $ 
„ 5. Formica rtifa. 



PLATE III. 



Fig. 1. (Ecodovia ceplialotes $ 
major. 
„ 2. (Ecodoma cej^/ialutes $ 



Fig. 3. Stenamma Westmoodii ^ 
„ 4. Solenopsis fvgax ^. 



PLATE IV. 



Fig. 1. Ca7)ij)onotus injlatus ^ • 
„ 2. Tetramonum cresjn- 

tum ?. 



Fig. 3. Strongylognathus testa- 
ecus, $• 
„ Anergates atratuhis $ . 



Fig. 1. Lasiiis flarus '^ . 

>f 2. „ „ cj. 

„ 3. ,, „ la7Ta. 

„ 4. „ „ pvpa. 

Fig. 5. Beckia albinos. 



PLATE V. 

„ 6. Aphis. 

„ 7. Platijarthrus Hoffman- 

seggii. 
„ Claviger foveolattts. 



LIST OF THE 

PRINCIPAL BOOKS AND MEMOIRS 

REFERRED TO. 



Andre, E. . Desc. des Fourmis d'Europe. Rev. et Mag. de 

Zool., 1874. 
Bates, H W. . The Naturalist on the Amazons. 

Belt, T. . . . The Naturalist in Nicaragua. 
Bert, Paul . . ' Les animaux voient-ils les memes raj-ons 

lumineux que nous ? ' Arch, de Physiol, 1869. 
Blanchard, E. . Metamorphoses of Insects. Trans, by Duncan. 
BOISSIER DE Sauvages, I'Abbd. L'origine du Miel. Journ. de 

Physique, vol. i. 
BuCHNER, L. . . Mind in Animals. 
Buckley, S. B. . On Myrmica molefaciens. Proc. Acad. Nat. 

Sci. Philadelphia, I860. 
Burmeister, H. . Manual of Entomology. 
Curtis, J. . .On the Genus Mj-rmica. Trans. Linn. Soc, 

1854. 
Darwin, C. . . Origin of Species. 

Delpino, F. . . SuirapportidelleFormichecolleTettigometre. 
Dewitz, H. . . Ueber Bau und Entwickelungdes Stachels der 

Ameisen. Zeits. f.Wiss. Zoologie, vol. xxviii. 
Dujardin, F. . . Obs. sur les Abeilles. Ann. des Sci. Nat., 1852. 
Edwards, H. . . Notes on the Honey-making Ants. Proc. 

California Acad., 1873. 
Elditt, H. L. . Die Ameisen-Colonien u. deren Mitbewohner 

Emery, C. Saggio di un ordinamento naturale dei Mir- 

micidei. 



XVIU 



LIST OF BOOKS AND MEMOIRS. 



Emery, C. 

FOREL, A. 
GELIEU, J. DE . 

Gould, Rev. W. 
Graber, Vitus 

Gredler, V. . 

Grimm 

Hagens, Herr von 



Heer, 0. . 

Huber, p. 
Huxley, T. H. 

Kerner, Dr. A. 

KiRBY AND SpENCE 

Landois, Dr. H. 

Langstroth, L. L. , 
Latreile, p. . 
Lespes, C. 

Lincecum, Gideon . 

Long, Col. C. G. 
.Lubbock, Sir J. 



Lund, M 



Le Formiche ipogei. Ann. Mus. Civ. di St. 

Nat. di Geneva. 
Fourmis de la Suisse. 
Le Conservateur des Abeilles. 
Account of English Ants. 
Die Tympanalen-Sinnesapparate der Or- 

thopteren. 
Der zoologische Garten. 

Die Myrmecophilen. Stettin. Ent. Zeits., 1845. 
Ueber Ameisengiiste. Berlin. Ent. Zeits., 

1865. 
Ueber Ameisen mit gemischten Colonien. 

Berlin. Ent. Zeits., 1867. 
Die Hausameisen Madeiras. Ziirich. Nat. 

Ges., 1852. 
Natural History of Ants. 
On the Reproduction of Aphis. Trans. Linn, 

Soc, xxii. 1859. 
Flowers and their Unbidden Guests. Trans. 

by Ogle. 
Introd. to Entomology. 
Thierstimmen ; also Zeits. fiir Wiss. Zool., 

1867. 
Treatise on the Honey Bee. 
Hist. Nat. des Fourmis. 
Sur les Moeurs de Lomechusa paradoxa. Ann. 

des Sci. Nat., 1863. 
On the Agricultural Ant of Texas. Linn. 

Journal, 1861. 
Central Africa. 
On the Anatomy of Ants. Trans. Linn. Soc, 

1879. 
Ova and Pseudova of Insects. Phil. Trans., 

1858. 
Obs. on Ants, Bees, and Wasps. Parts 1-9, 

Linn. Journ., 1874-81. 
On Some Points in the Anatomy of Ants. 

Micros. Soc, 1877. 
Lettres sur les Habitudes de quelques Fourmis 

du Br6sil. Ann. des Sci. Nat., xxiii. 1831. 



LIST OF BOOKS AND MEMOIRS. 



XIX 



McCoOK, H. C. . Note on Adoption of a Queen Ant. Proc. 

Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 1879. 
„ . . On the Nat. His. of the Agricultural Ant of 

Texas. 
„ . . The Honey Ant of Texas. 

Markel, F. . . Beit, zur Kenntniss der unter Ameisen leben- 

den Insecten. Germar's Zeit. Ent., 1841. 
Mayr, Dr. G. L. . Europ. Formiciden. 

„ . . Leben und Wirken der einh. Ameisen. 

Meinert, F. . . Bidra^ til de Danske Myrers Naturhistorie. 

Kiobenhaven, Dansk. vid. Selsk., 1861. 
Meyer, J. . . Ueber conconlose Ameisenpuppen. Stettin 

Ent. Zeit., 1854. 
MiJLLER, p. W. J. . Beitrage zur Naturgeschichte der Gattung 

Claviger. Germar's Mag. de Zool., 1818. 
Ormerod, E. L. . Natural History of Wasps. 
Rambert, M. . . Moeurs des Fourmis. 
Robert, E. . . Observations sur les Moeurs des Fourmis. 

Ann, des Sci. Nat,, 1842. 
Roger, J, , . Beit, zur Kennt. der Ameisenfauna der 

Mittelmeerlander. Berlin. Ent. Zeit., 1857. 
St. Fargeau, Lepeletier. Hist. Nat. des Hym^noptferes. 
Saunders, Edward Brit. Heterogyna and Foss. Hymenoptera. 

Trans. Ent. Soc, 1880. 
Savage, T. S. . . On the Habits of Driver Ants. Trans. Ent. 

Soc, 1847. 
SCHENK, Professor . Beschr. Nassau. Ameisenarten. Stettin. Ent. 

Zeit., 1853. 
SiEBOLD, C. T. VON. Ueber das Stimm. und Gehororgan der Or- 

thopteren. Weissmann's Arch., 1844. 
Smith, F. . . Cat. of Brit. Foss. Hymenoptera. 

„ . . . Essay on British Formicidas. Trans. Ent. 

Soc, N.S. vol. iii. p. 98. 
Sykes, Col. . . Account of Pheidole providens. Trans. Ent. 

Soc, 1836. 
Wesmael, C. . . Sur une nouv. Espece de Fourmi du Mexique, 

Bull, de I'Acad. de Sci. de Bruxelles, 1838. 
Westwood, J. 0. . Modern Classification of Insects. 

„ , Obs. on Typhlopone. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., 

1841. 



ANTS, BEES, AND WASPS. 



CHAPTER 

INTRODUCTION. 

The Anthropoid apes no doubt approach nearer to 
man in bodily structure than do any other animals ; 
but when we consider the habits of Ants, their social 
organisation, their large communities, and elaborate 
habitations; their roadways, their possession of domestic 
animals, and even, in some cases, of slaves, it must be 
admitted that they have a fair claim to rank next to 
man in the scale of intelligence. They present, more- 
over, not only a most interesting but also a very ex- 
tensive field of study. They are divided into three 
families : the Formicidse, Poneridge, and Myrmicidse, 
comprising many genera and a large number of species. 
In this country we have rather more than thirty kinds ; 
but ants become more numerous in species, as well 
as individuals, in warmer countries, and more than a 
2 



2 NUMBER OF SPECIES. 

thousand species are known. Even this large number 
is certainly far short of those actually in existence.^ 

I have kept in captivity about half of our British 
species of ants, as well as a considerable number of 
foreign forms, and for the last few years have generally 
had from thirty to forty communities under observation. 
After trying various plans, I found the most con- 
venient method was to keep them in nests consisting 
of two plates of common window glass, about ten 
inches square, and at a distance apart of from -^^ to 
^ of an inch (in fact just sufficiently deep to allow 
the ants freedom of motion), with slips of wood round 
the edges, the intermediate space being filled up with 
fine earth. If the interval between the glass plates 
was too great, the ants were partly hidden by the 
earth, but when the distance between the plates of 
glass was properly regulated vrith reference to the 
size of the ants, they were open to close obser- 
vation, and had no opportimity of concealing them- 
selves. Ants, however, very much dislike light in 
their nests, probably because it makes them think 
themselves insecure, and I always therefore kept 
the nests covered over, except when under actual 

' I have had some doubt whether I should append descriptions 
of the British species. On the whole, however, I have not thouglit 
it necessary to do so. They are well given in various entomological 
works : for instance, in Smith's Catalogue of British Fossorial 
Hymenoptera ; Saunders' Synopsis of Bntish Heterogyna ; and in 
Mayr's Die Eurojidischen Foriuicideu, all of which are cheap and 
easily procurable. I have, however, given figures of the principal 
species wilh which I have worked. 



MODE OF OBSEKVATIOX. 3 

observation. I found it convenient to have one side 
of the nest formed by a loose sHp of wood, and at one 
corner I left a small door. These glass nests I either 
kept in shallow boxes with loose glass covers resting 
on baize, which admitted enough air, and yet was im- 
pervious to the ants ; or on stands surrounded either 
by water, or by fur, with the hairs pointing downwards. 
Some of the nests I arranged on stands, as shown in 

Fig. 1. 









E c 



2 

I 



S 



I 



A. 



D' 



Cc^ 



M 



l^C 



J. 



B 



fig. 1. A A is an upright post fixed on a base B B. 
C C is a square platform of wood round which runs a 
ditch of water. Above are six nests, D, each lying 
on a platform E, which could be turned for facility of 
observation, as shown in the dotted lines D' and E'. 
Thus the ants had a considerable range, as they could 
wander as far as the water ditch. The object of having 
the platform C C larger than the supports of the nests 



4 ARTIFICIAL NEST 

was that if the ants fell, as often happened, they were 
within the water boundary, and were able to return 
home. This plan answered fairly well, and saved space, 
but it did not quite fulfil my hopes, as the ants were 
so pugnacious, that I was obliged to be very careful 
which nests were placed on the same stand. 

Of course it was impossible to force the ants into 
these glass nests. On the other hand, when once the 
right way is known it is easy to induce them to go in. 
When I wished to start a new nest I dug one up, and 
brought home the ants, earth, &c., all together. I 
then put them over one of my artificial nests, on one 
of the platforms surrounded by a moat of water. Gra- 
dually the outer earth dried up, while that between 
the two plates of glass, being protected from evapo- 
ration, retained its moisture. Under these circum- 
stances the ants found it more suitable to their 
requirements, and gradually deserted the drier mould 
outside, which I removed by degrees. In the earth 
between the j)lates of glass the ants tunnelled out 
passages, chambers, &c. (fig. 2), varying in form ac- 
cording to the circumstances and species. 

Even between the plates of glass the earth gradu- 
ally dried up, and I had to supply artificial rain from 
time to time. Occasionally also I gave them an alto- 
gether new nest. They seem, however, to get attached to 
their old homes, and I have one community which 
has inhabited the same glass case ever since 1874. 

It is hardly necessary to say that the individual 



DIFFERENCES IN HABITS. 5 

ants belonging to the communities placed on the 
stands just described, knew their own nests perfectly 
well. 

These nests gave me special facilities for observing 
the internal economy of ant life. Another main diffe- 
rence between my observations and those of previous 
naturalists has consisted in the careful record of the 
actions of individual ants. The most convenient mode 
of marking them was, I found, either with a small dab 
of paint on the back, or, in the case of bees or wasps, by 
snipping off a fragment at the extremity of the wing. 
This, I need hardly say, from the structure of the 
wing, gave the insect no pain ; in fact, as it is only 
necessary to remove a minute portion, not sufficient to 
make any difference in their flight, they seemed 
scarcely to notice it. I never found any difficulty in 
painting bees or wasps ; if they are given a little honey 
they become so intent that they quietly allow the 
paint to be applied. Of course too much must not be 
put on, and care must be taken not to touch the wings 
or cover up the spiracles. Ants require somewhat more 
delicate treatment, but with a little practice they could 
also be marked without any real difficulty. 

No two species of Ants are identical in habits ; and, 
on various accounts, their mode of life is far from easy to 
unravel. In the first place, most of their time is passed 
underground : all the education of the young, for 
instance, is carried on in the dark. Again, ants are 
essentially gregarious ; it is in some cases difficult to 



6 STAGES IN THE LIFE OF ANTS— EGGS. 

keep a few alive by themselves in captivity, and at any 
rate their habits under such circumstances are entirely 
altered. If, on the other hand, a whole community 
is kept, then the greater number introduces a fresh 
element of difficulty and complexity. Moreover, within 
the same species, the individuals seem to differ in 
character, and even the same individual will behave 
very differently under different circumstances. Al- 
though, then, ants have attracted the attention of many 
of the older naturalists, — Gould, De Geer, Eeaumur, 
Swammerdam, Latreille, Leuwenhoeck, Huber, — and 
have recently been the object of interesting obser- 
vations by Frederick Smith, Belt, INIoggridge, Bates, 
Mayr, Emery, Forel, McCook, and others, they still 
present one of the most promising fields for observation 
and experiment. 

The life of an ant falls into four well-marked 
periods — those of the egg, of the larva or grub, of the 
pupa or chrysalis, and of the perfect insect or imago. 
The eggs are white or yellowish, and somewhat elon- 
gated. They are said to hatch about fifteen days after 
being laid. Those observed by me have taken a month 
or six weeks. 

Ihe larvas of ants (PI. V. fig. 3), like those of bees 
and wasps, are small, white, legless grubs, somewhat 
conical in form, being narrow towards the head. 
They are carefully tended and fed, being carried about 
from chamber to chamber by the workers, probably in 
order to secure the most suitable amount of warmth 



LAEVA— PUPA. 7 

and moisture. I have observed, also, that they are 
very often assorted according to age. It is sometimes 
very cm^ious in my nests to see them arranged in 
groups according to size, so that they remind one of 
a school divided into iive or six classes. 

As regards the length of life of the larvse, Forel 
supposed' that those of Tapmoma matured the 
quickest, and were full-grown in about six or seven 
weeks. Some of Myrraica ruginocUs, however, ob- 
served by me, turned into pupae in less than a month. 
In other cases the period is much longer. In certain 
species, Lasius fiavus, for instance, some of the larvae 
live through the winter. 

When full grown they turn into pupae (PL V. fig. 4), 
sometimes naked, sometimes covered with a silken 
cocoon, constituting the so-called ' ant-eggs.' We do 
not yet understand why some larvae spin cocoons, while 
others remain naked. As a general rule, the species 
which have not a sting, spin a cocoon, while those which 
have, are naked. Latreille was the first to observe that 
in one species {F. fused) the pujDse sometimes spin a 
cocoon, and sometimes remain naked. The reason for 
this difference is still quite unknown. After remaining 
some days in this state they emerge as perfect insects. 
In many cases, however, they would perish in the 
attempt, if they were not assisted ; and it is very pretty 
to see the older ants helping them to extricate them- 

' Les Fourmis de la Suisse, p. 420. 



8 PUPA— IMAGO. 

selves, carefully unfolding their legs and smoothing 
out the wings, with truly feminine tenderness and 
delicacy. Our countryman Grould was the first to 
observe, and the fact has since been fully confirmed 
by Forel, that the pupge are unable to emerge from the 
cocoons without the assistance of the workers. The 
ants generally remain from three to four weeks in 
this condition. 

In the case of ants, as with other insects which pass 
through similar metamoq^hoses, such as bees, wasps, 
moths, butterflies, flies, and beetles, &c., the larval 
stage is the period of growth. During the chrysalis 
stage, though immense changes take place, and the 
organs of the perfect insect are more or less rapidly 
developed, no food is taken, and there is no addition 
to the size or weight. 

The imago or perfect insect again takes food, but 
does not grow. The ant, like all the insects above 
named, is as large when it emerges from the pupa as it 
ever will be ; excepting, indeed, that the abdomen of 
the females sometimes increases in size from the de- 
velopment of the eggs. 

We have hitherto very little information as to the 
length of life in ants in the imago, or perfect, state. 
So far, indeed, as the preparatory stages are concerned, 
there is little difficulty in approximately ascertaining 
the facts ; namely, that while in summer they take 
only a few weeks ; in some species, as our small yellow 
meadow ants, the autumn larvse remain with compara- 



LENGTH OF LIFE. 9 

tively little change throughout the winter. It is much 
more difficult to ascertain the length of life of the 
perfect insect, on account of their gregariovis habits, 
and the difficulty of recognising individual ants. I 
have found, however, as we shall presently see, that 
their life is much longer than has been generally 
supposed. 

It is generally stated in entomological works that the 
males of ants die almost immediately. No doubt this 
is generally the case. At the same time, some males 
of Myrmica ritginodis, which I isolated with their 
mates in August 1876, lived until the following spring ; 
one of them till May 17. 

It has also been the general opinion that the 
females lived about a year. Christ' indeed thought 
they might last three or even four seasons, but this 
was merely a suggestion, and Forel expressed the 
general opinion when he said, ' Je suis persuade qu'en 
automne il ne reste presque plus que les ouvrieres 
ecloses pendant le courant de I'ete.' The average 
life of a queen is also, he thinks, not more than twelve 
months. I have found, however, that the life of the 
queens and workers is much longer than had been sup- 
posed. I shall give further details in a subsequent 
chapter, but I may just mention here that I have now 
(December 1881) two queens which have lived with 
me since the year 1874. They miTst therefore be at 

' NaturgcscMchte der lasektcn. 



10 STRUCTURE OF ANTS. 

least seven years old, and seem still quite strong and 
well. I have also some workers which I have had in 
my nests since 1875. 

The body of an ant consists of three parts : the 
head, thorax, and abdomen. 

The head bears the principal organs of sense, and 
contains the brain, as the anterior portion of the 
nervous system may fairly be called. 

The thorax, supporting the legs, and when they are 
present, the wings, contains the principal muscles of 
locomotion. 

The abdomen contains the stomach and intestines, 
the organs of reproduction, the sting, &c. 

Eeturning to the head : the antennae consist of a 
short spherical basal piece, a long shaft, known as the 
scape, and a flagellum of from six to seventeen (gene- 
rallj'^, however, from ten to thirteen) short segments, 
the apical ones sometimes forming a sort of club. The 
number of segments is generally different in the males 
and females. 

The eyes »re of two kinds. Large compound eyes, one 
on each side of the head ; and ocelli, or so-called simple 
eyes. The compound eyes consist of many facets. The 
number differs greatly in different species, and in the 
different sexes, the males generally having the greatest 
number. Thus, in Formica pratensis there are, 
according to Forel, in the males about 1,200 in each 
eye, in the fertile females between 800 and 900, in the 
workers about 600. Where the workers vary in size 



THE HEAD. 11 

they differ also in the number of facets. Thus, again 
following the same authority, the large workers of 
CcLTiiponotus ligniperdus have 500, the smaller ones 
only 450; while in the Harvesting ant (^Atta barbara) 
the contrast is even greater, the large specimens 
having 230, the small ones only from 80 to 90. The 
ordinary workers have in Polyergus rufescens about 
400 ; in Lasius fuliginosusj 200; in Tapinoma erra- 
ticum, 100; in Plagiolepis pygmcea, 70 to 80; in 
Lasius fiavus, about 80 ; in Bothriomynnex 7neri- 
dionalis, 55; in Strongylognathus testaceuSyStenamma 
Weshvoodii, and Tetramorium ccespituvi, about 45 ; 
in Pheidole pcdlidula, about 30 ; Myrinecina La- 
treillei, 15 ; Solenopsis fugax, 6 to 9 ; while in Ponera 
contracta there are only from 1 to 5 ; in Eciton only 1 ; 
and in Typhlopone the eyes are altogether wanting. 

The number of facets seems to increase rather with 
the size of the species than with the power of vision. 

The ocelli are never more than three in number, 
disposed in a triangle with the apex in front. Some- 
times the anterior ocellus alone is present. In some 
species the workers are altogether without ocelli, which, 
however, are always present in the queens and in the 
males. 

The mouth parts are the labrum, or upper lip ; the 
first pair of jaws or mandibles ; the second pair of jaws 
or maxillae, which are provided with a pair of palpi, 
or feelers ; and the lower lip, or labium, also bearing 
a pair of palpi. 



12 THE THORAX. 

The thorax is generally considered to consist, as in 
other insects, of three divisions — the prothorax, meso- 
thorax, and metathorax. I have elsewhere, however, 
given reasons into which I will not at this moment 
enter, for considering that the first abdominal segment 
has in this group coalesced with the thorax. The 
thorax bears three pairs of legs, consisting of a coxa, 
trochanter, femur, tibia and tarsus, the latter composed 
of five segments and terminating in a pair of strong 
claws. 

In the males and females the meso- and meta- 
thorax each bear a pair of wings, which, however, are 
stripped off by the insects themselves soon after the 
marriag^e flisfht. 

The workers never possess wings, nor do they show 
even a rudimentary representative of these organs. 
Dr. Dewitz has pointed out that the full-grown larvae 
of the workers possess well-developed ' imaginal disks,' 
like those which, in the males and females, develope 
into the wings. These disks, during the puj)al life, 
gradually become atrophied, until in the perfect insects 
they are represented only by two strongly chitiaised 
points lying under the large middle thoracic stigmas. 
No one unacquainted with the original history of 
these points would ever suspect them to be the rudi- 
mentary remnants of ancestral wings.' 

The thorax also bears three pairs of spiracles, or 
breathing holes. 

' Zeit.f. iviss. Zool., vol. xxviii. p. 555 



THE ABDOMEN. 13 

The abdomen consists of six segments, in the queens 
and workers, that is to say in the females, and seven in 
the males. The first segment, as a general rule, in the 
Formicidse forms a sort of peduncle (known as the scale 
or knot) between the metathorax and the remainder of 
the abdomen. In the Myrmicidse two segments are 
thus detached from the rest. 

The Poneridas form, as regards the 'peduncle, and 
in some other respects, an intermediate group between 
the Formicidse and the Myrmicidae. The second abdo- 
minal segment is contracted posteriorly, but not so 
much so as to form a distinct knot. 

The form of the knot offers in many cases valuable 
specific characters, 

I have sometimes been tempted to correlate the 
existence of a second knot among the Myrmicidae with 
their power of stinging, which is wanting in the For- 
micidse. Though the principal mobility of the abdomen 
is given in the former, as in the latter, by the joint 
between the metathorax and the knot, still the second 
segment of the peduncle must increase the flexibility, 
which would seem to be a special advantage to those 
species which have a sting. It must indeed be 
admitted that Q?]cophylla' has a sting, and yet only 
one knot; but this, of course, does not altogether 
negative my suggestion, which, however, I only throw 
out for consideration. 



' Proc. Linn. Soc, vol. v. p. 101. 



14 THE STING. 

The knot is provided with a pair of spiracles, 
which are situated, as Forel states, in the front of the 
segment, and not behind, as supposed by Latreille. 

In most entomological works it is stated that the 
Mjrmicidae have a sting, and that, on the contrary, 
the Formicidse do not possess one. The latter family, 
indeed, possess a rudimentary structure representing 
the sting, but it seems merely to serve as a support for 
the poison duct. Dr. Dewitz, who has recently pub- 
lished^ an interesting memoir on the subject, denies 
that the sting in Formicidse is a reduced organ, and 
considers it rather as in an undeveloped condition. 
The ancestors of our existing Ants, in his opinion, 
had a large poison apparatus, with a chitinous support 
like that now present in Formica, from which the 
formidable weapons of the bees, wasps, and Myrmicidae 
have been gradually developed. I confess that I am 
rather disposed, on the contrary, to regard the con- 
dition of the organ in Formica as a case of retrogres- 
sion contingent upon disuse. I find it difficult to 
suppose that organs — so complex, and yet so similar — 
as the stings of ants, bees, and wasps, should have 
been developed independently. 

Any opinion expressed by M. Dewitz on such a 
subject is, of course, entitled to much weight; never- 
theless there are some general considerations which 
seem to me conclusive against his view. If the sting 

• Zeit.f. niss. Zool., vol. xxviii. p. 527. 



ORIGIN OF THE STING. 15 

of Formica represents a hitherto undeveloped organ, 
then the original ant was stingless, and the present 
stings of ants have an origin independent of that 
belonging to the other aculeate Hymenoptera, such 
as bees and wasps. These organs, however, are so 
complex, and at the same time so similarly constituted, 
that they must surely have a common origin. Whether 
the present sting is derived from a leaf-cutting instru- 
ment, such as that from which the sawfly takes its name, 
I will at present express no opinion. Dr. Dewitz him- 
self regards the rudimentary traces of wings in the 
larvae of ants as the remnants of once highly-developed 
organs ; why, then, should- he adopt the opposite view 
with reference to the rudimentary sting ? On the 
whole, I must regard the ancestral ant as having pos- 
sessed a sting, and consider that the rudimentary con- 
dition of that of Formica is due to atrophy, perhaps 
through disuse. 

On the other hand, it is certainly, at first sight, diffi- 
cult to understand why ants, having once acquired a 
sting, should allow it to fall into desuetude. There are, 
however, some considerations which may throw a certain 
light on the subject. The poison glands are much larger 
in Formica than in Myrmica. Moreover, some species 
have the power of ejecting their poison to a consider- 
able distance. In Switzerland, after disturbing a nest 
of Formxica rufa, or some nearly allied species, I have 
found that a hand held as much as 18 inches above the 
ants was covered with acid. But even when the poison 



16 THE POISON OF ANTS. 

is not thas fired at the enemy from a distance, there 
are two cases in which the aculeus might be allowed to 
fall into disuse. Firstly, those species which fight 
with their mandibles might find it on the whole most 
convenient to eject the poison (as they do) into the 
wounds thus created. Secondly, if the poison itself is 
so intensified in virulence as to act through the skin, 
a piercing instrument would be of comparatively small 
advantage. I was amused one day by watching some 
specimens of the little Cremastogaster sordidula and 
the much larger Formica cinerea. The former were 
feeding on some drops of honey, which the Formicas 
were anxious to share, but the moment one approached, 
the little Cremastogasters simply threatened them 
with the tip of their abdomen, and the Formicas 
immediately beat a hasty retreat. In this case the 
comparatively large Formica could certainly have had 
nothing to fear from physical violence on the part of 
the little Cremastogaster. Mere contact with the 
poison, however, appeared to cause them considerable 
pain, and generally the threat alone was sufficient to 
cause a retreat. 

However this may be, in their modes of fighting, 
different species of ants have their several peculiarities. 
Some also are much less military than others. Myr- 
Tnecina Latreillii, for instance, never attack, and 
scarcely even defend themselves. Their skin is very 
hard, and they roll themselves into a ball, not defend- 
ing themselves even if their nest is invaded ; to pre- 



MODES OF FIGHTING. 17 

vent which they make the entrances small, and often 
station at each a worker, who uses her head to stop 
the way. The smell of this species is also, perhaps, a 
protection. Tetramoriu'm ccespitum has the habit of 
feigning death. This species, however, does not roll 
itself up, but merely applies its legs and antennsa 
closely to the body. 

Formica rufa, the common Horse ant, attacks in 
serried masses, seldom sending out detachments, while 
single ants scarcely ever make individual attacks. 
They rarely pursue a flying foe, but give no quarter, 
killing as many enemies as possible, and never hesi- 
tating, with this object, to sacrifice themselves for the 
common good. 

Formica sariguinea, on the contrary, at least in 
their slave-making expeditions, attempt rather to 
terrify than to kill. Indeed, when invading a nest, 
they do not attack the flying inhabitants unless these 
are attempting to carry off pupae, in which case the 
F, sanguineas force them to abandon the pupae. 
When fighting, they attempt to crush their enemies 
with their mandibles. 

Formica exsecta is a delicate, but very active 
species. They also advance in serried masses, but in 
close quarters they bite right and left, dancing about 
to avoid being bitten themselves. When fighting 
with larger species they spring on to their backs, 
and then seize them by the neck or by an antenna 
They also have the instinct of acting together, three 



18 DIFFERENT CLASSES OF INDIVIDUALS. 

or four seizing an enemy at once, and then pulling 
different ways, so that she on her part cannot get at 
any one of her foes. One of them then jumps on 
her back and cuts, or rather saws, off her head. In 
battles between this ant and the much larger F. jpra- 
tcnsis, many of the F. exsectas may be seen on the 
backs of the F. pratensis, sawing off tlieir heads from 
behind. 

The species of Lasius make up in numbers what 
they want in strength. Several of them seize an 
enemy at once, one by each of her legs or antennae, 
and when they have once taken hold they will suffer 
themselves to be cut in pieces rather than leave go. 

Polyergus rufescens, the celebrated slave-making 
or Amazon ant, has a mode of combat almost peculiar 
to herself. The jaws are very powerful, and pointed. 
If attacked — if, for instance, another ant seizes her by 
a leg — she at once takes her enemy's head into her 
jaws, which generally makes her quit her hold. If she 
does not, the Polyergus closes her mandibles, so that 
the points pierce the brain of her enemy, paralysing 
the nervous system. The victim falls in convulsions, 
setting free her terrible foe. In this manner a com- 
paratively small force of Polyergus will fearlessly 
attack much larger armies of other species, and suffer 
themselves scarcely any loss. 

Under ordinary circumstances an ants' nest, like 
a beehive, consists of three kinds of individuals: 
workers, or imperfect females (which constitute the 



THE HONEY ANT. 19 

great majority), males, and perfect females. There 
are, however, often several queens in an ants' nest; 
while, as we all know, there is never moi^e than one 
queen mother in a hive. The queens of ants are pro- 
vided with wings, but after a single flight they tear 
them off, and do not again quit the nest. In ad- 
dition to the ordinary workers there is in some species 
a second, or rather a third, form of female. In almost 
any ants' nest we may see that the workers differ more 
or less in size. The amount of difference, however, 
depends upon the species. In Lasius niger, the small 
brown garden ant, the workers are, for instance, much 
more uniform than in the little yellow meadow ant, 
or in Atta barbara (PI. II. figs. 1 and 2), where some 
of them are much more than twice as large as others. 
But in certain ants there are differences still more re- 
markable. Thus, in a Mexican species, Myrmecocystus,^ 
besides the common workers, which have the form of 
ordinary neuter ants, there are certain others in which 
the abdomen is swollen into an immense sub-diapha- 
nous sphere. These individuals are very inactive, and 
principally as living honey-jars. I have described in a 
subsequent page a species of Camponotus (PL IV. 
fig. 1) from Australia, which presents us with the same 
remarkable phenomenon. In the genus Pheidole (PI. 
II. figs. 3 and 4), very common in southern Europe, 
there are also two distinct forms without any interme- 
diate gradations ; one with heads of the usual propor- 
• Wesmael, Btill. Acad. Roy. Bruxelles, vol. v. p. 771. 



20 WORKERS— SOLDIERS. 

tion, and a second with immense heads provided with 
very large jaws. This differentiation of certain indi- 
viduals so as to adapt them to special functions seems 
to me very remarkable ; for it must be remembered 
that the difference is not one of age or sex. The large- 
headed individuals are generally supposed to act as 
soldiers, and the size of the head enables the muscles 
which move the jaws to be of unusual dimensions ; but 
the little workers are also very pugnacious. Indeed, 
in some nests of Pheidole megacephala, which I had 
for some time under observation, the small workers 
were quite as ready to fight as the large ones. 

Again, in the genus Colobopsis Emery discovered 
that two ants, then supposed to be different species, and 
known as Colobopsis truncata and C.fuscipes, are really 
only two forms of one species. In this case the entrance 
to the nest is guarded by the large-headed form, which 
may therefore fairly be called a soldier. 

Savage observed among the Driver Ants, where also 
there are two kinds of workers, that the large ones 
an'anged themselves on each side of the column formed 
by the small ones. They acted, he says, evidently the 
part of guides rather than of guards. At times they 
place ' their abdomen horizontally on the ground, and 
laying hold of fixed points with their hind feet (which 
together thus acted as a fulcrum), elevate the anterior 
portion of their bodies to the highest point, open wide 
their jaws, and stretch forth their antennse, which for 
the most part were fixed, as if in the act of listening 



FIVE KINDS OF INDIVIDUALS IN SAUBA. 21 

and watching for approaching danger. They would 
occasionally drop their bodies to the ground again, run 
o£f to one side, and iiercely work their jaws and antennae, 
as if having detected some strange sounds in the dis- 
tance. Discerning nothing, they would quickly return 
to their posts and resume their positions, thus acting 
as scouts.' • 

The same thing has been noticed by other natu- 
ralists. Bates, for instance, states that in the marching 
columns of Eciton drepanopho7^a the large-headed 
workers 'all trotted along empty-handed and outside 
the column, at pretty regular intervals from each other, 
like subaltern officers in a marching regiment. ... I 
did not see them change their position, or take any 
notice of their small-headed comrades;' and he says 
that if the column was disturbed they appeared less 
pugnacious than the others. 

In other species, however, of the same genus, Eciton 
vastator and E. erratica, which also have two distinct 
kinds of workers, the ones with large heads do appear 
to act mainly as soldiers. When a breach is made in 
one of their covered ways, the small workers set to 
work to repair the damage, while the large-headed ones 
issue forth in a menacing manner, rearing themselves 
up and threatening with their jaws. 

In the Sauba Ant of South America (JEcodoma 
cephalotes), the complexity is carried still further; 

' Rev. T. S. Savage on the ' Habits of the Driver Ant^,' Trans. 
Eiit. Soc, voL V. p. 12. 



22 ORIGIN OF THP: SOLDIERS. 

Lund' pointed out that there were two different kinds 
of workers, but Bates has since shown that there are 
in this species no less than five classes of individuals, 
namely : 1 . Males. 2. Queens. 3. Small ordinary 
workers (PI. III. fig. 2). 4. Large workers (PI. III. 
fig. 1), with very large hairy heads. 5. Large workers, 
with large polished heads. Bates never saw either of 
these two last kinds do any work at all, and was not 
able to satisfy himself as to their functions. They 
have also been called soldiers, but this is obviously a 
misnomer — at least, they are said never to fight. Bates 
suggests 2 that they may ' serve, in some sort, as passive 
instruments of protection to the real workers. Their 
enormously large, hard, and indestructible heads may 
be of use in protecting them against the attacks of 
insectivorous animals. They would be, on this view, a 
kind of pieces de resistance, serving as a foil against 
onslaughts made on the main body of workers.' 

This does not, I confess, appear to me a probable 
explanation of the fact, and on the whole it seems that 
the true function of these large-headed forms is not 
yet satisfactorily explained. 

The question then arises whether these different 
kinds of workers are produced from different eggs. 

I am disposed to concur with Westwood in the 
opinion' 'that the inhabitants of the nest have the 
instinct so to modify the circumstances producing this 

' Ann. des Sci. Nat. 1831, p. 122. ^ Loe. cit. p. 31. 

* Modern Classification of Insects, vol. ii. p. 225. 



DIVISION OF LABOUK. 23 

state of imperfection, that some neuters shall exhibit 
characters at variance with those of the common kind.' 
This, indeed, credits them with a very remarkable 
instinct, and yet I see no more probable mode of ac- 
counting for the facts. Moreover, the exact mode by 
which the differences are produced is still entirely 
unknown. 

M. Forel, in his excellent work on ants, has pointed 
out that very young ants devote themselves at first to 
the care of the larvae and pupse, and that they take no 
share in the defence of the nest or other out-of-door 
work until they are some days old. This seems natural, 
because at first their skin is comparatively soft ; and it 
would clearly be undesirable for them to undertake rough 
work or run into danger until their armour had had 
time to harden. There are, however, reasons for think- 
ing that the division of labour is carried still further. I 
do not allude merely to those cases in which there are 
completely different kinds of workers, but even to the 
ordinary workers. In L.fiavus, for instance, it seems 
probable that the duties of the small workers are 
somewhat different from those of the large ones, 
though no such division of labour has yet been detected. 
I shall have to record some further observations point- 
ing in the same direction. 

The nests of ants may be divided into several 
classes. Some species, such as oiu* common Horse ant 
{ForTTiica rufa), collect large quantities of materials, 
such as bits of stick, fir leaves, &c,, which they heap 



24 HABITATIONS OF ANTS. 

up into conical masses. Some construct their nests of 
earth, the cells being partly above, partly below, the 
natural level. Some are entirely underground, others 
eat into the trunks of old trees. 

In warmer climates the variations are still more 
numerous. Formica bispinosa, of Cayenne, forms its 
nest of the cottony matter from the capsules of Bombax. 
Sykes has described' a species of Myrinica which 
builds in trees and shrubs, the nest consisting of thin 
leaves of cow-dung, arranged like tiles on the roof of a 
house ; the upper leaf, however, covering the whole. 

In some cases the nests are very extensive. Bates 
mentions that while he was at Para an attempt was 
made to destroy a nest of the Sauba ants by blowing 
into it the fumes of sulphur, and he saw the smoke 
issue from a great number of holes, some of them not 
less than seventy yards apart. 

A community of ants must not be confused with an 
ant hill in the ordinary sense. Very often indeed a 
community has only one dwelling, and in most sj)ecies 
seldom more than three or four. Some, however, form 
numerous colonies. M. Forel even found a case in 
which one nest of F. exsecta had no less than two 
hundred colonies, and occupied a circular sj^ace with a 
radius of nearly two hundred yards. \\^ithin this area 
they had exterminated all the other ants, except a few 
nests of Tapinoma erraticum, which survived, thanks 
to their great agility. In these cases the number of 
* Trans. Ent. Sue, vol. i. 



COMMUNITIES OF ANTS. 25 

ants thus associated together must have been enor- 
mous. Even in single nests Forel estimates the 
numbers at from five thousand to half a million. 

Ants also make for themselves roads. These are 
not merely worn by the continued passage of the ants, 
as was supposed by Christ, but are actually prepared by 
the ants, rather however by the removal of obstacles, 
than by any actual construction, which would indeed 
not be necessary, the weights to be carried being so 
small. In some cases these roadways are arched over 
with earth, so as to form covered ways. In others, the 
ants excavate regular subterranean tunnels, sometimes 
of considerable length. The Eev. Hamlet Clark even 
assures us that he observed one in South America, which 
passed under the river Parahyba at a place where it was 
as broad as the Thames at London Bridge. I confess, 
however, that I have my doubts as to this case, for I 
do not understand how the continuity of the tunnel was 
ascertained. 

The food of ants consists of insects, great numbers 
of which they destroy ; of honey, honeydew, and fruit : 
indeed, scarcely any animal or sweet substance comes 
amiss to them. Some species, such, for instance, as 
the small brown garden ant (Lasius niger, PI. I. fig. 1), 
ascend bushes in search of aphides. The ant then 
taps the aphis gently with her antennae, and the aphis 
emits a drop of sweet fluid, which the ant drinks. Some- 
times the ants even build covered ways up to and over 
the aphides, which, moreover, they protect from the 
3 



26 FOOD— ENEMIES, 

attacks of other insects. Our English ants do not 
store up provision for the winter; indeed, their food 
is not of a nature which would admit of this. I have 
indeed observed that the small brown ant sometimes 
carries seeds of the violet into its nest, but for what 
pm-pose is not clear. Some of the southern ants, 
however, lay up stores of grain {see Chapter III.). 

Ants have many enemies. They themselves, and 
still more their young, are a favourite food of many 
animals. They are attacked also by numerous para- 
sites. If a nest of the brown ants is disturbed at any 
time during the sum'mer, some small flies may probably 
be seen hovering over the nest, and every now and 
then making a dash at some particular ant. These 
flies belong to the genus Phora, and to a species hitherto 
unnamed, which Mr. Verrall has been good enough to 
describe for me {see Appendix). They lay their eggs 
on the ants, inside which the larv^ live. Other species 
of the genus are in the same way parasitic on bees. 
Ants are also sometimes attacked by mites. On 
one occasion I observed that one of my ants had a 
mite attached to the underside of its head. The mite, 
which maintained itself for more than three months in 
the same position, was almost as large as the head. 
The ant could not remove it herself. Being a queen, 
she did not come out of the nest, so that I could not 
do it for her, and none of her own companions thought 
of performing this kind office. 

In character the different species of ants differ very 



CHAEACTER -INDUSTRY. 27 

much from one another. F. fusca (PL I. fig. 3), the 
one which is pre-eminently the ' slave ' ant, is, as 
might be expected, extremely timid ; while the nearly 
allied F. cinerea has, on the contrary, a considerable 
amount of individual audacity. F. rufa (PI. II. fig. 5), 
the horse ant, is, according to M. Forel, especially 
characterised by the want of individual initiative, 
and always moves in troops ; he also regards the 
genus Formica as the most brilliant ; though others 
excel it in other respects, as, for instance, in the 
sharpness of their senses. F. pratensis worries its 
slain enemies ; F. sanguinea (PL I. fig. 6) never 
does so. The slave-making ant (P. 7'ufescens, PL I. 
fig. 5) is, perhaps, the bravest of all. If a single indi- 
vidual finds herself surrounded by enemies, she never 
attempts to fly, as any other ant would, but transfixes 
her opponents one after another, springing right and 
left with great agility, till at length she succumbs, 
overpowered by numbers. M. scabrinocUs is cowardly 
and thievish; dm"ing wars among the larger species 
they haunt the battle-fields and devour the dead. 
Tetramoriurn is said to be very greedy ; Myrmecina 
very phlegmatic. 

In industry ants are not smpassed even by bees 
and wasps. They work all day, and in warm weather, 
if need be, even at night too. I once watched an ant 
from six in the morning, and she worked without 
intermission till a quarter to ten at night. I had put 
her to a saucer containing larvse, and in this time she 



28 GAMES. 

carried off no less than a hundred and eighty-seven to 
the nest. I had another ant, which I employed in my 
experiments, under continuous observation several days. 
When I started for London in the morning, and again 
when I went toi bed at night, I used to put her in a 
small bottle, but the moment she was let out she 
began to work again. On one occasion I was away 
from home for a week. On my return I took her out 
of the bottle, placing her on a little heap of larvae 
about three feet from the nest. Under these circum- 
stances I certainly did not expect her to return. How- 
ever, though she had thus been six days in confine- 
ment, the brave little creatiu-e immediately picked up 
a larva, carried it ofif to the nest, and after half an 
hour's rest returned for another. 

Our countryman Gould noticed ^ certain ' amuse- 
ments ' or ' sportive exercises,' which he had observed 
among ants. Huber also mentions^ scenes which he 
had witnessed on the surface of ant hills, and which, 
he says, ' I dare not qualify with the title gymnastic, 
although they bear a close resemblance to scenes of 
that kind.' The ants raised themselves on their hind 
legs, caressed one another with their antennae, engaged 
in mock combats, and almost seemed to be playing 
hide and seek. Forel entirely confirms Huber's state- 
ments, though he was at first incredulous. He 
says : ^ — 

' An Account of English Ants, p. 103. 
« Nat. Hist, of Ants, p. 197. * Loc. cit., p. 367. 



CLEANLINESS. 29 

' Malgre I'exactitude avec laquelle il decrit ce fait, 
j'avais peine a y croire avant de I'avoir vu moi-meme, 
mais une fourmiliere pratensis m'en donna I'exemple a 
plusieurs reprises lorsque je I'approchai avec precaution. 
Des 5 (i-e. workers) se saisissaient par les pattes ou 
par les mandibules, se roulaient par terre, puis se 
retachaient, s'entrainaient les unes les autres dans les 
trous de leur dome pour en ressortir aussitot apres, etc. 
Tout cela sans aucun acharnement, sans venin ; il etait 
evident que c'etait purement amical. Le moindre 
souffle de ma part mettait aussitot fin a ces jeux. 
J'avoue que ce fait pent paraitre imaginaire a qui ne 
I'a pas vu, quand on pense que I'attrait des sexes ue 
pent en etre cause.' 

Bates, also, in the case of Eciton legioiiis, observed 
behaviour which looked to him ' like simple indulgence 
in idle amusement, the conclusion,' he says, ^ that the 
ants were engaged merely in play was irresistible.' ^ 

Lastly, I may observe that ants are very cleanly 
animals, and assist one another in this respect. I have 
often seen them licking one another. Those, moreover, 
which I painted for facility of recognition were gradu- 
ally cleaned by their friends. 

' Loo. oit., vol. ii. p. '662. 



CHAPTEE II. 

ON THE FORMATION AND MAINTENANCE OF NESTS, AND 
ON THE DIVISION OF LABOUR. 

It is remarkable that notwithstanding the researches of 
so many excellent observers, and though ants' nests 
swarm in every field and every wood, we did not know 
how their nests commence. 

Three principal modes have been suggested. After 
the marriage-flight the young queen may either— 

1 . Join her own or some other old nest ; 

2. Associate herself with a certain number of 
workers, and with their assistance commence a new 
nest ; or 

3. Found a new nest by herself. 

The question can of course only be settled by ob- 
servation, and the experiments made to determine it 
had hitherto been indecisive. 

Blanchard, indeed, in his work on the ' Metamor- 
phoses of Insects ' (I quote from Dr. Duncan's transla- 
tion, p. 205), says : — ' Huber observed a soHtary female 
go down into a small under-ground hole, take ofif her 
own wings, and become, as it were, a worker ; then she 
constructed a small nest, laid a few eggs, and brought 



ORIGIN OF AN ANTS' NEST. 31 

up the larvae by acting as mother and nurse at the same 
time.' 

This, however, is not a correct version of what 
Huber says. His words are : — ' I enclosed several females 
in a vessel full of light humid earth, with which they 
constructed lodges, where they resided, some singly, 
others in common. They laid their eggs and took great 
care of them ; and notwithstanding the inconvenience 
of not being able to vary the temperature of their habi- 
tation, they reared some, which became larvae of a 
tolerable size, but which soon perished from the effect 
of my own negligence.' ^ 

It will be observed that it was the eggs, not the 
larvae, which, according to Huber, these isolated females 
reared. It is true that he attributes the early and uni- 
form death of the larvae to his own negligence, but the 
fact remains that in none of his observations did an 
isolated female bring her offspring to maturity. 

Other entomologists, especially Forel and Ebrard, 
have repeated the same observations with similar results; 
and as yet in no single case had an isolated female been 
known to bring her young to maturity. Forel even 
thought himself justified in concluding, from his ob- 
servations and from those of Ebrard, that such a fact 
could not occur. 

Lepeletier de St. Fargeau ^ was of opinion that ants' 
nests originate in the second mode indicated above, and 

' Natural History of Ants, Huber, p. 121. 

* Hist. Nat. des Ins. Hymcnoptercs, vol. i. p. 113. 



32 KELUCTANCE TO ADOPT A NEW QUEEN. 

it is, indeed, far from improbable that this may occur. 
No clear case has, however, yet been observed. M. de 
St. Fargeau himself observes ' that ' les particularites 
qui accompagnent la formation premiere d'une four- 
miliere sont encore incertaines et meriteraient d'etre 
observees avec soin.' 

Under these circumstances I made the following 
experiments : — 

la. I took an old, fertile,- queen from a nest of 
Lasius fiavus, and put her to another nest of the same 
species. The workers became very excited and attacked 
her. 

b. I repeated the experiment, with the same result. 

c. Do. do. In this case the nest to which the queen 
was transferred was without a queen ; still they would 
not receive her. 

d and e. Do. do. do. 

I conclude, then, that, at any rate in the case of L. 
fiavus, the workers will not adopt an old queen from 
another nest. 

The following observation shows that, at any rate 
in some cases, isolated queen ants are capable of giving 
origin to a new community. 

On August 14, 1876, I isolated two pairs of Myr- 
onica ruginodis which I found flying in my garden. I 
placed them with damp earth, food, and water, and 
they continued perfectly healthy through the winter. 

* Hist. Nat. des Lis. ITi/vicudj/tcrcs, vol. i. p. 144. 



OEIGIN OF A NEST OF MYEMICA. 33 

In April one of the males died, and the second in the 
middle of May. The first eggs were laid between April 
12 and 23. They began to hatch the first week in 
Jnne, and the first larva turned into a chrysalis on 
the 27th; a second on the 30th; a third on July 1, 
when there were also seven larvse and two eggs. On 
the 8th there was another egg. On July 8 a fourth 
larva had turned into a pupa. On July 111 found 
there were six eggs, and on the 14th about ten. On the 
15th one of the pupre began to turn brown, and the 
eggs were about 15 in number. On the 16th a second 
pupa began to turn brown. On the 2 1 st a fifth larva 
had turned into a pupa, and there were about 20 eggs. 
On July 22 the first worker emerged, and a sixth larva 
had changed. On the 25th I observed the young worker 
carrying the larvse about when I looked into the nest ; 
a second worker was coming out. On July 28 a third 
worker emerged, and a fourth on Aug 5. The eggs 
appeared to be less numerous, and some had probably 
been devoured. 

This experiment shows that the queens of Myrmica 
ruginodis have the instinct of bringing up larvae and the 
power of founding communities. The workers remained 
about six weeks in the egg, a month in the state of 
larvae, and twenty-five to twenty-seven days as pupae. 

Since, however, cases are on record in which com- 
munities are known to have existed for many years, 
it seems clear that fresh queens must be sometimes 
adopted. I have indeed recorded several experiments 



34 ADOPTION OF A QUEEN. 

ill which fertile queens introduced into queenless nests 
were ruthlessly attacked, and subsequent experiments 
have always had the same result. Mr. .Tenner Fust, 
however, suggested to me to introduce the queen into 
the nest, as is done with bees, in a wire cage, and leave 
her there for two or three days, so that the workers 
might, as it were, get accustomed to her. Accordingly 
I procured a queen of F. fusca and put her with some 
honey in a queenless nest, enclosed in a wire cage so 
that the ants could not get at her. After three days I 
let her out, but she was at once attacked. Perhaps I 
ought to have waited a few days longer. On the con- 
trary, ]\Ir. McCook reports a case of the adoption of a 
fertile queen of Cremaatogaster lineolata by a colony 
of the same species : ^ — ' The queen,' he says, ' was 
taken April 16, and on May 14 following was introduced 
to workers of a nest taken the same day. The queen 
was alone within an artificial glass formicary, and 
several workers were introduced. One of these soon 
found the queen, exhibited much excitement but no 
hostility, and immediately ran to her sister workers, all 
of whom were presently clustered upon the queen. 
As other workers were gradually introduced they joined 
their comrades, until the body of the queen (who is 
much larger than the workers) was nearly covered with 
them. They appeared to be holding on by their man- 
dibles to the delicate hairs upon the female's body, and 

> Proc. Acad. Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 1879. ' Note on 
Lho Adoption of an Ant-Quecn,' by Mr. McCook, p. 139. 



FERTILE WORKEES. 35 

continually moved their antennse caressingly. This 
sort of attention continued until the queen, escorted by 
workers, disappeared in one of the galleries. She was 
entirely adopted, and thereafter was often seen moving 
freely, or attended by guards, about the nest, at times 
engaged in attending the larvae and pupge which had 
been introduced with the workers of the strange colony. 
The workers were fresh from their own natural home, and 
the queen had been in an artificial home for a mouth.' 

In no case, however, when I have put a queen into 
one of my nests has she been accepted. 

Possibly the reason for the difference may be that 
the ants on which I experimented had been long living 
in a republic ; for, I am informed, that if bees have been 
long without a queen it is impossible to induce them to 
accept another. 

Moreover, I have found that when I put a queen 
with a few ants from a strange nest they did not 
attack her, and by adding others gradually, I succeeded 
in securing the throne for her. 

It is generally stated that among ants the queens 
only lay eggs. This, however, is not correct. 

Denny ^ and Lespes ^ have shown that the workers 
also are capable of producing eggs ; but the latter as- 
serted that these eggs never come to maturity. Forel, 
however, has proved ^ that this is not the case, but 

' Ann. and Mag. Nat. Hist., 2ad ser., vol. i. 
2 Ann. des Set. Nat., 1863. 
^ Fourniis de la Suisse, p. 329. 



36 EGGS LAID BY FERTILE WOEKEES 

that in some cases, at any rate, the eggs do produce 
young. Dewitz even maintains ' that the workers 
habitually lay eggs, and explains the difference which 
on this view exists between the workers of ants and 
those of bees, on the ground that (as he supposes) the 
majority of ants die in the autumn, so that the eggs 
laid by the queens alone would not be sufficient to 
stock the nest in the spring ; while among bees the 
majority survive the winter, and consequently the eggs 
laid by the queen are sufficient to maintain the num- 
bers of the community. In reply to this argument, it 
may be observed that among wasps the workers all 
perish in the autumn, while, on the contrary, among 
ants I have proved that, at least as regards many 
species, this is not the case. Moreover, although eggs 
are frequently laid by workers, this is not so often the 
case as Dewitz appears to suppose. Forel appears to 
have only observed it in one or two cases. In my 
nests the instances were more numerous ; and, indeed, 
I should say that in most nests there were a few fertile 
workers. 

Among bees and wasps also the workers are occa- 
sionally fertile ; but, so far as our observations go, it is 
a curious fact that their eggs never produce females, 
either queens or workers, but always males. The four 
or five specimens bred by Forel from the eggs of 
workers were, moreover, all males. 

It became therefore an interesting question whether 
' Zeit.f. niss. Zool., vol. xxviii. p. 536. 



ALWAYS PEODUCE MALES. 37 

the same is the case among ants ; and my nests have 
supplied me with some facts bearing on the question. 
Most of my nests contained queens ; and in these it 
would be impossible, or at least very difficult, to dis- 
tinguish and follow the comparatively few eggs laid 
by the workers. Some of my nests, however, con- 
tained no queen ; and in them therefore all the eggs 
must have been laid by workers. 

One of these was a nest of Formica cinerea, which 
I brought back from Castellamare in November 1875. 
At that time it contained no eggs or larvge. In 1876 
a few eggs were laid, of which fifteen came to maturity, 
and were, I believe, all males. In 1877 there were 
fourteen pupse, of which twelve came to maturity, and 
were all males. 

Again, in a nest of Lashts niger, kept in captivity 
since July 1875, there were in 1876 about 100 young ; 
and these were, as far as I could ascertain, all males. 
At any rate there were about 100 males, and I could 
not find a single young female. In 1877 there were 
again some pupse ; but owing to an accident none of 
them came to maturity. In 1878 fifteen came to 
maturity ; and fourteen were males. The other I could 
not find after it left the pupa skin ; but I have no 
doubt, from the appearance of the pupa, that it was 
also a male. 

Another nest of Lasius niger, taken in November 
1875, brought in 1878 only one young ant to maturity ; 
and this was a male. 



38 EGGS LAID BY FERTILE WORKERS 

Again, in a nest of Formica f us ca, taken in 1875, 
though in 1876 and 1877 eggs were laid and a few 
arrived at the pupa-state, none came to maturity. 
They were all, however, either males or queens, and, I 
have little doubt, were males. In 1878 one came to 
maturity, and it was a male. 

A nest of F. fusca, captured in 1876, did not bring 
up any young in 1877. In 1878 three larvae came to 
maturity ; and they all proved to be males. Another 
nest of F. fusca, captured in 1877, in 1878 brought 
only one young one to maturity. This was a male. 

In the following year, I again carefully watched my 
nests, to see what further light they would throw on 
the subject. 

In six of those which contained no queen, eggs 
were produced, which of course must necessarily have 
been laid by workers. 

The first of these, the nest of Lasius niger, 
which I have watched since July 1875, and which, 
therefore, is interesting from the great age of the 
workers, about ten larvae were hatched, but only four 
reached the pupa state. Of these one disappeared ; 
the other three I secured, and on examination they all 
proved to be males. The nest ef Lasius niger, which 
has been under observation since November 1875, pro- 
duced about ten pupae. Of these I examined seven, all 
of which I found to be males. The others escaped me. 
I believe that, having died, they were brought out and 
thrown away. 



ALWAYS PEODUCE MALES. 39 

The nest of Formica cinerea, captured at the 'same 
time, produced four larvae, all of which perished before 
arriving at the pupa stage. The larvae of males and 
of queens are much larger than those of workers, 
and these larvae were too big to have been those of 
workers. 

In a nest of Formica fusca, which I have had 
under observation since August 1876, three pupae were 
produced. They were all males. Another nest of 
i^ormica /msco- produced a single young one, which also 
was a male. 

Lastly, my nest of Polyergus riifescens, which M. 
Forel was so good as to send me in the spring of 1876, 
in 1879 produced twelve pupae. Eleven of these turned 
out to be males. The other one I lost ; and I have 
little doubt that it was brought out and thrown away. 
It was certainly not a worker. As regards the first 
three of these pupae, I omitted to record at the time 
whether they belonged to the Polyergus or to the 
slaves, though I have little doubt that they belonged to 
the former species. The last eight, at any rate, were 
males of Polyergiis. 

Indeed, in all of my queenless nests, males have 
been produced ; and in not a single queenless nest has 
a worker laid eggs which have produced a female, either 
a queen or a worker. Perhaps I ought to add that 
workers are abundantly produced in those of my nests 
which possess a queen. 

While great numbers of workers and males have 



40 QUEENS SELDOM PRODUCED IN CAPTIVITY. 

come to maturity in my nests, with one excejition not 
a single queen has been produced. 

This was in a nest of Formica fusca, in which five 
queens came to maturity. The nest (which, I need 
hardly say, possessed a queen) had been under observa- 
tion since April 1879, and the eggs therefore must 
have been laid in captivity. The nest had been richly 
supplied with animal food, which may possibly account 
for the fact. 

It is known that bees, by difference of food, &c., 
possess the power of obtaining at will from the same 
eggs either queens or ordinary workers. Mr. Dewitz,' 
however, is of opinion that among ants, on the con- 
trary, the queens and workers are produced from 
different kinds of eggs. He remarks that it is very 
difficult to understand how the instinct, if it is to be 
called instinct, which would enable the working ants 
to make this difference can have arisen. This is no 
doubt true ; but it seems to me quite as difficult to 
understand how the queens, which must have originally 
laid only queen eggs and male eggs, can have come to 
produce another class. Moreover, however great the 
difficulty may be to understand how the ants can have 
learnt to produce queens and workers from one kind of 
egg, the same difficulty exists almost to the same 
extent in bees, which, as Mr. Dewitz admits, do possess 
the power. Moreover, it seems to me very unlikely 
that the result is produced in one way in the case of 

' Zeit.fdr wiss. Zool. 1878, p. 101. 



OKIGIN OF QUEENS. 41 

bees, and in another in that of ants. It is also a strong 
argument that in none of my nests, though thousands 
of workers and males have been produced, have I ever 
observed a queen to be so until tbis year. On the 
whole, then, though I differ from so excellent a naturalist 
with much hesitation, I cannot but think that ants, 
like bees, possess the power of developing a given egg 
into either a queen or a worker. 

I have already mentioned that the previous views 
as to the duration of life of ants turn out to be quite 
erroneous. It was the general opinion that they lived 
for a single year. I have, however, now in my posses- 
sion two queens, which I have had under observation 
ever since the year 1874. They must now (December 
1881) therefore be more than seven, and are probably 
more than eight years old. They seem in perfect 
health, and in 1881 laid fertile eggs, a fact which 
suggests ph}- siological conclusions of great interest. 

I have, moreover, little doubt that some of the 
workers now in this nest were among those originally 
captured, the mortality after the first few weeks having 
been but small. This, however, I cannot prove. 

A nest of F. sanguinea, which M. Forel kindly 
forwarded to me on September 12, 1875 (but which 
contained no queen), gradually diminished in numbers, 
until in February 1879 it was reduced to two F. san- 
giiineas and one slave. The latter died in February 
1880. One of the two mistresses died between May 
10 and May 16, 1880, and the other only survived her 



42 LONGEVITY OF ANTS. 

a few days, dying between the 16th and 20th. These 
two ants, therefore, must have been five years old at 
least. It is certainly curious that they should, after 
living so long, have died within ten days of one 
another. There was nothing, as far as I could see, in 
the state of the nest or the weather to account for this, 
and they were well supplied with food ; yet I hardly 
ventiure to suggest that the survivor pined away for 
the loss of her companion. 

Some workers of F. cinerea lived in one of my 
nests from November 1875 to July 1881. 

In a nest of F.fusca, which I brought in on June 
6, 1875, and in one of Lasius niger brought in 
on July 25, 1875, there were no queens; and, as 
already mentioned, no workers have been produced. 
Those now living (December 1881) are therefore the 
original ones, and they must be more than six years 
old. 

The duration of life in ants is therefore much 
greater than has been hitherto supposed. 

Though I lose many ants from accidents, especially 
in summer, in winter there are very few deaths. 

I have given the following figure (fig. 2), which 
represents a typical nest belonging to Lasius niger^ 
because it is a good instance of the mode in which 
my ants excavated chambers and galleries for them- 
selves, and seems to show some ideas of strategy. The 
nest is, as usual, between two plates of glass, the outer 
border is a framework of wood, and the shaded part 



ARRANGEMENT OF A NEST. 



43 



Fig. 2. 




Ground-plan of a typical nest of Lasins niger, reduced, a, 
narrow doorway ; h, hall ; c, vestibule ; d, main chamber ; e, inner 
sanctum ; /, /, /, /, narrow entrance passages to sanctum ; g, g, spe- 
cial pillars. 



44 A.RRANGEMENT OF CHAMBEKS. 

represents garden mould, which the ants have them- 
selves excavated, as shown in the figure. For the 
small doorway (a), indeed, I am myself responsible. 
I generally made the doorways of my nests narrow, so 
as to check evaporation and keep the nests from 
becoming too dry. It will be observed, however, that 
behind the hall (6) the entrance contracts, and is still 
further protected by a pillar of earth, which leaves on 
either side a narrow passage which a single ant could 
easily guard, or which might be quickly blocked up. 
Behind this is an irregular vestibule (c), contracted 
again behind into a narrow passage, which is followed 
by another, this latter opening into the main chamber 
{d). In this chamber several pillars of earth are left, 
almost as if to support the roof. Behind the main 
chamber is an inner sanctum divided into three cham- 
bers, and to which access is obtained through narrow 
entrances (/>/,/,/)• Most of the pillars in the main 
chamber are irregular in outline, but two of them 
(g, g) were regular ovals, and round each, for a distance 
about as long as the body of an ant, the glass had been 
most carefully cleaned. This was so marked, and the 
edge of the cleaned portion was so distinct, that it is 
impossible not to suppose that the ants must have 
had some object in this proceeding, though I am unable 
to suggest any explanation of it. 

I have already mentioned {ante, p. 23), that there 
is evidence of some division of labour among ants. 
Where, indeed, there are different kinds of workers, 



DIVISION OF LABOUE. 45 

this is self-evident, but even in species where the 
workers are all of one type, something of the same 
kind appears to occur. 

In the autumn of 1875 I noticed an ant belonging 
to one of my nests of F. fusca out feeding alone. The 
next day the same ant was again out by herself, and for 
some weeks no other ant, so far as I observed, came out 
to the food. I did not, however, watch her with suffi- 
cient regularity. In the winter of 1876, therefore, I 
kept two nests under close observation, having arranged 
with my daughters and their governess. Miss Wendland 
(most conscientious observers), that one of us should 
look at them once an hour during the day. One of the 
nests contained about 200 individuals of F. fusca, the 
other was a nest of P. rufescens with the usual slaves, 
about 400 in number. The mistresses themselves 
never came out for food, leaving all this to the slaves. 

We began watching on November 1, but did net 
keep an hourly register till the 20th, after which date 
the results are given in the following tables {see 
Appendix). Table No. 1 relates to the nest of F. 
fusca, and the ants are denoted by numbers. The 
hours at which we omitted to record an observation are 
left blank ; when no ant was at the honey, the square is 
marked with an 0. An ant, marked in my register as 
No. 3, was at the time when we began observing acting 
as feeder to the community. 

The only cases in which other ants came to the honey 
were at 2 P.M. on November 22, when another ant came 



46 DIVISION OF LAJ30UR. 

out, whom we registered as No. 4, another on the 28th, 
registered as No. 5. Other ants came out occasionally, 
but not one came to the honey (except the above men- 
tioned) from November 28 till January 3, when another 
(whom we registered as No. 6) began feeding. After 
this a friend visited the honey once on the 4th, once 
on the 11th, and again on the 15th, when she was 
registered as No. 7. 

Table No. 2 is constructed in the same way, but 
refers to the nest of Polyergus. The feeders in this 
case were, at the beginning of the experiment, regis- 
tered as Nos. 5, 6, and 7. On November 22 a 
friend, registered as No. 8, came to the honey, and 
again on December 11 ; but with these two exceptions 
the whole of the supplies were carried in by Nos. 5 and 
6, with a little help from No. 7. 

Thinking now it might be alleged that possibly 
these were merely unusually active or greedy individuals, 
I imprisoned No. 6 when she came out to feed on the 
5th. As will be seen from the table, no other ant had 
been out to the honey for some days ; and it could 
therefore hardly be accidental that on that very evening 
another ant (then registered as No. 9) came out for 
food. This ant, as will be seen from the table, then 
took the place of No. 6, and (No. 5 being imprisoned 
on January 11) took in all the supplies, again with a 
little help from No. 7. So matters continued till the 
1 7th, when I imprisoned No. 9, and then again, i.e. on 
the 19th, another ant (No. 10) came out for the food. 



THE HONEY ANT. 47 

aided, on and after the 22nd, by another, No. 11. This 
seems to me very curious. From November 1 to 
January 5, with two or three casual exceptions, the 
whole of the supplies were carried in by three ants, 
one of whom, however, did comparatively little. The 
other two were imprisoned, and then, but not till then, 
a fresh ant appears on the scene. She carried in the 
food for a week ; and then, she being imprisoned, two 
others undertook the task. On the other hand, in 
Nest 1, where the first foragers were not imprisoned, 
they continued during the whole time to carry in the 
necessary supplies. 

The facts therefore certainly seem to indicate that 
certain ants are told off as foragers, and that during 
winter, when little food is required, two or three are 
sufficient to provide it. 

I have, indeed, no reason to suppose that in our 
English ants any particular individuals are specially 
adapted to serve as receptacles of food. M. Wesmael, 
however, has described ' a remarkable genus (^Myrmeco- 
cystus mexicanus), brought by M. de Normann from 
Mexico, in which certain individuals in each nest serve 
as animated honey-pots. To them the foragers bring 
their supplies, and their whole duty seems to be to receive 
the honey, retain it, and redistribute it when required. 
Their abdomen becomes enormously distended, the in- 
tersegmental membranes being so much extended that 

' Bull, de VAcad des Sci. de Bruxelles, vol. v. p. 771. 



48 THE HONEY ANT. 

the chitinous segments which alone are visible exter- 
nally in ordinary ants seem like small brown transverse 
bars. The account of these most cirrious insects given 
by MM. de Nermann and Wesmael has been fully con- 
firmed by subsequent observers ; as, for instance, by 
Lucas,^ Saunders,^ Edwards,^ Blake,"* Loew,^ and 
McCook.6 

On one very important point, however, M. "Wesmael 
was in error ; he states that the abdomen of these ab- 
normal individuals ' ne contient aucun organe ; ou 
plutot, il n'est lui-meme qu'un vaste sac stomacal,' 
Blake even asserts that * the intestine of the insect is 
not continued beyond the thorax,' which must surely be 
a misprint ; and also that there is no connexion between 
the stomach and the intestine ! These statements, 
however, are entirely erroneous ; and, as M. Forel has 
shown, the abdomen does really contain the usual organs, 
which, however, are very easily overlooked by the side 
of the gigantic crop. 

I have therefore been much interested in receiving 
a second species of ant, which has been sent me by 
Mr. Waller, in which a similar habit has been evolved 
and a similar modification has been produced. The two 
species, however, are very distinct, belonging to totally 

' Anji. Soo. Ent. de France, v. p. 111. 
"^ Canadian Entomologist, vol. vii. p. 12. 

* Proc. California Academy, 1873. 

* Ibid., 1874. 

* Amencan Nat., viii. 1874. 

* The Honey Ants. 



HONEY ANTS. 49 

different genera ; and the former is a native of Mexico, 
while the one now described comes from Adelaide in 
Australia. The two species, therefore, cannot be de- 
scended one from the other ; and the conclusion seems 
inevitable that the modification has originated inde- 
pendently in the two species. 

It is interesting that, although these specimens 
apparently never leave the nest, and have little use 
therefore for legs, mandibles, &c., the modifications 
which they have undergone seem almost confined to the 
abdominal portion of the digestive organs. The head 
and thorax, antennas, jaws, legs, &c. differ but little 
from those of ordinary ants. 



CHAPTEE III. 

ON THE RELATION OF ANTS TO PLANTS.. 

It is now generally admitted that the form and colour, 
the scent and honey of flowers, are mainly due to the 
unconscious agency of insects, and especially of bees. 
Ants have not exercised so great an influence over the 
vegetable kingdom, nevertheless they have by no 
means been without effect. 

The great object of the beauty, scent, and honey 
of flowers, is to secure cross fertilisation ; but for this 
purpose winged insects are almost necessary, because 
they fly readily from one plant to another, and gener- 
ally conBne themselves for a certain time to the same 
species. Creeping insects, on the other hand, naturally 
would pass from one flower to another on the same 
plant ; and as Mr. Darwin has shown, it is deskable 
that the pollen should be brought from a different 
plant altogether. Moreover, when ants quit a plant, 
they naturally creep up another close by, without any 
regard to species. Hence, even to small flowers, such 
as many crucifers, composites, saxifrages, &c., which, 
as far as size is concerned, might well be fertilised by 
ants, the visits of flying insects are much more advan- 



EXCLUSION OF ANTS FROM FLOWERS. 51 

tageous. Moreover, if larger flowers were visited by 
ants, not only would they deprive the flowers of their 
honey without fulfilling any useful function in return, 
but they would probably prevent the really useful 
visits of bees. If you touch an ant with a needle or a 
bristle, she is almost sure to seize it in her jaws ; and 
if bees, when visiting any particular plant, were liable 
to have the delicate tip of their proboscis seized on by 
the horny jaws of an ant, we may be sure that such a 
species of plant would soon cease to be visited. On 
the other hand, we know how fond ants are of honey, 
and how zealously and unremittingly they search for 
food. How is it then that they do not anticipate the 
bees, and secure the honey for themselves ? This is 
guarded against in several ways. 

Belt appears to have been the first naturalist to 
Call attention to this interesting subject. 

' Many flowers,' he says,' ' have contrivances for pre- 
venting useless insects from obtaining access to the 
nectaries. 

' Great attention has of late years been paid by 
naturalists to the wonderful contrivances amongst 
flowers to secure cross fertilisation, but the struc- 
ture of many cannot, I believe, be understood, unless 
we take into consideration not only the beautiful adap- 
tations for securing the services of the proper insect or 

• The Naturalist in Nicaragua. By Thos. Belt, F.G.S., pp. 131 
and 133. 



52 ISOLATION BY WATER. 

bird, but also the contrivances for preventing insects 
that would not be useful from obtaining access to the 
nectar. Thus the immense length of the Angrcecum 
sesqiiipedale of Madagascar might, perhaps, have been 
more easily explained by Mr. Wallace, if this impor- 
tant purpose had been taken into account.' 

Kerner has since published a very interesting 
work,' especially devoted to the subject, which has 
been translated into English by Dr. Ogle. 

In aquatic plants, of course, the access of ants is 
precluded by the isolation in water. Nay, even many 
land plants have secured to themselves the same advan- 
tage, the leaves forming a cup round the stem. Some 
species have such a leaf-cup at each joint, in others 
there is only a single basin, formed by the rosette of 
radical leaves. In these receptacles rain and dew 
not only collect, but are retained for a considerable 
time. In our own country Dipsacus sylvestris (the 
common teazle) is the best marked instance of this 
mode of protection, though it is possible that these 
cups serve another purpose, and form, as suggested by 
Francis Darwin, traps in which insects are caught, and 
in which they are dissolved by the contained fluid, so 
as to serve as food for the plant. However this may 
be, the basins are generally found to contain water, 
even if no rain has fallen for some days, and must, 
therefore, serve to prevent the access of ants. 

The next mode of protection is by means of slippery 
' Kerner : Flowers and their Unliddeii Guests. 



SLIPPERY SURFACES. 63 

surfaces. In this case, also, the leaves often form a 
collar round the stem, with curved surfaces over which 
ants cannot climb. ' I have assured myself,' says 
Kerner, ' not only by observation, but by experiment, 
that wingless insects, and notably ants, find it impos- 
sible to mount upwards over such leaves as these. 
The little creatures run up the stem, and may even 
not unfrequently traverse the under surface of the 
leaves, if not too smooth ; but the reflexed and slip- 
pery margin is more than the best climbers among 
them can get over, and if they attempt it they invari- 
ably fall to the ground. There is no necessity for the 
lamina of the leaf to be very broad ; even narrow 
leaves, as, for instance, those of Gentiana firman are 
enough for the purpose, supposing, of course, that the 
margin is bent backwards in the way described.' 

Of this mode of protection the cyclamen and snow- 
drop offer familiar examples. In vain do ants attempt 
to obtain access to such flowers, the curved surfaces 
baffle them ; when they come to the edge they inevit- 
ably drop off to the ground again. In fact, these 
pendulous flowers protect the honey as effectually 
from the access of ants, as the hanging nests of the 
weaver and other birds protect their eggs and young 
from the attacks of reptiles. 

In a third series of plants the access of creeping 
insects is impeded or altogether prevented by certain 
parts of the flower being crowded together so as to 
leave either a very narrow passage or none at all. Thus 



54 CLOSED FLOWERS. 

the Antirrhinum, or Snapdragon, is completely closed, 
and only a somewhat powerful insect can force its way 
in. The flower is in fact a strong box, of which the 
Humble-bee only has the key. The Linarias are another 
case of this kind. The Campanulas, again, are open 
flowers, but the stamens are swollen at the base, 
and in close contact with one another, so that they 
form the lid of a hollow box in which the honey is 
secreted. In some species the same object is effec- 
ted by the stamens being crowded together, as in 
some of the white ranunculuses of the Alps. In 
other cases, the flower forms a narrow tube, still 
further protected by the presence of hairs, sometimes 
scattered, sometimes, as in the white dead nettle, 
forming a row. 

In others, as in some species of Narcissus, Primula, 
Pediculafis, &c., the tube itself is so narrow that even 
an ant could not force its way down. 

In others, again, as in some of the Gentians, the 
opening of the tube is protected by the swollen head 
of the pistil. 

In others, as in clover, lotus, and many other 
Leguminosce, the ovary and the stamens, which cling 
round the ovary in a closely-fitting tube, fill up almost 
the whole space between the petals, leaving only a 
very narrow tube. 

Lastly, in some, as in Geranium, robertiamoTn, 
Limtm catharticum, &c., the main tube itself is 
divided by ridges into several secondary ones. 



PROTECTION BY THICKETS OF HAIRS. 55 

In still more numerous species the access of ants 
and other creeping insects is prevented by the presence 
of spines or hairs, which constitute a veritable chevaux 
defrise. Often these hairs are placed on the flowers 
themselves, as in some verbenas and gentians. Some- 
times the whole plant is more or less hairy, and it 
will be observed that the hairs of plants have a great 
tendency to point downwards, which of course con- 
stitutes them a more efficacious bamer. 

In another class of cases access to the flowers is 
prevented by viscid secretions. Everyone who has any 
acquaintance with botany knows how many species 
bear the specific name of ' Viscosa ' or ' Glutinosa.' 
We have, for mstsince,Bartsia viscosa, Robinia viscosa, 
Linum viscosum, Euphrasia viscosa, Silene viscosa, 
Bianthus viscidus, Senecio viscosus, Holosteum glu- 
tinosum, &c. Even those who have never opened a 
botanical work must have noticed how many plants are 
more or less sticky. Why is this ? What do the plants 
gain by this peculiarity ? The answer probably is, at 
any rate in most cases, that creeping insects are tlius 
kept from the flowers. The viscid substance is found 
most frequently and abundantly on the peduncles im- 
mediately below the blossoms, or even on the blossoms 
themselves. In EpimediuTn alpinum, for instance, 
the leaves and lower parts of the stem are smooth, 
while the peduncles are covered with glandular, viscid 
hairs. The number of small insects which are limed 
and perish on such plants is very considerable. Kenier 



56 VISCIDITY OF PLANTS. 

counted sixty-four small insects on one inflorescence of 
Lychnis viscosa. In other species the flower is viscid ; 
as, for instance, in the gooseberry, Linnoea horealis. 
Plumbago Europoia, &c. 

Polygonum ciTriphibiuTn is a very interesting 
ease. The small rosy flowers are richly supplied with 
honey ; but from the structure of the flower, it would 
not be fertilised by creeping insects. As its name 
indicates, this plant grows sometimes on land, some- 
times in water. Those individuals, however, which 
grow on dry land are covered by innumerable glan- 
dular viscid hairs, which constitute an effectual pro- 
tection. On the other hand, the individuals which 
grow in water are protected by their situation. To 
them the glandular hairs would be useless, and in ftict 
on such specimens they are not developed. 

In most of the cases hitherto mentioned the viscid 
substance is secreted by glandular hairs, but in others 
it is discharged by the ordinary cells of the surface. 
Kemer is even of opinion that the milky juice of 
certain plants — for instance, of some species of Lactuca 
(lettuce) — answers the same purpose. He placed 
several kinds of ants on these plants, and was sui-prised 
to find that their sharp claws cut through the delicate 
epidermis ; while through the minute clefts thus made 
the milky juice quickly exuded, by which the ants 
were soon glued down. Kemer is even disposed to 
suggest that the nectaries which occur on certain 
leaves are a means of protection against the unwel- 



ANTS PROTECTING TKEES. 57 

come, because unprofitable, visits of creeping insects, 
by diverting them from the flowers. 

Thus, then, though ants have not influenced the 
present condition of the vegetable kingdom to the 
same extent as bees, they have also had a very con- 
siderable effect upon it in various ways. 

Our European ants do not strip plants of their 
leaves. In the tropics, on the contrary, some species 
do much damage in this manner. 

Bates considers' that the leaves are used ' to thatch 
the domes which cover the entrances to their sub- 
terranean dwellings, thereby protecting them from 
the rains.' Belt, on the other hand, maintains that 
they are torn up into minute fragments, so as to form 
a flocculent mass, which serves as a bed for mush- 
rooms ; the ants are, in fact, he says, ' mushroom 
growers and eaters.' ^ 

Some trees are protected by one species of ants 
from others. A species of Acacia, described by Belt, 
bears hollow thorns, while each leaflet produces honey 
in a crater-formed gland at the base, as well as a small, 
sweet, pear-shaped body at the tip. In consequence, it is 
inhabited by myriads of a small ant, which nests in the 
hollow thorns, and thus finds meat, drink, and lodging 
all provided for it. These ants are continually roaming 
over the plant ; and constitute a most efficient body- 
guard, not only driving off the leaf-cutting ants, but, 
in Belt's opinion, rendering the leaves less liable to be 

■ Loc. cit., V. i. p. 26. '^ Loc. cit., p. 79. 



58 ANTS AS TKEE-GUAEDS. 

eaten by herbivorous mammalia. Delpino mentions 
that on one occasion he was gathering a flower of Clero- 
dendrum fragrans, when he was himself ' suddenly 
attacked by a whole army of small ants.' ^ 

Moseley has also called attention^ to the relations 
which have grown up between ants and two ' curious 
epiphytes, Myrmecodia armata and Hydnophytum 
formicaruTn. Both plants are associated in their 
growth with certain species of ants. As soon as the 
young plants develop a stem, the ants gnaw at the base 
of this, and the irritation produced causes the stem to 
swell; the ants continuing to irritate and excavate 
the swelling, it assumes a globular form, and may 
become even larger than a man's head. 

' The globular mass contains within a labyrinth of 
chambers and passages, which are occupied by the ants 
as their nest. The walls of these chambers and the 
whole mass of the inflated stem retain their vitality 
and thrive, continuing to increase in size with growth. 
From the surface of the rounded mass are given off 
small twigs, bearing the leaves and flowers. 

' It appears that this curious gall-like tumour on 
the stem has become a normal condition of the plants, 
which cannot thrive without the ants. In 3Iyrmecodia 
armata the globular mass is covered with spine-like 
excrescences. The trees I referred to at Amboina had 
these curious spine-covered masses perched in every 

' Scientijic Lectures, p. 33. 

* J\"^utes by a Katuralist on the ' Challcmjcr,' p. 389. 



INSECTIVOROUS ANTS. 59 

fork, and with them also smooth surfaced masses of a 
species of Hydnophytum.^ 

There are, of course, many cases in which the action 
of ants is very beneficial to plants. They kill off a 
great number of small caterpillars and other insects. 
Forel found in one large nest that more than twenty- 
eight dead insects w^ere brought in per minute ; which 
would give during the period of greatest energy more 
than 100,000 insects destroyed in a day by the 
inhabitants of one nest alone. 

Our English hunting ants generally forage alone. 
In warmer countries, however, they hunt in packs, or 
even armies. 

As already mentioned, none of our northern ants 
store up grain, and hence there has been much dis- 
cussion as to the well-known passage of Solomon. I 
have indeed observed that the small brown ants, Lasius 
niger, sometimes carry seeds of the violet into their 
nests, but for what purpose is not clear. It is, however, 
now a well-established fact that more than one species 
of southern ants do collect seeds of various kinds. 
The fact, of course, has long been known in those 
regions. 

Indeed, the quantity of grain thus stored up is some- 
times so considerable, that in the ' Mischna,' rules are 
laid down with reference to it; and various com- 
mentators, inchiding the celebrated Maimonides, have 
discussed at length the question whether such grain 
belonged to the owner of the land, or might be taken 



60 HARVESTING ANTS. 

by gleaners — giving the latter the benefit of the doubt. 
They do not appear to have considered the rights of 
the ants. 

Hope ^ has called attention to the fact that Meer 
Hassan Ali, in his ' History of the Mussulmans,' 
expressly mentions it. ' More industrious little crea- 
tures,' he says, ' cannot exist than the small red ants, 
which are so abundant in India. I have watched them 
at their labours for hours, without tiring. They are so 
small, that from eight to twelve in number labour with 
great difficulty to convey a grain of wheat or barley, 
yet these are not more than half the size of a grain of 
English wheat. I have known them to carry one of 
these grains to their nest, at a distance from 600 to 
1,000 yards. They travel in two distinct lines over 
rough or smooth ground, as it may happen, even up 
and down steps, at one regular pace. The returning 
unladen ants invariably salute the burthened ones, who 
are making their way to the general storehouse ; but it 
is done so promptly, that the line is neither broken nor 
their progress impeded by the salutation.' 

Sykes, in his account of an Indian ant, Pheidole 
providens,^ appears to have been the first of modern 
scientific authors to confirm the statements of Solomon. 
He states that the above-named species collects large 
stores of grass seeds, on which it subsists from February 

' Tra7is. Ent. Soc. 1840, p. 213. 

■■^ Ihid. 1836, p. 99. Dr. Lincecum has also made a similar 
observat ion. 



AGRICULTURAL ANTS. 61 

to October. On one occasion he even observed the 
ants bringing up their stores of grain to dry them 
after the closing thunderstorms of the monsoon ; an 
observation which has been since confirmed by other 
naturalists. 

It is now known that harvesting ants occur in the 
warmer part of Europe, where their habits have been 
observed with care, especially by Moggridge and Lespes. 
It does not yet seem quite clear in what manner the 
ants prevent the grains from germinating. Mogoridge 
found that if the ants were prevented from entering 
the granaries, the seeds began to sprout, and that this 
was also the case in deserted granaries. It would ap- 
pear therefore that the power of germination was not 
destroyed. 

On the other hand, Lespes confirms the statement 
long ago made by Aldrovandus that the ants gnaw off 
the radicle, while Forel asserts that Alta structor 
allows the seeds in its granaries to commence the pro- 
cess of germination for the sake of the sugar. 

A Texan ant, Pogonomymex harbahts, is also a 
harvesting species, storing up especially the grains of 
Aristida oligantha, the so-called ' ant rice,' and of a 
grass, Buchloe dadyloides. These ants clear disks, ten 
or twelve feet in diameter, round the entrance to their 
nest, a wbrk of no small labour in the rich soil, and 
under the hot sun, of Texas. I say ' clear disks,' but 
some, though not all, of these disks are occupied, espe- 
cially round the edge, by a growth of ant rice. These 



62 AGRICULTUKAL ANTS. 

ants were first noticed by IMr. Buckley/ and their 
habits were some time afterwards described in more 
detail by Dr. Lincecum,'^ who maintained not only that 
the ground was carefully cleared of all other species of 
plants, but that this grass was intentionally cultivated 
by the ants. Mr. McCook,' by whom this subject has 
been recently studied, fully confirms Dr. liincecum 
that the disks are kept carefully clean, that the ant 
rice alone is permitted to grow on them, and that the 
produce of this crop is carefully harvested ; but he 
thinks that the ant rice sows itself, and is not actually 
cultivated by the ants. I have myself observed in 
Algeria, that certain species of plants are allowed by the 
ants to grow on their nests. 

' Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. PMladclpliia, 1860. 

2 Linnean Jo^irnal, 1861, p. 29. 

' The Nat. Hist, of the Agricultural Ants of Texas, p. 38. 



CHAPTER IV. 

ON THE RELATIONS OF ANTS TO OTHER ANIMALS. 

The relations existing between ants and other animals are 
even more interesting than their relations with plants. 
As a general rule, not, however, without many remark- 
able exceptions, they may be said to be those of deadly 
hostility. 

Though honey is the principal food of my ants, 
they are very fond of meat, and in their wild state 
ants destroy large numbers of other insects. Our 
English ants generally go out hunting alone, but 
many of the species living in hotter climates hunt in 
packs, or even in armies. 

Savage has given ^ a graphic account of the ' Driver ' 
ants (Anomma arcens West.) of West Africa. They 
keep down, he says, ' the more rapid increase of noxious 
insects and smaller reptiles ; consume much dead 
animal matter, which is constantly occurring, decaying, 
becoming offensive, and thus vitiating the atmosphere, 
and which is by no means the least important in the 
Torrid Zone, often compelling the inhabitants to keep 

' ' On the Habits of the Driver Ants,' Trans. Enf. Soc. 1847 
p. 14. 



64 HUNTING ANTS. 

their dwellings, towns, and their vicinity in a state of 
comparative cleanliness. The dread of them is upon 
every living thing 

' Their entrance into a house is soon known by the 
simultaneous and universal movement of rats, mice, 
lizards, Blapsidse, Blattidae, and of the numerous 
vermin that infest our dwellings. Not being agreed, 
they cannot dwell together, which modifies in a good 
measure the severity of the Drivers' habits, and renders 
their visits sometimes (though very seldom in my view) 
desirable 

' They move over the house with a good degree of 
order, unless disturbed, occasionally spreading abroad, 
ransacking one point after another, till, either having 
found something desirable, they collect upon it, when 
they may be destroyed en tnasse by hot water 

' When they are fairly in, we give up the house, 
and try to await with patience their pleasure, thankful, 
indeed, if permitted to remain within the narrow limits 
of our beds or chairs.' 

These ants will soon destroy even the largest animal 
if it is confined. In one case Savage saw them kill near 
his house a snake four feet long. Indeed, it is said that 
they have been known, to destroy the great python, 
when gorged with food and powerless. The natives 
even believe that the python, after crushing its victim, 
does not venture to swallow it, until it has made a 
search, and is satisfied that there are no Drivers in the 
vicinity ! li is very remarkable that these hunting 



ECITONS. 65 

ants are blind. They emerge, however, principally by 
night, and like some of the blind hunting ants of 
Brazil {Eciton vastator and E. erratica), well described 
by Bates,' prefer to move under covered galleries, which 
they construct rapidly as they advance. * The column 
of foragers pushes forward step by step, under the 
protection of these covered passages, through the 
thickets, and on reaching a rotting log, or other 
promising hunting ground, pour into the crevices in 
search of booty.' 

The marauding troops of Ecitons may, in some 
cases, be described as armies. ' Wherever they move,' 
says Bates,^ ' the whole animal world is set in commo- 
tion, and every creature tries to get out of their way. 
But it is especially the various tribes of wingless insects 
that have cause for fear, such as heavy-bodied spiders, 
ants of other species, maggots, caterpillars, larvae of 
cockroaches, and so forth, all of which live under fallen 
leaves or in decaying wood. The Ecitons do not mount 
very high on trees, and therefore the nestlings of birds 
are not much incommoded by them. The mode of 
operation of these armies, which I ascertained, only 
after long-continued observation, is as follows : The 
main column, from four to six deep, moves forward in 
a given direction, clearing the ground of all animal 
matter dead or alive, and throwing off, here and there, 
a thinner column to forage for a short time on the 

' The Naturalist on the River Amazon, vol. ii. p. 364. 
^ Ibid., p. 358. 



66 INSECTS MIMICKING ANTS. 

fianks of the main army, and re-enter it again after 
their task is accomphshed. If some very rich place be 
encountered anywhere near the line of march — for 
example, a mass of rotten wood abounding in insect 
larvtB, a delay takes place, and a very strong force of 
ants is concentrated upon it.' 

Belt, also, has given ' an excellent account of these 
Ecitons. He observed that spiders were peculiarly 
intelligent in escaping them, making off several yards 
in advance ; and not like cockroaches and other stupider 
insects, taking shelter in the first hiding-place, where 
they were almost sure to be detected. The only chance 
of safety was either to run right away or to stand still. 
He once saw a Harvestman {Phalangiuni) standing 
in the midst of an army of ants with the greatest 
circumspection and coolness, lifting its long legs one 
after the other. Sometimes as many as five out of 
the eight would be in the air at once, but it always 
found tliree or four spots free from ants, on which it 
could safely place its feet. On another occasion. Belt 
observed a green leaf-like locust, which remained per- 
fectly still, allowing the ants to run over it. This 
they did, but seem to have been quite deceived by its 
appearance and immobility, apparently taking it for a 
leaf. 

In other cases, insects mimic ants, and thus escape 
attack or are able to stalk their prey. Belt mentions 
a spider which in its form, colour, and movements so 

' The Naturalist in Nioaragna, p. 17. 



ENEMIES OF ANTS. 67 

much resembled an ant, that he was himself for some 
time deceived. 

Nor are ants without their enemies. We all know 
how fond birds are of their larvae and pupre. They have 
also numerous parasites. I have already alluded to the 
mites which are often found in ants' nests. These are 
of several kinds ; one of them, not uncommon in the 
nests of Lasius Jlavus, turned out to be a new species, 
and has been described for me by Mr. Michael (see 
Appendix). 

Certain species of Diptera, belonging to the family 
Phoridse, are also parasitic on ants. As already men- 
tioned, I forwarded specimens to Mr. Verrall, who finds 
that some of them are a new species of the genus Phora, 
and that among them is also the type of a new genus, 
which he proposes to call Platyphora, doing me the 
honour of naming the species after me. I subjoin his 
description in the appendix. 

But the social and friendly relations which exist 
between ants and other animals are of a more complex 
and much more interesting character. 

It has long been known that ants derive a very 
important part of their sustenance from the sweet 
juice excreted by aphides. These insects, in fact, 
as has been over and over again observed, are the 
cows of the ants ; in the words of Linnaeus, ' Aphis 
formicarum vacca.' A good account of the rela- 
tions existing between ants and aphides was given 



68 DOMESTIC ANIMALS OF ANTS. 

more than a hundred years ago by the Abbe Boisier 
de Sauvages.^ 

Nor are the aphides the only insects which serve as 
cows to the ants. Various species of Coccidse, 
Cercopis, Centrotus, Membracis, &c., are utilised in the 
same manner. H. Edwards ^ and M'Cook ^ have observed 
ants licking the larva of a butterfly, Lyccena pseudar- 
giolus. 

The different species of ants utilise different species 
of aphis. The common brown garden ant {Lasius 
niger^ devotes itself principally to aphides which 
frequent twigs and leaves ; Lasius hrunneus, to the 
aphides which live on the bark of trees ; while the 
little yellow ant {Lasius flavus) keeps flocks and herds 
of the root-feeding aphides. 

In fact, to this difference of habit the difference of 
colour is perhaps due. The Baltic amber contains 
among the remains of many other insects a species of 
ant intermediate between our small brown garden ants 
and the little yellow meadow ants. This is possibly 
the stock from which these and other allied species are 
descended. One is tempted to suggest that the brown 
species which live so much in the open air, and climb 
up trees and bushes, have retained and even deepened 
their dark colour; while others, such as Lasius Jlavus, 



' Observations svr Vwigine du miel, par I'Abbo Boisier de 
ISavivages, Jour, de Physique, vol. i. p. 187. 
^ Canadian Entomologist, January 1878. 
* The Mound-making Ants of the Allcghenics, p. 289. 



APHIDES. 69 

the yellow meadow ant, which lives almost entirely 
below groimd, has become much paler. 

The ants may be said almost literally to milk t-he 
aphides ; for, as Darwin and others have shown, the 
aphides generally retain the secretion until the ants 
are. ready to receive it. The ants stroke and caress the 
aphides with their antennae, and the aphides then 
emit the sweet secretion. 

As the honey of the aphides is more or less sticky, 
it is probably an advantage to the aphis that it should 
be removed. Nor is this the only service which ants 
render to them. They protect them from the attacks 
of enemies ; and not unfrequently even build cowsheds 
of earth over them. The yellow ants collect the root- 
feeding species in their nests, and tend them as carefully 
as their own young. But this is not all. The ants not 
only guard the mature aphides, which are useful ; but 
also the eggs of the aphides, which of course, until 
they come to maturity, are quite useless. These eggs 
were first observed by our countryman Gould, whose 
excellent little work on ants ^ has hardly received the 
attention it deserves. In this case, however, he fell 
into error. He states that 'the queen ant' [he is 
speaking ofLaslusfiavus] 'lays three different sorts of 
eggs, the slave, female, and neutral. The two first are 
deposited in the spring, the last in July and j)art of 
August ; or, if the summer be extremely favourable, 

' All Account of Enylish Antx, by the Rev. W. Gould, 1747 
p. 36. 



70 EGGS OF APHIDES KEPT THEOUGH 

perhaps a little sooner. The female eggs are covered 
with a thin black membrane, are oblong, and about 
the sixteenth or seventeenth part of an inch in length. 
The male eggs are of a more brown complexion, and 
usually laid in March.' 

These dark eggr, are not those of ants, but of 
aphides. The error is very pardonable, because the 
ants treat these eggs exactly as if they were their own, 
guarding and tending them with the utmost care. I 
first met with them in February 1876, and was much 
astonished, not being at that time aware of Huber's 
observations. I found, as Huber had done before me, 
that the ants took great care of these brown bodies, 
carrying them off to the lower chambers with the 
utmost haste when the nest was disturbed. I brought 
some home with me and put them near one of my 
own nests, when the ants carried them inside. That 
year I was unable to carry my observations further. 
In 1877 I again procured some of the same eggs, and 
offered them to my ants, who carried them into the 
nest, and in the course of March I had the satisfaction 
of seeing them hatch into young aphides. M. Huber, 
however, did not think that these were ordinary egg^. 
On the contrary, he agreed with Bonnet, ' that the 
insect, in a state nearly perfect, quits the body of its 
mother in that covering which shelters it from the cold 
in winter, and that it is not, as other germs are, in the 
egg surrounded by food by means of which it is de- 
veloped and supported. It is nothing more than an 



THE WINTER BY ANTS. 71 

asylum of which the aphides born at another season 
have no need ; it is on this account some are produced 
naked, others enveloped in a covering. The mothers 
are not, then, truly oviparous, since their young are 
almost as perfect as they ever will be, in the asylum in 
which Nature has placed them at their birth.' ' 

This is, I think, a mistake. I do not propose here 
to describe the anatomy of the aphis ; but I may 
observe that I have examined the female, and find 
these eggs to arise in the manner described by Huxley,'^ 
and which I have also myself observed in other aphides 
and in allied genera.^ Moreover, I have opened the eggs 
themselves, and have also examined sections, and have 
satisfied myself that they are really eggs containing 
ordinary yelk. So far from the young insect being 
' nearly perfect,' and merely enveloped in a protective 
membrane, no limbs or internal organs are present. 
In fact, the young aphis does not develop in them 
until shortly before they are hatched.^ 

When my eggs hatched I naturally thought tliat 
the aphides belonged to one of the species usually 
found on the roots of plants in the nests of Lasius 
fiavus. To my surprise, however, the young creatures 

' The Natural History of Ants, by M. P. Huber, 1820, p. 246. 

- Linnean Transactums, 1858. 

* PMlosopMcal Transactions, 1859. 

■» I do not enter here into the technical question of the difference 
between ova and pseudova. I believe these to be true ova, but the 
point is that tliey are not a mere envelope containing a young aphis, 
but eggs in the ordinary sense, the contents of which consist of yelk, 
and in which the young aphis is gradually developed. 



72 EGGS OF APHIDES KEPT THROUGH 

made the best of their way out of the nest, and, indeed, 
were sometimes brought out by the ants themselves. 
In vain I tried them with roots of grass &e. ; they 
wandered uneasily about, and eventually died. More- 
over, they did not in any way resemble the subterranean 
species. In 1878 1 again attempted to rear these 
young aphides ; but though I hatched a great many 
eggs, I did not succeed. In 1879, however, I was more 
fortunate. The eggs commenced to hatch the first 
week in March. Near one of my nests of Lasius 
fiavus, in which I had placed some of the eggs in 
question, was a glass containing living specimens of 
several species of plant commonly found on or around 
ants' nests. To this some of the young aphides were 
brought by the ants. Shortly afterwards I observed on 
a plant of daisy, in the axils of the leaves, some small 
aphides, very much resembling those from my nest, 
though we had not actually traced them continuously. 
They seemed thriving, and remained stationary on the 
daisy. Moreover, whether they had sprung from the 
black eggs or not, the ants evidently valued them, for 
they built up a wall of earth round and over them. 
So things remained throughout the summer ; but on 
the 9th October I found that the aphides had laid some 
eggs exactly resembling those found in the ants' nests ; 
and on examining daisy-plants from outside, I found 
on many of them similar aphides, and more or less of 
the same eggs. 

I confess these observations surprised me very much. 



THE WINTEK BY ANTS. 73 

The statements of Huber, though confirmed by 
Schmarda, have not, indeed, attracted so much notice 
as many of the other interesting facts which they have 
recorded ; because if aphides are kept by ants in their 
nests, it seems only natural that their eggs should 
also occur. The above case, however, is much more 
remarkable. Here are aphides, not living in the ants' 
nests, but outside, on the leaf-stalks of plants. The 
eggs are laid early in October on the food-plant of 
the insect. They are of no direct use to the ants, 
yet they are not left where they are laid, exposed to the 
severity of the weather and to innumerable dangers, 
but brought into their nests by the ants, and tended 
by them with the utmost care through the long winter 
months until the following March, when the young ones 
are brought out and again placed on the young shoots of 
the daisy. This seems to me a most remarkable case 
of prudence. Our ants may not perhaps lay up food 
for the winter ; but they do more, for they keep during 
six months the eggs which will enable them to procure 
food during the following summer, a case of prudence 
unexampled in the animal kingdom. 

The nests of our common yellow ant {Lasius flavus) 
contain in abundance four or five species of aphis, 
more than one of which appears to be as yet undescribed. 
In addition, however, to the insects belonging to this 
family, there are a large number of others which live 
habitually in ants' nests, so that we may truly say that 
our English ants possess a much greater variety of 
5 



74 OTHER DOMESTIC ANIMALS 

domestic animals than we do ourselves. Markel satis- 
fied himself that large nests of Formica rufa might 
contain at least a thousand of such guests ; ' and I 
believe that the aphides in a large nest of Lasius 
fiavus would often be even more numerous. Andre ^ 
gives a list of no less than 584 species of insects, 
which are habitually found in association with ants, 
and of which 542 are beetles. 

The association of some of these insects with ants 
may be purely accidental and without significance. 
In some of them no doubt the bond of union is 
merely the selection of similar places of abode ; in 
some few others the ants are victimized by parasites of 
which they cannot rid themselves. There are, for 
instance, the parasitic mites, and the small black fly, 
belonging to the genus Phora, which lays her eggs on 
ants, and which I have already mentioned. Then there 
are some insects, such as the caterpillar of that beautiful 
beetle, the rosechafer, which find a congenial place of 
residence among the collection of bits of stick, &c., 
with which certain species of ants make their nests. 

Another class of ant guests are those which reside 
actually in the galleries and chambers of, and with, the 
ants, but which the latter never touch. Of these the 
commonest in England are a species allied to Podura, 
for which T have proposed the name Beckia (PI. V. 

' Beit, zur Xeimtniss der itnter Ameisen lebenden IiiseMcn, 
Miirkel, Germar's Zeit.f. Ent. 1841, p. 210. 
• Rev. et Mag. de Zool. 1874, p. 205. 



KEPT BY ANTS. 75 

fig. 5). It is an active bustling little being, and I 
have kept hundreds, I may say thousands, in my 
nests. They run about in and out among the ants, keep- 
ing their antennae in a perpetual state of vibration. 
Another very common species is a sort of white wood- 
louse (PI. V. fig. 7), which enjoys the rather long name 
of Platyarthrus Hoffmanseggii. Andre only mentions 
Platyarthrus as living with Formica rufa, Myrmica 
scahrinodis, and Leptothorax acervorum. I have 
found it also with Lasius niger, L. Jlavus, and F. 
fusca. It runs about, and is evidently at home, 
among the ants. Both Platyarthrus and Beckia, 
from living constantly in the dark, have become 
blind ; I say ' have become,' because their ancestors 
no doubt had eyeg. In neither of these cases have I 
ever seen an ant take the slightest notice of either of 
these insects. One might almost imagine they had 
the cap of invisibility. 

It is certain that the ants intentionally (if I 
may so say) sanction the residence of these insects 
in their nests. An unauthorised interloper would be 
at once killed. I have, therefore, ventured to suggest 
that these insects may, perhaps, act as scavengers. 

In other cases the association is more close, and the 
ants take the greatest care of their guests. 

It appears that many of these insects produce a 
secretion which serves as food for the ants. This is 
certainly the case, for instance, with the curious blind 
beetle, Claviger (PI. V. fig. 8), (so called from its club- 



76 'myemecophilous beetles 

shaped antennae), which is quite blind,^ and appears to 
be absolutely dependent upon the ants, as Miiller first 
pointed out. It even seems to have lost the power of 
feeding itself; at any rate it is habitually fed by the ants, 
who supply it with nourishment as they do one another. 
JNIiiller saw the ants caressing the beetles with their 
antennae. The Clavigers have certain tufts of hairs at the 
base of the elytra, and Miiller, whose observations have 
since been confirmed by subsequent entomologists, saw 
the ants take their tufts of hairs into their mouths and 
lick them, as well as the whole upper surface of the body, 
with apparently the greatest enjoyment. Grrimm ^ has 
made a similar observation with reference to Dinarda 
dentata, another of these myrmecophilous beetles. 
He several times observed the ants licking the tuft 
of hairs at the end of the abdomen. Lespes ^ has con- 
firmed this. On one occasion he saw an ant feed a 
Lomechusa. Several of the former were sucking a 
morsel of sugar. The beetle approached one of them, 
and tapped her several times on the head with her 
antennae. The ant then opened her mandibles, and fed 
the Lomechusa as she would have done one of her own 
species. The Lomechusa crept on the sugar, but did 
not appear able to feed herself. 

As might naturally be expected the myrmecophilous 
insects are not found indiscriminately in the nests of 

1 Gcrmar's Mag. de Zcol. 1818, p. 69. 

"^ SteUin. Ent. Zcit. 1845, p. 123 

» Ann. Soc. Ent. France, 1855, p. 51. 



PETS. 77 

ants, but while some associate with several species, 
many are confined to a few or even to one. 

V. Hagens is of opinion ^ that in some of these 
beetles which frequent the nests of two or more species 
of ant, varieties have been produced. Thus he has 
observed that the specimens of Thiasojohila angulata 
in nests of Formica congerens are darker than those 
found with F. exsecta. Hetcerius sesquicornis found 
with Lasius niger and Tapinoma erraticum are 
smaller than those which occur in the nests of larger 
ants ; and the form of Dmarda dentata^ which is met 
with in nests of F. sanguinea, has rather wider wing- 
cases than the normal type. 

I would by no means intend to imply that the 
relations between ants and the other insects which 
live with them are exhausted by the above suggestions. 
On the contrary, various other reasons may be imagined 
which may render the presence of these insects useful 
or agreeable to the ants. For instance, they may emit 
an odour which is pleasant to the ants. Again, Mr. 
Francis Galton has, I think, rendered it very probable 
that some of our domestic animals were kept as pets 
before they were made of any use. Unlikely as this 
may appear in some cases, for instance in the pig, we 
know as a fact that pigs are often kept by savages as 
pets. I would not put it forward as a suggestion 
which can be supported by any solid reasoning, but it 
J. C. Bridwcll 

» Berlin. Ent. Zoit. 1865, p. 108. 



78 EELATIONS BETWEEN DIFFEEENT 

seems not altogether impossible that some of these 
tame insects may be kept as pets. 

It is from this point of view a very interesting fact 
that, according to Forel, in the cases of Chennium and 
Batrisus there is rarely more than one beetle in each 
nest.^ 

I now come to the relations existing between the 
different species of ants. 

It is hardly necessary to say that, as a general rule, 
each species lives by itself. There are, however, some in- 
teresting exceptions. The little Stenmnma Weshvoodii 
(PI. III. fig. 3) is found exclusively in the nests of the 
much larger F. rufa and the allied F.pratensis. We do 
not know what the relations between the two species are. 
The Stenammas, however, follow the Formicas when 
they change their nest, running about among them and 
between their legs, tapping them inquisitively with 
their antennae, and even sometimes climbing on to 
their backs, as if for a ride, while the large ants seem 
to take little notice of them. They almost seem to be 
the dogs, or perhaps the cats, of the ants. Another small 
species, Solenopsis fugax (PI. III. fig. 4), which makes 
its chambers and galleries in the walls of the nests of 
larger species, is the bitter enemy of its hosts. The 
latter cannot get at them, because they are too large 
to enter the galleries. The little Solenopsis, there- 
fore, are quite safe, and, as it appears, make incursions 
into the nurseries of the larger ant, and carry off the 

' Fourmis de la Suisse, p. 426. 



SPECIES OF ANTS. 79 

larvae as food. It is as if we had small dwarfs, about 
eighteen inches to two feet long, harbouring in the 
walls of our houses, and every now and then carrying 
off some of our children into their horrid dens. 

Most ants, indeed, will carry off the larvae and pupoe 
of others if they get a chance ; and this explains, or at 
any rate throws some light upon, that most remarkable 
phenomenon, the existence of slavery among ants. If 
you place a number of larvse and pupse in front of a 
nest of the Horse ant [F. riifa), for instance, they are 
soon carried off; and those which are not immediately 
required for food remain alive for some time, and are 
even fed by their captors. 

Both the Horse ant (^For^inica riifa, PI. II. fig. 5) 
and the slave ant (jP. fusca, PL I. fig. 3) are abun- 
dant species, and it must not unfrequently occur 
that the former, being pressed for food, attack the 
latter and carry off some of their larvse and pupse. 
Under these circumstances it no doubt occasionally 
happens that the pupae come to maturity in the nests 
of the Horse ant, and it is said that nests are some- 
times, though rarely, found in which, with the legiti- 
mate owners, there are a few F. fuscas. With the 
Horse ant this is, however, a very rare and exceptional 
phenomenon ; but with an allied species, F. sanguinea 
(PL I. fig. 6), a species which exists in some of our 
southern counties and throughout Europe, it has be- 
come an established habit. The F. sanguineas make 
periodical expeditions, attack neighbouring nests, and 



80 SLAVE-MAKING ANTS. 

carry off the piipoe. When the latter come to maturity 
they find themselves in a nest consisting partly of F. 
sanguineas, partly of their own species, the results of 
previous expeditions. They adapt themselves to cir- 
cumstances, assist in the ordinary household duties, 
and, having no young of their own species, feed and 
tend those of the F. sanguineas. But though the F. 
sanguineas are thus aided by their slaves, or as they 
should rather perhaps be called, their auxiliaries, they 
have not themselves lost the instinct of working. It 
seems not improbable that there is some division of 
functions between the two species, but we have as yet 
no distinct knowledge on this point ; and at any rate 
the F. sanguineas can ' do ' for themselves, and carry 
on a nest, if necessary, without slaves. 

The species usually enslaved by F. sanguinea are 
Formica fusca and F. rufibarbis, which indeed are so 
similar that they are perhaps varieties rather than 
species. Sometimes both occur in the same nest. 
Andre says that they also make slaves of Formica 
gagates} Schenk asserts^ the same of Lasius alienus, 
and F. Smith of L. fiavus, but Forel denies these 
statements.^ 

Another species, Polyergus rvjescens, is much 
more dependent on its slaves, being, indeed, almost 
entirely so. 

' Bcv. et Mag. de Zool. 1874, p. 164. 
"^ Cat. of Brit. Foss. Hymen., p. 7. 
' Fourmis de la Suisse, p. 363. 



FOEMICA— POLYEKG US. 81 

For the knowledge of the existence of slavery 
among ants we are indebted to Huber,' and I cannot 
resist quoting the passage in which he records his 
discovery: — 'On June 17, 1804,' he says, 'while walk- 
ing in the environs of Geneva, between four and five 
in the evening, I observed close at my feet, traversing 
the road, a legion of Rufescent ants. 

' They moved in a body with considerable rapidity 
and occupied a space of from eight to ten inches in 
length, by three or four in breadth. In a few minutes 
they quitted the road, passed a thick hedge, and entered 
a pasture ground, where I followed them. They 
wound along the grass without straggling, and their 
column remained unbroken, notwithstanding the ob- 
stacles they had to surmount. At length they ap- 
proached a npst, inhabited by dark ash-coloured ants, 
the dome of wTiich rose above the grass, at a distance 
of twenty feet from the hedge. Some of its inhabitants 
were guarding the entrance ; but, on the discovery of 
an approaching army, darted forth upon the advanced 
guard. The alarm spread at the same moment in the 
interior, and their companions came forth in numbers 
from their underground residence. The Eufescent ants, 
the bulk of whose army lay only at the distance of two 
paces, quickened their march to arrive at the foot of 
the ant-hill ; the whole battalion, in an instant, fell 
upon and overthrew the ash-coloured ants, who, after 
a short but obstinate conflict, retired to the bottom of 
' The Natural History of Ants, by 1\I. P. Huber, p. 249. 



82 EXPEDITIONS OF POLYERGUS. 

their nest. The Eufescent ants now ascended the 
hillock, collected in crowds on the summit, and took 
possession of the principal avenues, leaving some of 
their companions to work an opening in the side of the 
ant-hill with their teeth. Success crowned their enter- 
prise, and by the newly-made breach the remainder of 
the army entered. Their sojourn war, however, of 
short duration, for in three or four minutes they 
returned by the same apertiu'es which gave them 
entrance, each bearing off in its mouth a larva or a 
pupa.' 

The expeditions generally start in the afternoon, 
and are from 100 to 2,000 strong. 

Polyergus rufescens present a striking lesson of 
the degrading tendency of slavery, for these ants have 
become entirely dependent on their slaves. Even 
their bodily structure has undergone a change: the 
mandibles have lost their teeth, and have become mere 
nippers, deadly weapons indeed, but useless except in 
war. They have lost the greater part of their instincts : 
their art, that is, the power of building ; their domestic 
habits, for they show no care for their own young, all 
this being done by the slaves ; their industry — they 
take no part in providing the daily supplies ; if the 
colony changes the situation of its nest, the masters 
are all carried by the slaves on their backs to the new 
one ; nay, they have even lost the habit of feeding. 
Huber placed thirty of them with some larvae and pup^e 
and a supply of honey in a box. ' At first,' he says, 



POLYERGUS FED BY THE SLAVES. 83 

' they appeared to pay some little attention to the 
larvse ; they carried them here and there, but presently 
replaced them. More than one-half of the Amazons 
died of hunger in less than two days. They had not 
even traced out a dwelling, and the few ants still in 
existence were languid and without strength. I com- 
miserated their condition, and gave them one of their 
black companions. This individual, unassisted, estab- 
lished order, formed a chamber in the earth, gathered 
together the larvae, extricated several young ants that 
were ready to quit the condition of pupae, and preserved 
the life of the remaining Amazons.' 

This observation has been fully confirmed by other 
naturalists. However small the prison, however large 
the quantity of food, these stupid creatures will starve 
in the midst of plenty rather than feed themselves. 

M. Forel was kind enough to send me a nest of 
Polyergus, and I kept it under observation for more 
than four years. My specimens of Polyergus certainly 
never fed themselves, and when the community changed 
its nest, which they did several times, the mistresses 
were carried from the one to the other by the slaves. 
I was even able to observe one of their marauding ex- 
peditions, in which, however,- the slaves took a part. 

I do not doubt that, as Huber tells us, specimens of 
Polyergus if kept by themselves in a box would soon 
die of starvation, even if supplied with food. I have, 
however, kept isolated specimens for three months by 
giving them a slave for an hour or two a day to clean 



84 STRONGYLOGNATHUS. 

and feed them : under these cireumstances they re- 
mained in perfect health, while, but for the slaves, 
they would have perished in two or three days. Ex- 
cepting the slave-making ants, and some of the Myr- 
Tnecophilous beetles above described, I know no case 
in nature of an animal having lost the instinct of 
feeding. 

In P. rufescens, the so-called workers, though 
thus helpless and idle, are numerous, energetic, and 
in some respects even brilliant. In another slave- 
making ant, Strongylognathus, the workers are 
much less numerous, and so weak that it is an un- 
solved problem how they contrive to make slaves. 
In the genus Strongylognathus there are two sjDecies, 
S. huberi and >S^. testaceus. S. huberi, which was 
discovered by Forel, very much resembles Polyergus 
rufescens in habits. They have sabre-like mandibles, 
like those of Polyergus, and their mode of fighting is 
similar, but they are much weaker insects ; they make 
slaves of Tetramorium, ca'spitum, which they carry off 
as pupse. In attacking the Tetramoriums they seize 
them by the head with their jaws, just in the same 
way as Polyergus, but have not strength enough to 
pierce them as the latter do. Nevertheless, the Tetra- 
TThoriuTYis seem much afraid of them. 

The other species, Strongylognathus testaceus, is 
even weaker than >S'. huberi, and their mode of life is 
still in many respects an enigma. They also keep the 
workers of Tetramorium in, so to say, a state of 



DEGEAUATION OF STKONGYLOGNATHUS. 85 

slavery, but how they procure the slaves is still a 
mystery. They fight in the same manner as Polyergus ; 
but yet Schenk, Von Hagens, and Forel all agree that 
they are no match for the TetramoriuTns, a courageous 
species, and one which lives in large communities. On 
one occasion Forel brought a nest of TetramoriuTn 
and put it down very near one of Strongylogna- 
thus testaceus with Tetra7)ioriuin slaves. A battle at 
once commenced between the two communities. The 
Strongylognathus rushed boldly to the fight, but, 
though their side won the day, this was mainly due 
to the slaves. The Strongylognathus themselves were 
almost all killed ; and though the energy of their attack 
seemed at first to disconcert their opponents, Forel 
assures us that they did not succeed in killing even a 
single Tetramorium. In fact, as Forel graphically 
observes, Strongylognathus is ' une triste caricature ' 
of Polyergus, and it seems almost impossible that by 
themselves they could successfully attack a • nest of 
Tetramorium. Moreover, in Strongylognathus, the 
workers are comparatively few. Nevertheless, they are 
always found with the Tetramoriums, and in these 
mixed nests there are no males or females of Tetra- 
Tnorium, but only those of Strongylognathus. Again, 
the whole work of the nest is done by the slaves, 
though Strongylognathus has not, like Polyergus, 
entirely lost the power of feeding itself. 

But if the economy of Strongylognathus is an 
enigma, that of Anergates is still more mysterious. 



86 ANERGATES. 

The genus Anergates was discovered by Sehenk,* 
who found a small community consisting of males, 
females and workers, which he naturally supposed to 
belong to one species. Mayr, however, pointed out^ 
that the workers were in fact workers of Tetramorium 
coespitum ; and it would appear that while in Strongy- 
lognathus the workers are comparatively few, Aner- 
gates differs from all other ants in having no workers 
at all. The males and females live with Tetrartioriuni 
ccespituTYi, and are in several respects very peculiar, — 
for instance, the male is wingless. One might consider 
it rather a case of parasitism than of slavery, but the 
difficulty is that in these mixed nests there are no males, 
females, or young of Tetramorium. As to this all ob- 
servers are agreed. It seems quite clear that Aner- 
gates cannot procure its slaves, if such they are, by 
marauding expeditions like those of Polyergus ; in the 
first place, because the Anergates are too few, and 
secondly, because they are too weak. The whole ques- 
tion is rendered still more difficult by the fact that 
neither Von Hagens^ nor Forel ever found either larvae 
or pupae of TetramoriuTn in the mixed nests. The com- 
munity consisted of males and females of Anergates, 
accompanied and tended by workers of TetramoriuTn 
ccespitum. The Anergates are absolutely dependent 

' ' Die Nassauischen Ameisen-Species,' Stettin Eiit. Zeit. 1853, 
p. 186. 

* Europ. Formiddep, p. 56. 

* Verfi. des uVatur. Vereines der Preuss. Hheinlande vnd Wcst- 
IpTialcns, 1867, p. 53. See also V. Hagens. Berl. Ent.Zeit. 1867, p. 102, 



HABITS OF ANERGATES. 87 

upon their slaves, and cannot even feed themselves. 
The whole problem is, therefore, most puzzling and 
interesting.^ 

As regards Strongylognathus, Von Hagens made two 
suggestions, the first being that this insect is really a 
monstrous form of Tetramorium. This, however, 
cannot at any rate be the case with Anergates. On 
the whole, then, he inclines to think that perhaps the 
nests containing Strongylognathus or Anergates are 
only parts of a community, and that the young of the 
Tetramoriums are in another nest of the same com- 
munity. This would account for the absence of the 
young of the Tetramoriwms, but would not remove 
all the difiSculties. It is in other respects not 
consistent with what we know of the habits of ants, 
and on the whole I agree with Forel in thinking the 
suggestion untenable. 

The difficulty of accounting for the numbers of 
Tetramoriums, coupled with the absence of young, 
was indeed almost insuperable as long as the workers 
were supposed to live only for one year. My observa- 
tions, however, which show that even in captivity a 
nest may continue for five years, place the question in 
a different position, and give us, I think, a clue. 

On the whole, I would venture to suggest that the 
male and female Anergates make their way into a nest 

' On the contrary, in Tomognatltus subl(svis, a Finland species 
which lives in the nests of Leptothorax mvscoruni and L. acervorum, 
the workers only are known. The male, like that of Anergates, is 
winsfless. 



88 EXPLANATION OF THE PRESENT STATE OF 

of Tetramoriunif and in some manner contrive to assas- 
sinate their queen. I have shown that a nest of ants 
may continue, even in captivity, for five years, without 
a queen. If, therefore, the female of Anergates could 
by violence or poison destroy the queen of the Tetra- 
TTioriums, we should in the following year have a com- 
munity composed of the two Anergates, their young, 
and workers of Tetra^noriiim,, in the manner described 
by Van Hagens and Forel. This would naturally not 
have suggested itself to them, because if the life of 
an ant had, as was formerly supposed, been confined 
to a single season, it would of course have been out of 
the question ; but as we now know that the life of ants 
is so much more prolonged than had been supposed, it 
is at least not an impossibility. 

It is conceivable that the Tetramoriums may have 
gradually become harder and stronger ; the marauding 
expeditions would then be less fruitful and more dan- 
gerous, and might become less and less frequent. If, 
then, we suppose that the females found it possible 
to establish themselves in nests of Tetramorium, the 
present state of things would almost inevitably be, by 
degrees, established. Thus we may explain the re- 
markable condition of Strongylognathus, armed with 
weapons which it is too weak to use, and endowed with 
instincts which it cannot exercise. 

At any rate, these four genera offer us every grada- 
tion from lawless violence to contemptible parasitism. 
Formica sanguinea^ which may be assumed to have 



STRONGYLOGNATHUS AND ANERGATES. 89 

comparatively recently taken to slave-making, has not as 
yet been materially affected. 

Folyergus, on the contrary, already illustrates the 
lowering tendency of slavery. They have lost their 
knowledge of art, their natm'al affection for their 
young, and even their instinct of feeding ! They are, 
however, bold and powerful marauders. 

In Strongylognathus, the enervating influence of 
slavery has gone further, and told even on the bodily 
strength. They are no longer able to capture their 
slaves in fair and open warfare. Still they retain a 
semblance of authority, and, when roused, will fight 
bravely, though in vain. 

In Anergates, finally, we come to the last scene of 
this sad history. We may safely conclude that in 
distant times their ancestors lived, as so many ants 
do now, partly by hunting, partly on honey ; that by 
degrees they became bold marauders, and gradually took 
to keeping slaves ; that for a time they maintained 
their strength and agility, though losing by degrees 
their real independence, their arts, and even many of 
their instincts ; that gradually even their bodily force 
dwindled away under the enervating influence to 
which they had subjected themselves, until they sank 
to their present degraded condition — weak in body and 
mind, few in numbers, and apparently nearly extinct, 
the miserable representatives of far superior ancestors, 
maintaining a precarious existence as contemptible 
parasites of their former slaves. 



90 PROGRESS AMONG ANTS. 

M. Lespes has given a short but interesting 
account of some experiments made by him on the 
relations existing between ants and their domestic 
animals, from which it might be inferred that even 
within the limits of a single species some communities 
are more advanced than others. He states that speci- 
mens of the curious blind beetle Claviger, which 
always occurs with ants, when transferred from a nest 
of Lasius 7iiger to another which kept none of these 
domestic beetles, were invariably attacked and eaten. 
From this he infers that the intelligence necessary to 
keep Clavigers is not coextensive with the species, but 
belongs only to certain communities and races, which, 
so to say, are more advanced in civilisation than the 
rest of the species. 

With reference to the statements of Lespes, I have 
more than once transferred specimens of Platyarthrus 
from one nest to another, and always found them 
received amicably. I even placed specimens from 
a nest of Lasius fiavus in one of Formica fusca 
with the same result. I brought from the South of 
France some specimens of a different species, as yet 
undescribed, and put them in a nest of Formica fusca, 
where they lived for some time, and brought up more 
than one brood of young. These creatures, however, 
occur in most ants' nests, while Clavigers are only 
found in some. 

But whether there are differences in advancement 
within the limits of the same species or not, there are 



PHASES OF LIFE. 91 

certainly considerable dififerences between the different 
species, and one may almost fancy that we can trace 
stages corresponding to the principal steps in the 
history of human development. 

I do not now refer to slave-making ants, which 
represent an abnormal, or perhaps only a temj)orary 
state of things, for slavery seems to tend in ants as in 
men to the degradation of those by whom it is 
adopted, and it is not impossible that the slave-making 
species will eventually find themselves unable to com- 
pete with those which are more self-dependent, and 
have reached a higher phase of civilisation. But 
putting these slave-making ants on one side, we find in 
the difi"erent species of ants different conditions of life, 
curiously answering to the earlier stages of human 
progress. For instance, some species, such as Formica 
fusca, live principally on the produce of the chase ; 
for though they feed partly on the honey-dew of 
aphides, they have not domesticated these insects. 
These ants probably retain the habits once common to 
all ants. They resemble the lower races of men, who 
subsist mainly by hunting. Like them they frequent 
woods and wilds, live in comparatively small communi- 
ties, and the instincts of collective action are but little 
developed among them. They hunt singly, and their 
battles are single combats, like those of the Homeric 
heroes. Such species as Lasius fiavus represent a 
distinctly higher type of social life ; they show more 
skill in architecture, may literally be said to have 



92 HUNTING, PASTOKAL, AND AGRICULTUEAL ANTS. 

domesticated certain species of aphides, and may be 
compared to the pastoral stage of human progress — to 
the races which live on the produce of their flocks and 
herds. Their communities are more numerous ; they 
act much more in concert ; their battles are not mere 
single combats, but they know how to act in combina- 
tion. I am disposed to hazard the conjecture that 
they will gradually exterminate the mere hunting 
species, just as savages disappear before more advanced 
races. Lastly, the agricultural nations may be com- 
pared with the harvesting ants. 

Thus there seem to be three principal types, offer- 
ing a curious analogy to the three great phases — the 
hunting, pastoral, and agricultural stages — in the 
history of human development. 



CHAPTER V. 

BEHAVIOUR TO RELATIONS. 

Mb.. Grote, in his 'Fragments on Ethical Subjects,' 
regards it as an evident necessity that no society can 
exist without the sentiment of morality. ' Everyone,' 
he says, ' who has either spoken or written on the sub- 
ject, has agreed in considering this sentiment as ab- 
solutely indispensable to the very existence of society. 
Without the diffusion of a certain measure of this feel- 
ing throughout all the members of the social union, 
the caprices, the desires, and the passions of each 
separate individual would render the maintenance of 
any established communion impossible. Positive 
morality, under some form or other, has existed in 
every society of which the world has ever had ex- 
perience.' 

If this be so, the question naturally arises whether 
ants also are moral and accountable beings. They have 
their desires, their passions, even their caprices. The 
young are absolutely helpless. Their communities are 
sometimes so numerous, that perhaps London and 
Pekin are almost the only human cities which can 
compare with them. Moreover, their nests are no mere 



94 BEHAVIOUR OF ANTS TO ONE ANOTHER. 

collections of independent individuals, nor even tem- 
porary associations like the flocks of migratory birds j 
but organised communities labouring with the utmost 
harmony for the common good. The remarkable 
analogies which, in so many ways, they present to our 
human societies, render them peculiarly interesting to 
us, and one cannot but long to know more of their 
character, how the world appears to them, and to what 
extent they are conscious and reasonable beings. 

For my own part I cannot make use of Mr. G rote's 
argument, because I have elsewhere attempted to show 
that, even as regards man, the case is not by any means 
clear. But however this may be, various observers 
have recorded in the case of ants instances of attach- 
ment and affection. 

Forel lays it down as a general rule that if ants are 
slightly injured, or rather unwell, their companions take 
care of them : on the other hand, if they are badly 
wounded or seriously ill, they are carried away from 
the nest, and left to perish. 

Latreille, also, makes the following statement: — 
' Le sens de I'odorat,' he says, ^ ' se manifestant 
d'une maniere aussi sensible, je voulois profiter 
de cette remarque pour en decouvrir le siege. On a 
soupfonne depuis longtemps qu'il residoit dans les 
antennes. Je les arrachai a plusieurs fourmis fauves 
ouvrieres, aupres du nid desquelles je me trouvois. Je 
vis aussitot ces petits animaux que j'avois ainsi mutiles 

' Higt. J\'at. des Fourmis, p. 41. 



STATEMENTS OF PEEVIOUS OBSERVERS. 95 

tomber dans un etat d'ivresse ou une espece de folie. 
lis erroient fa et la, et ne reconnoissoient plus leur 
chemin. lis m'occupoient ; mais je n'etais pas le seul. 
Quelques autres fourmis s'approcherent de ces pauvres 
affligees, porterent leur langue sur leurs blessures, et y 
lalsserent tomber une goutte de liqueur. Get acte de 
sensibilite se renouvela plusieurs fois ; je I'observois 
avec une loupe. Animaux compatissans ! quelle lepon 
ne donnez-vous pas aux hommes.' 

' Jamais,' says M. de Saint Fargeau,' ' une Fourmi 
n'en rencontre une de son espece blessee, sans I'enlever 
et la transporter a la fom-miliere. L'y soigne-t-elle ? 
Je ne sais, mais je vols dans ce fait une bienveillance 
que je ne retrouve dans aucun autre insecte, meme 
social.' 

I have not felt disposed to repeat M. Latreille's 
experiment, and M. de St. Furgeau's statement is I 
think by no means correct ; indeed, many of my experi- 
ences seem to show not only a difference of character 
in the different species of ants, but that even within 
the limits of the same species there are individual 
differences between ants, just as between men. 

I will commence with the less favourable aspect. 

On one occasion (August 13) a worker of Lasiits 
niger, belonging to one of my nests, had got severely 
wounded, but not so much so that she could not feed ; 
for though she had lost five of her tarsi, finding herself 
near some syrup, she crept to it and began to feed. I 
' Hist. Nat. des Ins. Hymenoj}teres, vol. i. p. 99. 



96 EXPERIIVIENTS. 

laid her gently on her back close to the entrance into 
the nest. Soon an ant came up to the poor sufferer, 
crossed antennaB with her for a moment, then went 
quietly on to the syrup and began to feed. Afterwards 
three other ants did the same ; but none took any more 
notice of her. 

August 15. — I found at 1 F.u.a. Hyrmica ruginodis 
which, probably in a fight with another ant, had 
lost the terminal portion of both her antennge. She 
seemed to have lost her wits. I put her into her 
nest ; but the others took no notice of her ; and after 
wandering about a little, she retired into a solitary place, 
where she remained from 3 p.m. to 8 without moving. 
The following morning I looked for her at 5.30, and 
found her still at the same spot. She remained there 
till 9, when she came out. She remained out all day ; 
and the following morning I found her dead. 

Indeed, I have often been surprised that in certain 
cases ants render one another so little assistance. The 
tenacity with which they retain their hold on an 
enemy they have once seized is well known. M. 
Mocquerys even assures us that the Indians of Brazil 
made use of this quality in the case of wounds ; causing 
an ant to bite the two lips of the cut and thus bring 
them together, after which they snip off the ant's head, 
which thus holds the lips together. He asserts that he 
has often seen natives with wounds in course of healing 
with the assistance of seven or eight ants' heads I ' 

• Anil. Soc. Ent. France, 2 ser. torn. ii. p. 67. 



ISOLATED COMBATS. 97 

Now I have often observed that some of my ants had 
the heads of others hanging on to their legs for a con- 
siderable time ; and as this must certainly be very 
inconvenient, it seems remarkable that their friends 
should not relieve them of such an awkward encum- 
brance. 

The behaviour of ants to one another differs also 
much according to circumstances; whether, for instance, 
they are alone, or supported by friends. An ant which 
would run away in the first case will defend herself 
bravely in the second. 

If an ant is fighting with one of another species, 
her friends rarely come to her assistance. They seem 
generally (unless a regular battle is taking place) to 
take no interest in the matter, and do not even stop to 
look on. Some species, indeed, in such cases never 
appear to help one another ; and even when the reverse 
is the case, as for instance in the genus Lasius, the 
truth seems to be that several of them attack the same 
enemy — their object being to destroy the foe, rather 
than to save their friend. 

On one occasion several specimens of Formica fusca 
belonging to one of my nests were feeding on some 
honey spread on a slip of glass (May 22). One of 
them had got thoroughly entangled in it. I took her 
and put her down just in front of another specimen 
belonging to the same nest, and close by I placed a drop 
of honey. The ant devoted herself to the honey and 
entirely neglected her friend, whom she left to perish. 
6 



98 NEGLECT OF COMPANIONS IF IN TROUBLE. 

Again, some specimens of Cr^emastogaster scutellaris 
were feeding quietly (May 22) on some honey spread on 
a slip of glass, and one of them had got thoroughly 
mixed in it. I took her out and put her on the glass 
close by. She could not disentangle herself ; not one of 
her friends took the least notice of her, and eventually 
she died. I then chloroformed one, and put her on the 
board among her friends. Several touched her, but 
from 12 to 2.30 p.m. none took any particular notice 
of her. 

On the other hand, I have only on one occasion seen 
a living ant expelled from her nest. This happened in a 
community of F. fusca. I observed (April 23, 1880) 
an ant carrying another belonging to the same commu- 
nity away from the nest. The condemned ant made a 
very feeble resistance. The first ant carried her burthen 
hither and thither for some time, evidently trying to 
get away from the nest, which was enclosed in the usual 
manner by a fur barrier. After watching for some time 
I provided the ant with a paper bridge, up which she 
immediately went, dropped her victim on the far side, 
and returned home. Could this have been a case in 
which an aged or invalid ant was being expelled from 
the nest ? 

I have often had ants in my nests to which mites 
had attached themselves. 

Thus, on October 14, 1876, I observed that one 
of my ants (Formica fusca) had a mite attached 
to the underside of her head, which it almost equalled 



EXPEEIMENTS WITH INSENSIBLE ANTS. 99 

in size. The poor ant could not remove it herself, and, 
being a queen, never left the nest, so that I had no 
opportunity of doing so. For more than three months 
none of her companions performed this kind office for 
her. 

With reference to this part of the subject, also, I 
have made some experiments. 

January 3, 1876. — I immersed an ant {Lasius 
niger) in water for half an hour ; and when she was 
then to all appearance drowned, I put her on a strip of 
paper leading from one of my nests to some food. The 
strip was half an inch wide ; and oiie of my marked 
ants belonging to the same nest was passing continually 
to and fro over it to some food. The immersed ant lay 
there an hour before she recovered herself; and during 
this time the marked ant passed by eighteen times 
without taking the slightest notice of her. 

I then immersed another ant in the water for an 
hour, after which I placed her on the strip of paper as in 
the preceding case. She was three-quarters of an hour 
before she recovered : during this time two marked 
ants were passing to and fro ; one of them went by 
eighteen times, and the other twenty times ; and two 
other ants also went over the paper ; but none of them 
took the slightest notice of their drowned friend. 

I then immersed another ant for an hour, and 
put her on the strip of paper. She took an hoiu" to 
recover. The same two marked ants as in the previous 
observation were at work. One passed thirty times, the 



100 EXPERIMENTS WITH DROWNED ANTS. 

other twenty-eight times, besides which five others 
passed by ; but not one took the slightest notice. 

I immersed three ants for eight hours, and then 
put them on the strip of paper. They began to recover 
in three-quarters of an hour, but were not quite them- 
selves till half an hour afterwards. During the fir.-;t 
three-quarters of an hour two marked ants passed, each 
four times ; and two others also went by. During tlie 
following half-hour the two marked ants passed sixteen 
times, and three others ; but none of them took a ay 
notice. 

I immersed another ant for forty minutes, and put 
her on the strip of paper. She recovered in twenty 
minutes, during which time the marked ones, which 
were the same as in the preceding case, went by four- 
teen times without taking any notice. 

I immersed two ants for ten hours, and then placed 
them on the strip of paper. The same two marked ants 
passed respectively eighteen and twenty-six times, and 
one other passed by also without taking any notice. 
After this I left off watching. 

I immersed two ants for four hours, and then put 
them on the strip of paper. They began to recover 
in an hour, during which two marked ants, not the 
same as in the preceding case, passed respectively 
twenty-eight and ten times, and two others went by ; 
but none of them took any notice 

1 immersed an ant for an hour, and then pvit her on 
the same strip of paper as in the previous cases. A marked 



EXPERIMENTS WITH .T)R0W:NED ANTS. lOl 

ant passed her twelve times ; three others also went by 
but took no notice of her ; but, on the other hand, a 
fourth picked her up and carried her off into the nest. 

Again, I immersed an ant for an hour, and put her 
on the strip of paper. The marked ant passed twice, 
after which she did not return. Soon after, another ant 
came by and, picking up the immersed one, carried 
her off to the nest. 

I do not bring forward these cases as proof or even as 
evidence that ants are less tender to friends in distress 
than previous observers have stated to be the case ; but 
they certainly show that tenderness is not invariably 
the rule ; and, especially when taken in connexion with 
the following cases, they are interesting illustrations 
of the individual differences existing between ants — that 
there are Priests and Levites, and good Samaritans 
among them, as among men. 

As e\'idence both of their intelligence and of their 
affection for their friends, it has been said by various 
observers that when ants have been accidentally buried 
they have been very soon dug out and rescued by their 
companions. Without for one moment doubting the 
facts as stated, we must remember the habit which ants 
have of burrowing in loose fresh soil, and especially their 
practice of digging out fresh galleries when their nests 
are disturbed. 

It seemed to me, however, that it would not be 
difficult to test whether the excavations made by ants 
under the circumstances were the result of this general 



102 EXPERIMENTS WITH BUEIED ANTS. 

habit, or really due to a desire to extricate their 
friends. 

With this view I tried the following experiments : — 

(1) On August 20 I placed some honey near a nest 
of Lasius niger on a glass surrounded with water, and 
so arranged that in reaching it the ants passed over 
another glass covered with a layer of sifted earth, about 
one-third of an inch in thickness. I then put some 
ants to the honey, and by degrees a considerable num- 
ber collected round it. Then at 1.30 p.m. I buried an 
ant from the same nest under the earth, and left her 
there till 5 p.m., when I uncovered her. She was none 
the worse, but during the w^hole time not one of her 
friends had taken the least notice of her. 

(2) I arranged (September 1) some honey again in 
the same way. At 5 P.M. about fifty ants were at the 
honey, and a considerable number passing to and fro. 
I then buried an ant as before, taking of course one 
from the same nest. At 7 P.M. the number of ants at 
the honey had nearly doubled. At 10 P.M. they were 
still more numerous, and had carried off about two- 
thirds of the honey. At 7 a.m. the next morning the 
honey was all gone, two or three were still wandering 
about, but no notice had been taken of the prisoner, 
whom I then let out. In this case I allowed the honey 
to be finished, because I thought it might perhaps be 
alleged that the excitement produced by such a treasure 
distracted their attention, or even (on the principle of 
doing the greatest good to the gi'eatest number) that 



EXPERIMENTS WITH BUEIED ANTS. 103 

they were intelligently wise in securing a treasure of 
food before they rescued their comrade, who, though 
in confinement, was neither in pain nor danger. So far 
as the above ants, however, are concerned, this cannot, 
I think, be urged. 

(3) On the 8th September I repeated the experi- 
ment, burying some ants at 4 P.M. Up to 6.3 no attempt 
had been made to release them. I let them out and 
buried some more. The next morning, at 7 a.m., the 
honey was all gone, some ants were still wandering about, 
but no notice had been taken of the captives, whom I 
then liberated. 

(4) I then (August 21) made exactly the same 
experiment with Myrmica ruginodis, as representing 
the other great family of ants. 

In order to test the affection of ants belonging to 
the same nest for one another I tried the following 
experiments. I took six ants from a nest of F. 
fusca, imprisoned them in a small bottle, one end of 
which was covered with a layer of muslin. I then put 
the musKn close to the door of the nest. The muslin 
was of open texture, the meshes, however, being 
sufficiently small to prevent the ants from escaping. 
They could not only, however, see one another, but 
communicate freely with their antennae. We now 
watched to see whether the prisoners would be tended 
or fed by their friends. We could not, however, 
observe that the least notice was taken of them. The 
experiment, nevertheless, was less conclusive than 



104 CONTRAST OF BEHAVIOUPv 

could be wished, because they might have been fed at 
night, or at some time when we were not looking. It 
struck me, therefore, that it would be interesting to 
treat some strangers also in the same manner. 

On September 2, therefore, I put two ants from one 
of my nests of F. fusca into a bottle, the end of which 
was tied up with muslin as described, and laid it down 
close to the nest. In a second bottle I put two ants 
from another nest of the same species. The ants 
which were at liberty took no notice of the bottle con- 
taining their imprisoned friends. The strangers in the 
other bottle, on the contrary, excited them considerably. 
The whole day one, two, or more ants stood sentry, as 
it were, over the bottle. In the evening no less than 
twelve were collected round it, a larger number than 
usually came out of the nest at any one time. The 
whole of the next two days, in the same way, there 
were more or less ants round the bottle containing the 
strangers ; while, as far as we could see, no notice 
whatever was taken of the friends. On the 9th the 
ants had eaten through the muslin, and effected an 
entrance. We did not chance to be on the spot at the 
moment ; but as I found two ants lying dead, one in 
the bottle and one just outside, I think there can be 
no doubt that the strangers were put to death. The 
friends throughout were quite neglected. 

September 21. — I then repeated the experiment, 
putting three ants fi'om another nest in a bottle as 
before. The same scene was repeated. The friends 



TO FRIENDS AND STKANGERS. 105 

were neglected. On the other hand, some of the ants 
were always watching over the bottle containing the 
strangers, and biting at the muslin which protected 
them. The next morning at 6 a.m. I found five ants 
thus occupied. One had caught hold of the leg of one 
of the strangers, which had unwarily been allowed to 
protrude through the meshes of the muslin. They 
worked and watched, though not, as far as I could see, 
with any system, till 7.30 in the evening, when they 
effected an entrance, and immediately attacked the 
strangers. 

September 24. — I repeated the same experiment 
with the same nest. Again the ants came and sat over 
the bottle containing the strangers, while no notice was 
taken of the friends. 

The next morning again, when I got up, I found 
five ants round the bottle containing the strangers, 
none near the friends. As in the former case, one of 
the ants had seized a stranger by the leg, and was trying 
to drag her through the muslin. All day the ants 
clustered round the bottle, and bit perseveringly, 
though not systematically, at the muslin. The same 
thing happened all the following day. 

These observations seemed to me sufficiently to test 
the behaviour of the ants belonging to this nest under 
these circumstances. I thought it desirable, however, 
to try also other communities. I selected, therefore, 
two other nests. One was a community of Polyergus 
rufescens with numerous slaves. Close to where the 



106 INSTANCES OF KINDNESS TO FRIENDS. 

ants of this nest came to feed, I placed as before two 
small bottles, closed in the same way — one containing 
two slave ants from the nest, the other two strangers. 
These ants, however, behaved quite unlike the pre- 
ceding, for they took no notice of either bottle, and 
showed no sign either of affection or hatred. One is 
almost tempted to surmise that the warlike spirit of 
these ants was broken by slavery. 

The other nest which I tried, also a community of 
Formica fusca, behaved exactly like the first. They 
took no notice of the bottle containing the friends, but 
clustered round and eventually forced their way into 
that containing the strangers. 

It seems, therefore, that in these curious insects 
hatred is a stronger passion than affection. 

Some of those who have done me the honour 
of noticing my papers have assumed that I disputed 
altogether the kindly feelings which have been attri- 
buted to ants. I should, however, be very sorry to 
treat my favourities so unfairly. So far as I can observe, 
ants of the same nest never quarrel. I have never 
seen the slightest evidence of ill-temper in any of my 
nests : all is harmony. Nor are instances of active 
assistance at all rare. Indeed, I have myself witnessed 
various cases showing care and tenderness on their part. 

In one of my nests of Formica fusca was an ant 
which had come into the world without antennae. 
Never having previously met with such a case, I 
watched her with great interest ; but she never ap- 



A CEIPPLED ANT. 107 

peared to leave the nest. At length one day I found 
her wandering about in an aimless sort of manner, and 
apparently not knowing her way at all. After a while 
she fell in with some specimens of Lasius flavus, who 
directly attacked her. I at once set myself to separate 
them ; but whether owing to the wounds she had 
received from her enemies, or to my rough, though welJ- 
meant handling, or to both, she was evidently mucli 
wounded, and lay helplessly on the ground. After some 
time another Formica fusca from her nest came by. 
She examined the poor sufferer carefully, then picked 
her up carefully and carried her away into the nest. 
It would have been difficult for any one who witnessed 
this scene to have denied to this ant the possession of 
humane feelings. 

Again, in one of my uests of Formica fusca on 
January 23 last (1881), I perceived a poor ant lying on 
her back and quite unable to move. The legs were iu 
cramped attitudes, and the two antennae rolled up in 
spirals. She was, of course, altogether unable to feed 
herself. After this I kept my eye on her. Several 
times I tried uncovering the part of the nest where she 
was. The other ants soon carried her into the shaded 
part. On March 4 the ants were all out of the nest, 
probably for fresh air, and had collected together in a 
comer of the box; they had not, however, forgotten 
her, but had carried her with them. I took off the 
glass lid of the box, and after a while they returned as 
usual to the nest, taking her in again. Op March 5 



108 A DEAD QUEEN. 

she was still alive, but on the 15th, notwithstanding all 
their care, she was dead ! 

At the present time I have two other ants perfectly 
crippled in a similar manner, and quite unable to move, 
which have lived in two different nests, belonging also 
to F. fusca, th.e one for five the other for four months. 

In May 1879 I gave a lecture on Ants at the Royal 
Institution, and was anxious to exhibit a nest of 
Lasius fiavus with the queen. While preparing the 
nest, on May 9, we accidentally crushed the queen. 
The ant.s, however, did not desert her, or drag her 
out as they do dead workers, but, on the contrary, 
carried her with them into the new nest, and subse- 
quently into a larger one with which I supplied them, 
congregating round her, just as if she had been alive, 
for more than six weeks, when we lost sight of her. 

In order to ascertain whether ants knew their 
fellows by any sign or pass word, as has been suggested 
in the case of bees, I was anxious to see if they could re- 
cognise them when in a state of insensibility. I tried 
therefore the following experiments with some specimens 
of Lasius fiavus. 

September 10, at 6 p.m., a number of these ants were 
out feeding on some honey, placed on one of my tables, 
and surrounded by a moat of water. I chloroformed 
four of them and also four from a nest in my park, at some 
distance from the place where the first had been origi- 
nally procured, painted them, and put them close to the 
honey. Up to 8.20 the ants had taken no notice of 



BEHAVIOUR TO CHLOROFORMED FRIENDS. 109 

their insensible fellow creatures. At 9.20 I found tliat 
four friends were still lying as before, while the four 
strangers had been removed. Two of them I found 
had been thrown over the edge of the board on which 
the honey was placed. The other two I could not see. 

Again, on September 14, at 8.40, I put in the 
same way four friends marked white, and four 
strangers marked red, close to where my L. fiavus were 
out feeding on honey placed on a slip of glass over 
water. For some hours they took no notice of them. 
At length one took a friend, and after carrying her 
about some time dropped her, at 12.40, into the water. 
Some time after another took up a stranger and carried 
her into the nest at 2.35. A second stranger was 
similarly carried into the nest at 2.55, a third at 3.45, 
while the fourth was thrown over the edge of the board 
at 4.20. Shortly after this two of the strangers were 
brought out of the nest again and thrown into the 
water. A second friend was thrown away, like the 
first, at 4.58, the third at 5.17, and the fourth at 5.46. 
I could not ascertain what happened to the last stranger, 
but have little doubt that she was brought out of the 
nest and thrown away like the rest. 

On the following day at 6.45 I tried the same ex- 
periment again, only reversing the colors by which they 
were distinguished. At 7 one of the strangers was carried 
off and dropped over the edge of the glass into the water, 
and at 8 a second. At 8.45 a friend was taken uj) and, 
after being carried about some time, was thrown into 



110 BEHAVIOUE TO CHLOROFOEMED FRIENDS. 

the moat. At 9.45 a" friend was picked up and 
carried into the nest, but brought out again and 
tlurown away about 3 in the afternoon. The other 
four remained where they were placed until 8 p.m., and 
though the other ants often came up and examined 
them, they did not carry them off. 

Septemher 29. — Again placed nine chloroformed 
ants, five friends and four strangers, close to where a 
number were feeding. There was a continual stream 
of ants to the honey, ten or fifteen being generally 
there at once. 

A strangerwas picked upat 10.20 {to theTate^r'at} ^^'^^ 

„ 10.35 

11.42 
„ 11.50 

11.45 

Shortly after the others were picked up and carried 
away to the edge of the board, where they were dropped, 
but none were taken into the nest. 

October 2. — Again at 10 a.m. placed ten chloro- 
formed ants, five friends and five strangers, close to 
where some were feeding. They were picked up and 
carried off as before in the following order : — 
At 1 1. 5 a stranger was picked up and dropped at 11.15 
11.12 a friend „ „ 11.50 

11.25 a stranger „. „ 11.36 

12. 7 „ „ . „ 12.45 

12.10 a friend „ ., 12.16 



5? 


5? 


59 


10.22 


A friend 


J5 


?? 


11.22 


A stranger 
^1 


5> 




11.35 
11.41 



BEHAVIOUR TO CHLOROFORMED FRIENDS. Ill 

At 1.10 a stranger was picked up and dropped at 2. 6 

1.42 a friend „ „ 1.46 

1-52 „ „ „ 1.56 

2.6 „ „ „ 3.10 

Only one of them, and that one a stranger, was 

carried into the nest at 12.45, but brought out again 

at 1.10. 

October 6. — At 9 a.m. again tried the same experi- 
ment with four strangers and five friends. 

At 9.25 a friend was picked up and dropped at 9.31 

9-32 „ „ „ 9.38 

9.35 a stranger „ „ 9.45 

9.45 a friend „ „ 9.52 

10. 8 a stranger „ „ 10.17 

10.17 a friend „ „ 10.20 

10.22 a stranger „ „ 10.25 

10.28 „ „ " „ 10.40 

10.25 a friend „ „ 10.31 

None of them were carried into the nest. 

These experiments seem to prove that under such 

circumstances ants, at least those belonging to this 

species, do not carry off their friends (when thus 

rendered insensible) into a place of safety. 

I think, however, that in this experiment the 
ants being to all intents and purposes dead, we could 
not expect that any difference would be made between 
friends and strangers. I therefore repeated the same 
experiment, only, instead of chloroforming the ants, 
I intoxicated them. This experiment is more difficult, 



112 BEHAVIOUR TO INTOXICATED FRIENDS. 

as it is not in all cases easy to hit off the requisite 
decree of intoxication. The numbers therefore of 
friends and strangers are not quite the same, because 
in some cases the ants recovered too quickly and had 
to be removed. In such cases I have latterly replaced 
the ant so removed by another, so as to keep the 
number of friends and strangers about equal. The 
sober ants seemed somewhat puzzled at finding their 
intoxicated fellow creatures in such a disgraceful con- 
tion, took them up, and carried them about for a time 
in a somewhat aimless manner. 

November 20. — I experimented with six friends 
and six strangers, beginning at 11. 

At 11.30 a friend was carried to the nest. 

1 1 .50 a stranger was dropped into the water. 
12.30 

12.31 a friend „ 

1.10 a stranger „ 

1.18 
1.27 
1.30 a friend (partly recovered) was taken to 

the nest. 
2.30 a friend was taken up and carried about 
till 2.55; she was then taken to the nest, but at the 
door the bearer met two other ants, which seized the 
intoxicated one, carried her off, and eventually 
dropped her into the water. 

At 3.35 a friend was carried to the nest. 

Out of these twelve, five strangers and two friends 



BEHAVIOUR TO INTOXICATED FEIENDS. 113 

were dropped into the water; none of the strangers, 
but three friends were taken to the nest. None of 
the friends were brought out of the nest again. 

November 22. — Experimented in the same way on 
four friends and four strangers, beginning at 12 o'clock. 
At 12.16 a stranger was taken and dropped into 
the water. 
12.21 

12.23 ,, „ „ 

12 40 
I then put four more strangers treated as before. 
At 3.10 a stranger was taken and dropped into the 
water. 
3.30 „ „ „ 

3.35 „ „ „ 

3.44 a friend (partly recovered) was taken back 

to the nest. 
4.10 a stranger was taken and dropped into the 

water. 
4.13 a friend (partly recovered) was taken back 
to the nest. 
In this case eight strangers were dropped into the 
water, and none were taken to the nest ; two friends, on 
the contrary, were taken to the nest, and none were 
dropped into the water. 

December I. — Experimented with five friends and 
five strangers, beginning at 2.15. 

At 2.30 a stranger was dropped into the water. 

"• ■^ n »i «^ 



114 BEHAVIOUR TO INTOXICATED FRIENDS. 

At 3.20 a friend was taken into the nest. 

3.35 a stranger was taken into the nest, but after- 
wards brought out again and thrown into 
the water. 
3.52 „ „ „ ;, 

4. 5 I put out four more friends and as many 

strangers. 
4.45 a stranger was dropped into the water. 
5.10 „ taken into the nest, but 

afterwards brought out and 
thrown into the water. 
5.24 „ taken into the nest, but 

afterwards brought out and 
thrown into the water. 
5.55 a friend was thrown into the water. 
6. 4. a stranger „ „ 

6. 4 „ „ „ 

6. 8 a friend was taken into the nest. 
6.20 

6.23 „ „ ,) 

6.30 a stranger was dropped into the water. 
6.50 a friend „ „ „ 

8. 5 a friend was taken into the nest. 
In this case two friends were thrown into the water 
and seven taken into the nest ; while six strangers were 
thrown into the water and four were taken into the nest ; 
all of these, however, were afterwards brought out again 
and thrown away. 

December 8. — Experimented with six friends and six 
strangers, beginning at 11.30 



BEHAVIOUE TO INTOXICATED FRIENDS. 115 

At 11.30 a friend was carried to nest. 
11.47 
11.50 
11.52 

11.56 a friend was dropped into water. 
11.58 a stranger „ „ 

11.58 „ „ „ 

12 a stranger was carried to nest. 

■'■-'• -' »5 55 55 

i_. O „ „ „ 

I then put four more of each, and as a friend or a 
stranger was carried off, replaced her by another. 
At 12.45 a friend to the water. 
12.58 a stranger to the water. 
1 a friend to the nest. 

i 55 .55 

^ 55 55 

1.58 „ „ 

1.5J „ ,, 

2.30 a stranger to the water. 

2.30 

2.35 a stranger to the nest. 

2.42 a stranger to the water. 

2.48 

2.51 

2.52 ,, „ 

2.55 a friend to the nest. 

2*55 a stranger to the water. 

2.55 



116 BEHAVIOUR TO INTOXICATED FRIENDS. 

At 3. 2 a friend to the water. 
3. 6 a stranger to the water. 
3.12 a friend to the water. 

3.15 „ 

3.16 a friend to the nest. 
3.22 a stranger to the water 
3.25 

3.25 a friend to the nest. 
3.35 a stranger to the water. 
3.50 a friend to the nest. 
3.50 

All these ants aj)peared quite insensible. Altogether 
sixteen friends were taken to the nest and five thrown into 
the water, w^iile of the strangers only three were taken 
to the nest, and fifteen were thrown into the water. 
Moreover, as in the preceding observation, even the 
three strangers which were at first taken to the nest 
were soon brought out again and thrown away ; while 
this was not the case with any of the friends as far as 
we could ascertain, though we searched diligently for 
them also. In this case also all the intoxicated ants 
were motionless and apparently insensible. 

January 15. — Repeated the same experiment, 
beginning at 12.20. Up to 7 p.m. not one of the intoxi- 
cated ants had been moved. At 8.20 we found a 
stranger in the water, at 9.30 another, and at the 
following morning a third. The others were untouched. 

Jamiary 17. — Repeated the same experiment, 
beginning at 11.30. 



i3£HAVI0UR TO INTOXICATED FaiE.^DS. 117 

At 12 a friend was carried to the nest. 

12.20 a stranger was dropped into the water. 
12.34 a friend was carried to the nest. 
12.40 a stranger was dropped into the water. 
12.45 a friend was carried to the nest. 
1 a stranger „ „ 

1 „ „ water 

(Stopped observing till 2.) 
2.30 a stranger was dropped into the water. 
2.30 a stranger was carried to the nest. 
4.10 

4.30 a friend „ „ 

6.20 a stranger „ water. 

D.oO ,, „ „ 

Thus, then, the general results were that the ants 
removed forty-one friends and fifty-two strangers. Of 
the friends, thirty-two were carried into the nest and 
nine were thrown into the water. Of the strangers, on 
the contrary, forty-three were thrown into the water ; 
only nine were taken into the nest, and seven of these 
were shortly afterwards brought out again and thrown 
away. Indeed, I fully believe that the other two were 
treated in the same manner, though we could not satisfy 
ourselves of the fact. But it was only by very close 
observation that the seven were detected, and the other 
two may well have escaped notice. 

It seems clear, therefore, that even in a condition 
of insensibility these ants were recognised by their 
friends. 



118 



BEHAVIOUIi TO INTOXICATED FRIENDS. 



Tabular View. — Experiments on Ants under 
Chloroform and Intoxicated. 



Chloroformed Ants. 


Friends 


Strangers 






To 






To 


Unre- 


Sept. 10 


To Nest 


Water 


moved 


To Nest 


Water 


moved 






4 




4 




14 




4 




2 

and brought 
out again 


2 




15 


1 

and brought 

out again 


1 




... 


2 


2 


29 


... 


5 






4 




Oct. 2 




5 




1 

and brought 
out again 


4 




6 




5 






4 




1 


20 


4 


3 


20 


2 


Intoxicated Ants. 


Nov. 20 


3 


2 






5 


1 


22 


2 


... 


2 




8 


... 


In thes 


3 cases some of the Ants had partly recovere 
following they were quite insensible. 


d; in 


the 


Dec. 1 


7 

none brought 

out again 


2 




3 

all these 

brought out 

again 


6 




8 


16 

none brought 

out again 


5 




3 

all these 

brought out 

again 


15 




Jan. 15 






4 




3 


1 


17 


4 

none brought 

out again 






3 

one brought 
out again 


6 


1 


27 


7 


4 


2 


30 



CHAPTER VI. 

RECOGNITION OF FKIENDS. 

It has been already shown that with ants, as with 
bees, while the utmost harmony reigns between those 
belonging to the same community, all others are 
enemies. I have already given ample proof that a strange 
ant is never tolerated in a community. This of course 
implies that all the bees or ants of a community have 
the power of recognising one another, a most surprising 
fact, when we consider the shortness of their life and 
their immense numbers. It is calculated that in a 
single hive there may be as many as 50,000 bees, and 
in the case of ants the numbers are still greater. In 
the large communities of Formica pratensis it is 
probable that there may be as many as from 400,000 
to 500,000 ants, and in other cases even these large 
numbers are exceeded. 

If, however, a stranger is put among the ants of 
another nest, she is at once attacked. On this point 
I have satisfied myself, as will be seen in the following 
pages, that the statements of Huber and others are 
perfectly correct. If, for instance, I introduced a 
stranger into one of my nests, say of Formica fusca or 



120 EECOGNITION OF FRIENDS. 

Lasius niger, she was at once attacked. One ant would 
seize her by an antenna, another by a leg, and she was 
either dragged out of the nest or killed. 

Moreover, we have not only to deal with the fact 
that ants know all their comrades, but that they recog- 
nise them even after a lengthened separation. 

Huber mentions that some ants which he had kept 
in captivity having accidentally escaped, -' met and 
recognised their former companions, fell to mutual 
caresses with their antennae, took them up by their 
mandibles, and led them to their own nests ; they 
came presently in a crowd to seek the fugitives under 
and about the artificial ant-hill, and even ventured to 
reach the bell-glass, where they effected a complete 
desertion by carrying away successively all the ants 
they found there. In a few days the ruche was 
depopulated. These ants had remained four months 
without any communication.' ^ This interesting state- 
ment has been very naturally copied by succeeding 
writers. See, for instance, Kirby and Spence's ' In- 
troduction to Entomology,' vol. ii. p. Q6, and Newport, 
' Trans, of the Entomological Society of London,' 
vol. ii. p. 239. 

Forel, indeed, regards the movements observed by 
Huber as having indicated fear and surprise rather than 
affection ; though he is quite disposed to believe, from 
his own observations, that ants would recognise one 
another after a separation of several months. 

' Hnbpr, p. 172. 



RECOGNITION OF FEIENDS. 121 

The observation recorded by Huber was made 
casually, and he did not take any steps to test it by 
subsequent experiments. The fact, however, is of 
so much importance that I determined to make 
further observations on the subject. In the first place, 
I may repeat that I have satisfied myself by many 
experiments, that ants from one community introduced 
into another, — always be it understood of the same 
species, — are attacked, and either driven out or killed. 
It follows, therefore, that as within the nest the most 
complete harmony prevails — indeed, I have never seen 
a quarrel between sister ants — they must by some means 
recognise one another. 

When we consider their immense numbers this is 
sufficiently surprising ; but that they should recognise 
one another, as stated by Huber, after a separation of 
months, is still more astonishing. 

I determined therefore to repeat and extend his 
observations. 

Accordingly, on August 20, 1875, I divided a colony 
of Myrmica ruginodis, so that one half were in one 
nest. A, and the other half in another, B, and were 
kept entirely apart. 

On October 3, I put into nest B a stranger and 
an old companion from nest A. They were marked 
with a spot of colom-. One of them immediately 
flew at the stranger; of the friend they took no 
notice. 

October 18. — At 10 a.m. I put in a stranger and a 
7 



122 EECOGNITION OF FRIENDS 

friend from nest A. In the evening the former was 
killed, the latter was quite at home. 

October 19. — I put one in a small bottle with a 
friend from nest A. They did not show any enmity. I 
then put in a stranger ; and one of them immediately 
began to fight with her. 

October 24. — I again put into the nest a stranger 
and a friend. The former was attacked, but not the 
latter. The following day I found the former almost 
dead, while the friend was all right. 

October 31. — I again put a stranger and a friend into 
the nest. The former was at once attacked ; in this 
case the friend also was, for a moment, seized by the 
leg, but at once released again. On the following 
morning the stranger was dead, the friend was all 
right. 

November 7. — Again I put in a stranger and a friend. 
The former was soon attacked and eventually driven 
out ; of the latter they did not seem to me to take any 
particular notice. I could see no signs of welcome, no 
gathering round a returned friend ; but, on the other 
hand, she was not attacked. 

Again, 1 separated one of my colonies of Formica 
fascct into two halves on August 4, 1875, and kept 
them entirely apart. From time to time I put speci- 
mens from the one half back into the other. The de- 
tails of this experiment will be found in the Appendix. 
At first the friends were always amicably received, but 
after some months' separation they were occasionally 



AFTEE SEPAEATION FOE NEAELY TWO YEARS. 123 

attacked, as if some of the ants, perhaps the young ones, 
did not recognise them. Still they were never killed, 
or driven out of the nest, so that evidently when a 
mistake was made, it was soon recognised. No one 
who saw the different manner in which these ants and 
strangers were treated, could have the slightest doubt 
that the former were recognised as friends and tlie 
latter as enemies. The last three were put back on 
May 14, 1877, that is to say, after a separation of a 
year and nine months, and yet they were amicably re- 
ceived, and evidently recognised as friends ! 

These observations were all made on Formica fusca^ 
and it is of course possible that other species would 
behave in a different manner. 

Indeed, in this respect Lasius jiavus offers a sur- 
prising contrast to F. fusca. I was anxious to see 
whether the colonies of this species, which are very 
numerous round my house, were in friendly relations 
with one another. With this view, I kept a nest of L. 
flavus for a day or two without food, and then gave 
them some honey, to which they soon found their way 
in numbers. I then put in the midst of them an ant 
of the same species from a neighboiu'ing nest ; the 
others did not attack, but, on the contrary, cleaned her 
— though, from the attention she excited and the 
numerous communications which took place between 
her and them, I am satisfied that they knew she was 
not one of themselves. After a few minutes she accom- 
panied some of the returning ants to the nest. They 



124 TEEATMENT OF STKANGEES. 

did not drag nor apparently guide her ; but she went 
with the rest freely. This I repeated several times 
with the same result. 

I then took four ants, two from a nest about 500 
yards from the first in one direction, the other from an 
equal distance in another. In all cases the result was 
the same. I then got a few from a colony about half a 
mile off. These also were most amicably received, and 
in every case the stranger went of her own accord to 
the nest. One of the strangers was, indeed, dragged 
about half way to the entrance of the nest, but was 
then left free and might have run away if she had 
liked. She, however, after wandering about for half a 
minute, voluntarily entered the nest. In one or two 
cases the stranger ran as quickly and straight to the 
nest as if she had been there over and over again. 
This, I suppose, can only have been by scent ; and cer- 
tainly no hounds in full cry could have pm'sued their 
game more directly or with less hesitation. In other 
cases, however, they were much longer before they went 
in. To satisfy myself that these facts were not owing 
to the nest having been taken from that of colonies 
or allies, I subsequently procured some ants of the 
same species from a nest in Hertfordshire ; and they 
also behaved in a similar manner. In one or two cases 
they seemed to be attacked, though so feebly that I could 
not feel sure about it; but in no case were the ants killed. 

The following fact surprised me still more. I put 
an ant (Aug. 13) at 9 a.m. on a spot where a number of 



TEEATMENT OF STRANGERS. 125 

Lasius flavus (belonging to one of my nests of domesti- 
cated ants) had been feeding some hours previously, 
though none were there, or, indeed, out at all, at the 
moment. The entrance to the nest was about eight 
inches off ; but she walked straight to it and into the 
nest. A second wandered about for four or five minutes, 
and then went in ; a third, on the contrary, took a wrong 
direction, and, at any rate for three-quarters of an hour, 
did not find the entrance. 

At that time, however, I did not ascertain what 
became of the specimens thus introduced into a strange 
community. I thought it would be worth while to 
determine this, so I subsequently (1881) took six ants 
from one of my nests of L. fiavus, marked them, and 
introduced them into another nest of the same species. 
As in the preceding cases they entered quite readily ; 
but though they were not at first attacked, they were 
evidently recognised as strangers. The others ex- 
amined them carefully, and at length they were all 
driven out of the nest. Their greater readiness to enter 
a strange nest may perhaps be accounted for by the fact 
that, as a subterranean species their instinct always is 
to conceal themselves underground, whereas, F. fusca, 
a hunting species, does not do so except to enter its 
own nest. 

How do these ants and bees recognise their com- 
panions? The difficulty of believing that in such 
populous communities every individual knows every 
other by sight, has led some entomologists to suppose 



126 MODE OF EECOGNITION. 

that each nest had a sign or password. This was, for 
instance, the opinion of Grelieu, who believed that in 
each hive the bees had some common sign or password. 
As evidence of this, he mentions ^ that one of his hives 
had been for some days robbed by the bees from 
• another : ' et je desesperais de conserver cet essaim, 
lorsqu'un jour, sur le soir, je le vis fort in quiet, fort 
agite, comme s'il eut perdu sa reine. Les abeilles 
couraient en tout sens sur le devant et le tablier de la 
ruche, se flairant, se tatant mutuellement, comme si 
elles eussent voulu se dire quelque chose. C'etait pour 
changer leur signe de reconnaissance, qu'elles changerent 
en effet pendant la nuit. Toutes les pillardes qui 
revinrent le lendemain, furent arretees et tuees. Plu- 
sieurs echapperent aux gardes vigilantes qui defendaient 
I'entree avertirent sans doute les autres du danger 
qu'elles avaient couru, et que I'on ne pouvait plus 
piller impunement. Aucune de celles qui voulurent 
recommencer leur depredation ne penetra dans la 
ruche, dont elles avaient fait leur proie, et qui prospera 
merveilleusement.' 

Dujardin doubts the explanation given by Gelieu. 
He thinks that the nest which was robbed was at that 
time queenless, and that the sudden change in the 
behaviour of the bees was due to their having acquired 
a queen. 

Burmeister, on the contrary, in his excellent 
* Manual of Entomology,' says that ' the power of com- 
' Lc Conservatcur des Abeilles, p. 143. 



SUPPOSED USE OF PASS SIGNS. 127 

municating to their comrades what they purpose is 
]5eculiar to insects. Much has been talked of the 
so-called signs of recognition in bees, which is said to 
consist in recognising their comrades of the same hive 
by means of peculiar signs. This sign serves to pre- 
vent any strange bee from entering into the same hive 
without being immediately detected and killed. It, 
however, sometimes happens that several hives have 
the same signs, when their several members rob each 
other with impunity. In these cases the bees whose 
hive suffers most alter their signs, and then can im- 
mediately detect their enemy.' ^ 

Others, again, have supposed ants recognise one 
another by smell. 

Mr. McCook states that ants more or less soaked in 
water are no longer recognised by their friends, but, on 
the contrary, are attacked. Describing the following 
observation, he says : ^ — ' I was accidentally set upon the 
track of an interesting discovery. An ant fell into a 
box containing water placed at the foot of a tree. She 
remained in the liquid several moments and crept out. 
Immediately she was seized in a hostile manner, first 
by one, then another, then by a third : the two an- 
tennse and one leg were thus held. A fourth ant 
assaulted the middle thorax and petiole. The poor 
little bather was thus dragged helplessly to and fro 
for a long time, and was evidently ordained to death. 

* Burmeister's Entomology, p. 502. 

^ Mound-vinldng Ants of the Alleghanies, p. 280. 



128 SUPPOSED RECOGNITION BY SCENT. 

Presently I took up the struggling heap. Two of the 
assailants kept their hold ; one finally dropped, the 
other I could not tear loose, and so put the pair back 
upon the tree, leaving the doomed immersionist to her 
hard fate.' 

After recording one or two other similar observa- 
tions, he adds : ' — ' The conclusion, therefore, seems 
warranted that the peculiar odour or condition by which 
the ants recognise each other was temporarily destroyed 
by the bath, and the individuals thus " tainted " were 
held to be intruders, alien and enemy. This con- 
clusion is certainly unfavourable to the theory that any 
thing like an intelligent social sentiment exists among 
the ants. The recognition of their fellows is reduced 
to a mere matter of physical sensation or " smell." ' 
This conclusion does not, I confess, seem to me to be 
conclusively established. 

We can hardly suppose that each ant has a pecu- 
liar odour, and it seems almost equally difficult, con- 
sidering the immense number of ants' nests, to suppose 
that each community has a separate and peculiar smell. 
Moreover, in a previous chapter I have recorded some 
experiments made with intoxicated ants. It will be 
remembered that my ants are allowed to range over a 
table surrounded by a moat of water. Now, as already 
mentioned, out of forty-one intoxicated friends, thirty- 
two were carried into the nest and nine were thrown 
into the water; while out of fifty-two intoxicated 
' Mownd-making Ants of the Alh-ghanies, p. 281. 



SUPPOSED USE OF A PASSWORD. 129 

strangers two were taken into the nest and fifty were 
thrown into the water. I think it most probable that 
even these two were subsequently brought out and 
treated like the rest. 

It is clear, therefore, that in these species, and I 
beheve in most, if not all others, the ants of a com- 
munity all recognise one another. The whole question 
is full of diflficulty. It occurred to me, however, that 
experiments with pupae might throw some light on 
the subject. Although all the communities are deadly 
enemies, still if larvae or pupae from one nest are trans- 
ferred to another, they are tended with apparently as 
much care as if they really belonged to the nest. In 
ant-warfare, though sex is no protection, the young are 
spared, at least when they belong to the same species. 
Moreover, though the habits of ants are greatly changed 
if they are taken away from their nest and kept with 
only a few friends, still, under such ckcumstances, they 
will carefully tend any young who may be confided to 
them. Now if the recognition were individual — if the 
ants knew any one of their comrades, as we know our 
friends, not only from strangers, but from one another 
— then young ants taken from the nest as pupae and 
restored after they had come to maturity would not 
be recognised as friends. On the other hand, if the 
recognition were effected by means of some signal or 
password, then the pupae which were intrusted to ants 
from another nest would have the password, if any, of 
that nest ; and not of their own. Hence in this case 



130 EXPEEIMENTS WITH PUP^. 

they would be amicably received in the nest from 
which their nurses had been taken, but not in their 
own. 

In the first place, therefore, I put, on September 2, 
1877, some pupse from one of my nests of Formica 
fusca with a couple of ants from the same nest. On 
the 27th I put two ants, which in the meantime had 
emerged from one of these pupse, back into their own 
nest at 8.30 a.m., marking them with paint as usual. 
At 9 they seemed quite at home ; at 9.30, ditto ; at 
10, ditto; and they were nearly cleaned. After that 
I could not distinguish them. 

On the 29th another ant came out of the pupa- 
state ; and on October 1 at 7.45 I put her back into 
the nest. She seemed quite at home, and the others 
soon began to clean her. We watched her from time 
to time, and she was not attacked ; but, the colour 
being removed, we could not recognise her after 9.30. 

On July 14 last year (1878) I put into a small glass 
some pupse from another nest of Formica fusca with 
two friends. 

On August 111 put four of the young ants which 
had emerged from these pupse into the nest. After 
the interval of an hour, I looked for them in vain. 
The door of the nest was closed with cotton-wool ; so 
that they could not have Come out ; and if any were 
being attacked, I think we must have seen it. I 
believe, therefore, that in the meantime they had been 
cleaned. Still, as we did not actually watch them, I 



EXPERIMENTS WITH PUP.E. 131 

was not satisfied. I put in, therefore, two more at 
5 P.M. At 5.30 they were all right; at 5.45, ditto, 
one being almost cleaned. At 6 one was all right ; 
the other was no longer recognizable, having been quite 
cleaned. At 6.30 also one was quite at home ; the 
other could not be distinguished. At 7 both had been 
completely cleaned 

The following day I marked another, and put her 
in at 6 a.m. At 6.15 she was all right among the 
others, and also at 6.30, 7, 7.30, 8, and 9.30, after 
which I could no longer distinguish her. 

Again, on the following day I put in another at 
6.45 A.M. At 7 she was quite at home, and also at 
7.15, 7.30, 8, and to 9.30, after which I did not watch 
her. 

To test the mode in w^hich the ants of this nest 
would behave to a stranger, I then, though feeling no 
doubt as to the result, introduced one. The difference 
was very striking. The stranger was a powerful ant ; 
still she was evidently uncomfortable, started away 
from every ant she met, and ran nervously about, 
trying to get out of the nest. She was, however, soon 
attacked. 

Again, on October 1 some pupae of Lasius niger 
were placed in a glass with five ants fi'om the same 
nest. 

On December 8 I took three of the ants which had 
emerged from these pupae, and at midday put them 
back into theii' old nest, having marked them by nick- 



132 PUPiE EEMOVED FROM NEST, 

ing the claws. Of course, under these circumstances 
we could not watch the ants. I examined the nest, 
however, every half hour very carefully, and am satisfied 
that there was no fighting. The next morning there 
was no dead ant ; nor was there a death in the nest for 
more than a fortnight. 

December 21. — Marked three more in the same 
manner, and put them in at 11.15 A.M. Looked at 
the usual intervals, but saw no fighting. The next 
morning there was no dead one outside the nest ; but 
I subsequently found one of these ants outside, and 
nearly dead. I am, however, disposed to think that I 
had accidentally injured this ant. 

December 23. — Painted three, and put them in at 10 
A.M. At 11 they were all right, 12 ditto, 1 ditto, 2 ditto, 
3 ditto, 4 ditto, 5 ditto. At 3 I put in three strangers 
for comparison : two of them were soon attacked ; the 
other hid herself in a corner; but all three were 
eventually dragged out of the nest. I found no other 
dead ant outside the nest for some days. 

December 29. — Painted three more, and put them 
in at 10.30 a.m. At 11 they were all right, 12 ditto, 1 
ditto, 2 ditto. During the afternoon they were once or 
twice attacked for a minute or two, but the ants seemed 
soon to perceive the mistake, and let them go again. 
The next morning I found one dead ant, but had 
no reason to suppose that she was one of the above 
three. The following morning there was again only 
one dead ant outside the nest ; she was the third of the 



AND RESTORED AFTER COMING TO MATURITY. 133 

strangers put in on the 23rd, as mentioned above. Up 
to January 23 found no other dead one. 

January 3, 1879. — Painted three more, and put 
them in at 11.30 A.M. At 12 two were all right: we 
could not see the third ; but no ant was being attacked. 
12 ditto. 1, all three are all right; 2 ditto; 5 ditto. 
As already mentioned, for some days there was no dead 
ant brought out of the nest. 

January 5. — Painted three more and put them in 
at 11.30 A.M. At 12 two were all right among the 
others ; I could not find the third ; but no ant was 
being attacked. 12.30 ditto, 1 ditto, 2 ditto, 4 ditto. 
On the following morning I found two of them all right 
among the others. There was no dead ant. 

January 13. — Painted three more and put them in 
at 12.30. At 1 they were all right. 2 ditto. 4, two 
were all right ; I could not see the third, but she was 
not being attacked. The next morning, when I looked 
at the nest, one was just being carried, not dragged, 
out. The ant carried her about 6 inches and then put 
her down, apparently quite unhurt. She soon returned 
into the nest, and seemed to be quite amicably re- 
ceived by the rest. Another one of the three also 
seemed quite at home. The third I could not see ; but 
up to January 23 no dead one was brought out of the 
nest. 

January 19. — Marked the last three of these ants, 
and put them into the nest at 9.30 A.M. They were 
watched continuously up to 1. At that time two of 



134 ANTS REMOVED AS PUP^E, AND EESTORED 

them had been almost completely cleaned. One was 
attacked for about a minute soon after 1 1 , and another 
a little later; but with these exceptions they were 
quite amicably received, and seemed entirely at home 
among the other ants. 

Thus every one of these thirty-two ants was amic- 
ably received. 

These experiments, then, seem to prove that ants 
removed from a nest in the condition of pupse, but 
tended by friends, if reintroduced into the parent nest, 
are recognised and treated as friends. Nevertheless 
the recognition does not seem to have been complete. 
In several cases the ants were certainly attacked, 
though only by one or two ants, not savagely, and only 
for a short time. It seemed as if, though recognised 
as friends by the great majority, some few, more 
ignorant or more suspicious than the rest, had doubts 
on the subject, which, however, in some manner 
still mysterious,, were ere long removed. The case 
in which one of these marked ants was carried out of 
the nest may perhaps be explained by her having been 
supposed to be ill, in which case, if the malady is con- 
sidered to be fatal, ants are generally brought out of 
the nest. 

It now remained to test the result when the pupse 
were confided to the care of ants belonging to a different 
nest, though, of course, the same species. 

I therefore took a number of pupae out of some of 
my nests of Formica fusca and put them in small 



TO THE NEST AFTER COMING TO MATURITY. 135 

glasses, with ants from another nest of the same species. 
Now, as already mentioned, if the recognition were 
effected by means of some signal or password, then, as 
we can hardly suppose that the larvae or pupae would 
be sufficiently intelligent to appreciate, still less to 
remember it, the pupae which were intrusted to ants 
from another nest would have the password, if any, of 
that nest, and not of the one from which they had been 
taken. Hence, if the recognition were effected by 
some password or sign with the antennae, they would 
be amicably received in the nest from which their 
nurses had been taken, but not in their own. 

I will indicate the nests by the numbers in my 
note-book. 

On August 26 last year I put some pupae of 
Formica fusca from one of my nests (No. 36) with two 
workers from another nest of the same species. Two 
emerged from the chrysalis state on the 30th ; and on 
September 2 I put them, marked as usual, into their 
old nest (No. 36) at 9.30 a.m. At 9.45 they seemed 
quite at home, and had already been nearly cleaned. 
At 10.15 the same was the case, and they were scarcely 
distinguishable. After that I could no longer make 
them out ; but we watched the nest closely, and I 
think I can undertake to say that if they had been 
attacked we must have seen it. 

Another one of the same batch emerged on August 
18, but was rather crippled in doing so. On the 21st 
I put her into the nest (No. 36), This ant was at once 



136 ANTS REMOVED AS PUP^, AND EESTORED 

attacked, dragged out of the nest, and dropped into the 
surrounding moat of water. 

Again, on July 14 last year (1 878) I put some pupse 
of Formica fusca from nest No. 36 into a glass with 
three ants of the same species from nest No. 60. 

On the 22nd I put an ant from one of these pupse 
into her old nest (No. 36) at 9.30 A.M. She was at- 
tacked. At 10 she was being dragged about. 10.30 
ditto. 1 regretted she was not watched longer. 

August 8. — Put another ant which had emerged 
from one of these pupse into her old nest (No. 36) at 
7.45 A.M. At 8 she seemed quite at home among the 
others. 8.15 ditto, 8.30 ditto, 9 ditto, 9.30 ditto. 

August 9. — Put two other young ants of this 
batch into their old nest (No. 36) at 7 A.M. At 7.30 
they were all right. At 7.30 one of them was being 
dragged by a leg, but only, I think, to bring her under 
shelter, and was then let go. Young ants of this spe- 
cies, when the nest is disturbed, are sometimes dragged 
to a place of safety in this way. At 8.30 they were 
all right and nearly cleaned. After this I could not 
distinguish them ; but if they had been attacked, we 
must have seen it. 

August 11. — Put in another one as before at 
8.30 A.M. At 8.45 she was all right. At 9 she was 
dragged by a leg, like the last, but not for long ; and 
at 9.30 she was quite comfortable amongst the others. 
10 ditto, 10.45 ditto, 12 ditto, 5 ditto. 

August 24. — Put in the last two ants of this lot 



TO THE NEST AFTER COMING TO MATURITY. 137 

as before at 9.15 a.m. At 9.30 they were all right. 
9.45 ditto. At 10 they were alraost cleaned. At 10.30 
I could only distinguish one ; and she had only a speck 
of colour left. She appeared quite at home ; and though 
I could no longer distinguish the other, I must have 
seen it if she had been attacked. 

Thus, then, out of seven ants of this batch put back 
into their old nest, six were amicably received. On the 
other hand, I put one into nest No. 60, from which the 
three nurses were taken. She was introduced into the 
nest at 8.15 a.m., and was at once attacked. 8.45, she 
was being dragged about. 9 ditto, 9.15 ditto, 9.30 ditto. 
Evidently therefore she was not treated as a friend. 

Again, on July 14, 1878, I put some pupae of 
Formica fiisca from nest No. 60 with three ants from 
nest No. 36. 

On August 5 at 4 p.m. I put an ant which had 
emerged from one of these pupse, into her old nest 
(No. 60). At 4.15 she seemed quite at home. They 
were already cleaning her ; and by 4.30 she was no longer 
distinguishable. We watched the nest, however, care- 
fully for some time ; and I feel sure she was not attacked. 

August 6. — Put another of this batch into nest 
No. 60 at 7.15 a.m. At 7.30 she was not attacked. At 
8, one of the ants was carefully cleaning her. At 8.15 
she was quite at home among the others. At 8.30 
ditto ; she was nearly cleaned. 9.30 ditto. 

August 8. — Put in another as before at 7.45. At 
8 she was all right. 8.30 ditto, 9.30 ditto, 9.45 ditto. 



138 ANTS REMOVED AS PUP^, AND EESTORED 

Augtist 9. — Put in another as before at 7 a.m. At 
7.30 slie is quite at home among the others, and akeady 
nearly cleaned. At 8 1 could no longer distinguish her ; 
but certainly no ant was being attacked. 9 ditto. 

August 11. — Put in another as before at 8 a.m. 
At 8.15 she was quite at home. 8.30 ditto, 9 ditto, 
9.30 ditto, 10 ditto, 12.30 ditto. 

August 13. — Lastly, I put in the remaining young 
ant as before at 7 a.m. At 7.15 she was all right. At 
7.30 ditto and nearly cleaned. At 8 I could no longer 
distinguish her ; but no ant was being attacked. 

Thus, then, as in the preceding experiment, these 
six ants when reintroduced into the nest from which 
they had been taken as pupge, were received as friends. 
On the other hand, on August 5 I put a yoviDg ant of 
the same batch into nest No. 36, from which the three 
nurses had been taken. She was introduced at 11 and 
was at once attacked. At 11.30 she was being dragged 
about, and shortly after was dragged out of the nest. 
I then introduced a second ; but she was at once 
attacked like the first. 

August 22. — I put some pupse of Formica fusca 
from nest No. 64 under the charge of three ants from 
nest No. 60. By September 7 several young ones had 
emerged. I put two of them into nest No. 64 at 
8.15 A.M. They were amicably received, as in the pre- 
ceding experiments, and the ants began to clean them. 
At 8.30 they were all right. 8.45 ditto. At 9 they had 
been completely cleaned, so that I could not distinguish 



TO THE NEST AFTEE COMING TO MATUEITY. 139 

them ; but there was no lighting going on in the 
nest. 

On the same day, at 9.45 a.m., I put into nest 64 
two more as before. At 10 they were both quite at 
home among the other ants. 10.15 ditto, 10.30 ditto, 
1 1 ditto, 1 2 ditto, 1 ditto. I then put in a stranger ; 
and she was at once fiercely attacked. 

September 8. — Put in two more of the ants which 
had emerged from the pupae, as before, at 9.30 a.m. 
At 9.45 they were all right. 10 ditto, 10.30 ditto, 11 
ditto, 11.30 ditto, 12 ditto, 1 ditto. 

On the other hand, on September 14, I put one of 
these ants in the same manner into nest No. 60 at 6.30 
A.M. She was at once attacked. At 6.45 she was being 
dragged about by an antenna. 7 ditto. At 7.30 she was 
by herself in one corner. At 8.30 she was again being 
dragged about. 9.30 ditto. The difference, therefore, 
was unmistakable. 

Once more, on July 291 put some pupae of Formica 
fiisca from out of doors under the charge of three ants 
from nest No. 36. 

August 3. — Several had come out, and I put two 
of them into the nest of their nurses (No. 36) at 2 p.m. 
Both were at once attacked. At 2.45 they were being 
dragged about. 3 ditto. 3.30 one was being dragged 
about.' 4, both were being attacked. Eventually one 
was turned out of the nest. The other I lost sight of. 

August 4. — Put two more of this batch into nest 
No. 36, at 12.30. One was at once attacked. 1, one 



140 YOUNG ANTS RECOGNISED EVEN 

was being dragged about by an antenna. 2.30, both 
were being attacked. At 2.45 one was dragged out of 
the nest. 

I then put back one of the old ones ; as might have 
been expected, she was received quite amicably. 

I then tried the same experiment with another 
species, Lasius niger. I took some pupae from two of 
my nests, which I knew not to be on friendly terms, 
and which I will call 1 and 2, and confided each batch 
to three or four ants taken from the other nest. When 
they had come to maturity I introduced them into the 
nests as before. 

They were taken from their nest on September 20; 
and the results were as follows. 

Pupge from nest 1 confided to ants from nest 2. 

September 20. — Put one of the young ones into 
nest 2 at 7.15 a.m. Several at once threatened her. 
At 7.25 one of the ants seized her by an antenna, and 
began dragging her about. 7.30, she was still being 
dragged about. 8, ditto. 8.15, she was now being 
dragged about by three ants. 8.30, she was still attacked. 
9, ditto. At 9.15 she was dragged out of the nest. 

September 23. — Put two of the young ants into 
nest 1 at 9.15 a.m. One was at once attacked, and 
the other a few minutes afterwards. 9.45, both were 
attacked. 10, ditto. One was now dead and hanging on 
to a leg of assailant. 10.15 ditto. 10.45, both were still 
being dragged about. 

At 11 A.M. I put into nest 2 three more very yovmg 



WHEN REMOVED IN THE STATE OF PUPiE. HI 

ones. At 11.10 one was attacked. At 11.20 all three 
were being viciously attacked, and yet one was nearly 
cleaned. At 12 one was being attacked, one was alone 
in a corner, the other we could not find. At 12.10 one 
was dragged out of the nest and then abandoned, on 
which, to my surprise, she ran into the nest again, 
which no old ant would have done. She was at once 
again seized by an antenna. At 12.30 she was still 
being dragged about ; the second was being cleaned. 
In this instance, therefore, I think two out of the three 
were eventually accepted as inmates of the nest. 

September 25. — Put two of the young ones into 
nest 1 at 2.30 p.m. At 2.45 one was attacked, but not 
viciously. 3 ditto, 3.15 ditto. No notice was taken of 
the other, though several ants came up and examined her. 
3.30, the first was not attacked, the second was almost 
cleaned. 4, the first has been again attacked, but noi 
viciously, and moreover has been partly cleaned. The 
second was evidently received as a friend, and was almost 
cleaned. 4.30, they are both comfortably among the 
others and are almost clean. At 5 I could no longer 
distinguish them. 

I now pass to the other batch, namely, pupae from 
nest 2 with ants from nest 1. 

September 25. — Put three of the young ants into 
nest 1 at 9.30 a.m. At 9.45 two were attacked, the 
third was by herself. 10 ditto. At 10.15 one made her 
escape from the nest. At 10.20 the thfrd was attacked. 
At 1 0.30 one of them was dragged out of the nest, and 



142 YOUNG ANTS KECOGNISED 

then abandoned. At 10.50 the third also was dragged 
out of the nest. 

I then put two of these ants and a third yoTing one 
into nest 2. At 11.15 a.m. they seemed quite happy; 
but at 11.30 two were being dragged about; the third, 
who was very young, was, on the contrary, being care- 
fully cleaned. At 12 this last one was undistinguish- 
able ; of the other two, one was being attacked, the 
second was taken no notice of, though several ants 
came up to her. At 12.5 the first was dragged out of 
the nest and then abandoned ; the second was being 
carefully cleaned. This went on till 12.20, when the 
paint was entirely removed. 

September 27. — I put in three more of these young 
ants into nest 1, at 7.45 a.m. At 8 o'clock they seemed 
quite at home among the other ants. A few minutes 
after, one was being held by a leg ; the other two seemed 
quite at home. At 8.30 one was almost cleaned, the 
other I could not see. At 9 two of them were quite at 
home, but I could not see the third. At 9.30 they were 
both nearly cleaned ; and after that we were no longer 
able to distinguish them. 

Thinking the results might be different if the ants 
were allowed to become older before being retm-ned into 
their nests, I made no further observations with these 
ants for two months. I then took two of the ants which 
had emerged from the pupse separated on Septem- 
ber 20, and which had been brought up by ants 
from nest 2, and on November 22 I put them back 



EVEN WHEN REMOVED AS PUP^. 143 

at 12 A.M. in their old nest (that is to say, in nest 1), 
having marked them as usual, with paint. They showed 
no signs of fear, but ran about among the other ants with 
every appearance of being quite at home. At 1 2. 1 5 ditto. 
At 12.30 one was being cleaned. At 12.45 both were 
being cleaned ; and by 1 o'clock they could scarcely be 
distinguished from the other ants. There had not 
been the slightest symptoms of hostility. After this 
hoiu- we could no longer identify them ; but the nest 
was cai'efully watched throughout the afternoon, and I 
think I can undertake to say that they were not 
attacked. When we left off watching, the nest was 
enclosed in a box. The next morning I examined it 
carefully, to see if there were any dead bodies. This 
was not the case ; and I am satisfied, therefore, that 
neither of these two ants was killed. To test these 
ants, I then, on November 24, at 8.30 a.m., put into 
the nest two ants from nest 2. At 8.40 one was 
attacked ; the other had hid herself away in a corner. 
At 9.15 both of the ants were being dragged about. At 
9.35 one was dragged out of the nest and then released, 
and the other a few minutes afterwards. After watch- 
ing them for some time to see that they remained out- 
side, I restored them to their own nest. The contrast, 
therefore, was very marked. 

Again, on November 25, I took two ants which had 
emerged from pupae belonging to nest 2, removed on 
September 20, and brought up by ants from nest 1, 
and put them back into their old nest at 2 p.m. They 



144 YOUNG ANTS RECOGNISED 

were watched continuously until 4 p.m., but were not 
attacked, nor even threatened. The following morning 
one of them was quite well, the other one we could 
not distinguish ; she had probably been cleaned. If 
she had been killed, we must have found her dead 
body. I then at 10 a.m. put in two more. At 
10.30 one of them was attacked for a moment, but 
only for a moment. With this exception neither of 
them was attacked until 2 o'clock, when one of them 
was again seized and dragged about for a minute or 
two, but then released again. We continued watching 
them till half-past 4, when they seemed quite at home 
amongst the others. On the other hand a stranger, 
put in as a test at 12, was at once attacked. It was 
curious, however, that although she was undoubtedly 
attacked, yet at the very same time another ant began 
to clean her. 

The next morning we found one ant, and only one, in 
the box outside the nest ; and this turned out to be the 
stranger of yesterday. She had been almost cleaned ; 
but there were one or two small particles of paint still 
remaining, so that there could be no doubt of her 
identity. 

The next day, November 27, I put in three more 
of the ants derived from these pupae at 10 a.m. At 
10.30 they were all right, running about amongst the 
others. At 11 o'clock the same was the case ; biit 
whilst I was looking again shortly afterwards, one of 
them was seized by an antenna and dragged a little 



WHEN REMOVED AS PUPiE. 145 

way, but released again in less than a minute. Shortly 
afterwards one of the others was also seized, but let go 
again almost immediately. At one o'clock they were 
all right, and also at two. They had, however, in the 
meantime been more than once threatened, and even 
momentarily seized, though they were never dragged 
about as strangers would have been. At three o'clock 
I found one of them dead ; but I think I must have 
accidentally injured her, and I do not believe that she was 
killed by the other ants, though I cannot speak quite 
positively about it. The other two were quite at home, 
and had been partly cleaned. At six one of them was 
running about comfortably amongst the rest ; the other 
1 could not distinguish ; but certainly no ant was being 
attacked. 

November 28. — I put in the last two ants from the 
above-mentioned batch of pupge at noon. Like the 
preceding, these ants were occasionally threatened, and 
even sometimes attacked for a moment or two; but 
the other ants soon seemed to find out their mistake, 
and on the whole they were certainly treated as friends, 
the attacks never lasting more than a few moments. 
One of them was watched at intervals of half an hour 
until 5 P.M. ; the other we could not distinguish after 
3 P.M., the paint having been licked off; but we 
should certainly have observed it had she been 
attacked. 

On the whole, then, all the thirty-two ants belonging 
to Formica fiisca and Lasius niger, removed from 



146 SISTER ANTS EECOGNISED 

their nest as pupae, attended by friends and restored to 
their own nest, were amicably received. 

What is still more remarkable, of twenty-two ants 
belonging to F. fusca, removed as pupae, attended by 
strangers, and returned to their own nest, twenty were 
amicably received. As regards one I am doubtful ; the 
last was crippled in coming out of the pupa-case ; and 
to this perhaps her unfriendly reception may have been 
due. 

Of the same number of Lasius niger developed 
in the same manner from pupae tended by strangers 
belonging to the same species, and then returned into 
their own nest, nineteen were amicably received, three 
were attacked, and about two I feel doubtful. 

On the other hand, fifteen specimens belonging to 
the same two species, removed as pupae, tended by 
strangers belonging to the same species, and then put 
into the strangers' nest, were all attacked. 

The results may be tabulated as follows : — • 

PupEe brought up Papje brought up by strangers, 

by friends and Put in own Put in strangers' 

replaced in their own nest. nest. nest. 

Attacked 7» 15 

Et ceived amicably . . 33 37 

The differences cannot be referred to any difference 
of temperament in different nests. The specimens of 
F. fusca experimented with in August and September 
last were taken principally from two nests, numbered 
respectively 36 and 60. Now, while nest 36, in most 
' I do not feel sure about three of these. 



EVEN IF BROUGHT UP SEPARATELY. 147 

cases, amicably received ants bred from its own pupae 
but tended by ants from 60, it showed itself fiercely 
hostile to ants from pupae born in nest 60, even when^ 
these had been tended by ants from nest 36. Nest 60, 
again, behaved in a similar manner ; amicably receiving, 
as a general rule, its own young, even when tended 
by ants from 36 ; and refusing to receive ants born in 
nest 36, even when tended by specimens from nest 60. 
- These experiments seem to indicate that ants of the 
same nest do not recognise one another by any pass- 
word. On the other hand, they seem to show that if ants 
are removed from a nest in the pupa-state, tended by 
strangers, and then restored, some at least of their rela- 
tives are puzzled, and for a time doubt their claim to con- 
sanguinity. I say some, because while strangers under 
the circumstances would have been immediately at- 
tacked, these ants were in every case amicably received 
by the majority of the colony, and it was sometimes 
several hours before they came across one who did not 
recognise them. 

In all these experiments, however, the ants were 
taken from the nest as pupae, and though I did not 
think the fact that they had passed their larval existence 
in the nest could affect the problem, still it might do 
so. I determined therefore to separate a nest before 
the young were born, or even the eggs laid, and then 
ascertain the result. Accordingly I took one of my nests 
of F. fusca, which I began watching on Sept. 13, 1878, 
and which contained two qveens, and on February 8, 



148 SISTER ANTS EECOGNISED 

1879, divided it into halves, which I will call A and B, 
so that there were approximately the same number of 
ants with a queen in each division. At this season, 
of course, the nest contained neither young nor even 
eggs. During April both queens began to lay eggs. 
On July 20 I took a number of pupae from each division 
and placed each lot in a separate glass, with two ants 
from the same division. On August 30 I took four 
ants from the pupoe bred in B, and one from those in A 
(which were not quite so forward), and after marking 
them as usual with paint, put the B ants into nest 

A, and the A ant into nest B. They were received 
amicably and soon cleaned. Two, indeed, were once 
attacked for a few moments, but soon released. On 
the other hand, I put two strangers into nest A, but 
they were at once driven out. For facility of observa- 
tion I placed each nest in a closed box. On the 31st 
I carefully examined the nests and also the boxes in 
which I placed them. I could only distinguish one 
of the marked ants, but there were no dead ants either 
in the nests or boxes. 

I carefully examined the box in the same way for 
several successive mornings, but there was no dead 
ant. If there had been I must have found the body, 
and I am sure, therefore, that these ants were not 
attacked. 

Again, on August 31 I put two more of the ants 
which had emerged from the pupae taken out of nest 

B, and nursed by ants from that nest, into nest A at 



EVEN IF BROUGHT UP SEPARATELY. 149 

10 A.M. At 10.30 A.M. they were quite comfortable 
amongst the others. At 11 a.m. I looked again and 
they seemed quite at home, as also at 11.30 a.m., after 
which I looked every hour, and they were never attacked. 
The next morning I found them peaceably among the 
other ants. 

On September 15 1 put three of the ants which had 
emerged from the puj)8e taken out of nest A, and 
nursed by ants from that nest, and put them into nest 
B at 1.30 p.m. They seemed to make themselves quite 
at home. I looked again at 2.30 p.m., with the same 
result. At 3.30 p.m. I could only find two, the third 
having no doubt been cleaned, but no ant was being 
attacked. At 5.30 p.m. they were no longer distin- 
guishable, but if any one was being attacked we must 
have seen it. The next morning they all seemed quite 
peaceful, and there was no dead ant in the box. I 
looked again on the l7th and 19th, but could not 
distinguish them. As, however, there was no dead 
ant, they certainly had not been killed. I then put in 
a stranger ; she was soon attacked and driven out of 
the nest — showing that, as usual, they would not tole- 
rate an ant whom they did not recognise as in some 
way belonging to the community. 

Again, on April 10, 1881, I divided a two-queencd 
nest of Formica fusca, leaving a queen in each half. 
At that time no eggs had yet been laid, and of course 
there were no larvae or pupge. In due course both 
queens laid eggs, and young ants were brought up in 



150 KECOGNITION NOT INDIVIDUAL OR PERSONAL, 

each half of the nest. I will call the two halves as 
before A and B. 

On August 15, at 9 a.m., I put three of the young 
ants from A into B, and three from B into A. At 
9.30 A.M. none were attacked, 10 A.M. ditto, 10.30 A.M. 
ditto. One was being cleaned ; 12 a.m. ditto, 2 p.m. 
ditto. In fact, they seemed quite at home with the 
other ants. The next morning I was unable to recog- 
nise them, the paint having been entirely removed. 
The ants were all peaceably together in the nest, and 
there were no dead ones either in the nest or in the 
outer box. It is evident, therefore, that they had 
been treated as friends. 

August 17. — I put in three more from B into A at 
noon. At 12.30 p.m. they were with the other ants ; 
at 1 P.M., ditto, at 2 p.m. ditto, at 3 p.m. ditto, at 
5 P.M. ditto. The following morning I was still able 
to recognise them, though most of the paint had been 
removed. They also were evidently treated as part of 
the community. 

September 19. — Put in three more from A into B 
at 8.30 A.M. I looked at them at intervals of half an 
hour, but none of them were attacked. Next morning 
there was no ant outside the nest, nor had any been 
killed. 

October 10. — Put in three more at 7 a.m., and 
looked at intervals of an hour. They were not at^ 
tacked, and evidently felt themselves among friends. 
The next morning I was still able to recognise two. 



NOE DUE TO THE USE OF A PASSWORD. 151 

There was no dead ant either in the nest or the oviter 
box. 

Lastly, on October 15, I put in four more at 7 A.M., 
and watched them all day at short intervals. They 
exhibited no sign of fear, and were never attacked. 
In fact, they made themselves quite at home, and were 
evidently, like the preceding, recognised as friends. For 
the sake of comparison at noon I again put in a stranger. 
Her behaviour was in marked contrast. The preceding 
ants seemed quite at home, walked about peaceably 
among the other ants, and made no attempt to leave 
the nest. The stranger, on the contrary, ran uneasily 
about, started away from any ant she met, and made 
every effort to get out of the nest. After she had 
three times escaped from the nest, I put her back with 
her own friends. 

Thus, then, when a nest of Formica fusca was 
divided early in spring, and when there were no young, 
the ants produced in each half were in twenty-eight 
cases all received as friends. In no case was there the 
slightest trace of enmity. 

These observations seem to me conclusive as far as 
they go, and they are very surprising. In the previous 
experiments, though the results were similar, still the 
ants experimented with had been brought up in the 
nest, and were only removed after they had become 
pupae. It might therefore be argued that the ants 
having nursed them as larvas, recognized them when 
they came to maturity ; and though this would cer- 



152 MODE OF EECOGNITION. 

tainly be in the highest degree improbable, it could 
not be said to be impossible. In the present case, 
however, the old ants had absolutely never seen the 
young ones until the moment when, some days after 
arriving at maturity, they were introduced into the 
nest ; and yet in twenty-one cases they were undoubt- 
edly recognised as belonging to the community. 

It seems to me, therefore, to be established by 
these experiments that the recognition of ants is not 
personal or individual ; that their harmony is not 
due to the fact that each ant is individually acquainted 
with every other member of the community. 

At the same time, the fact that they recognise 
their friends even when intoxicated, and that they 
know the young born in their own nest even when 
they have been brought out of the chrysalis by 
strangers, seems to indicate that the recognition is not 
effected by means of any sign or password. 



CHAPTER VII. 

POWER OF COMMUNICATION. 

The Social Hymenoptera, according to Messrs. Kirby 
and Spence,' ' have the means of comnaunicating to 
each other information of various occvirrences, and use 
a kind of language which is mutually understood, 
. . . . and is not confined merely to giving intel- 
ligence of the approach or absence of danger ; it is 
also co-extensive with all their other occasions for 
communicating their ideas to each other.' 

Huber assures us as regards Ants^ that he has 
'frequently seen the antennae used on the field of 
battle to intimate approaching danger, and to ascertain 
their own party when mingled with the enemy ; they 
are also employed in the interior of the ant-hill to 
apprise their companions of the presence of the sun, so 
favom-able to the development of the larvte, in their 
excursions and emigrating to indicate their route, in 
their recruitings to determine the time of departure,' 
&c. Elsewhere also he says ^ ' that should an Ant fall 
in with any of her associates from the nest they put 
her in the right way by the contact of their antennse.' 

• Introduction to Entonwlogij, ii. p. 50. ^ Loe, cit. p. 206. 
' Loo. cit. p 157. 



154 STATEMENTS OF PEEVIOUS AUTHORS. 

These statements are most interesting ; and it is 
much to be regretted that he has not given us in detail 
the evidence on which they rest. In another passage, 
indeed, he himself says,^ ' If they have a language, I 
cannot give too many proofs of it.' Unfortunately, 
however, the chapter which he devotes to this impor- 
tant subject is very short, and occupied with general 
statements rather than with the accounts of the par- 
ticular experiments and observations on which those 
statements rest. Nor is there any serious attempt to 
ascertain the nature, character, and capabilities of this 
antennal language. Even if by motions of these organs 
Ants and Bees can caress, can express love, fear, anger, 
&c., it does not follow that they can narrate facts or 
describe localities. 

The facts recorded by Kirby and Spence are not 
more explicit. It is therefore disappointing to read in 
the chapter especially devoted to this subject, that, as 
regards the power possessed by Ants and Bees to com- 
municate and receive information, ' it is only necessary 
to refer you to the endless facts in proof, fm^nished by 
almost every page of my letters on the history of Ants 
and of the Hive Bee. I shall therefore but detain you 
for a moment with an additional anecdote or two, 
especially with one respecting the former tribe, which 
is valuable from the celebrity of the narrator.' 

The first of these anecdotes refers to a Beetle 
(Ateuchus pilularius) which, having made for the 

' Loc. cif. p. 205. 



HUBER, KIRBY AND SPENCE. 155 

reception of its eggs a pellet of dung too heavy for it 
to move, * repaired to an adjoining heap and soon re- 
turned with three of his companions. All four now 
applied their united strength to the pellet, and at 
length succeeded in pushing it out, which being done, 
the three assistant Beetles left the spot and returned 
to their own quarters.' This observation rests on the 
authority of an anonymous German artist ; and though 
we are assured that he was a ' man of strict veracity,' 
I am not aware that any similar fact has been recorded 
by any other observer. I am by no means satisfied 
that his explanation of what took place is correct. M. 
Fabre,' in his interesting observations, places the facts 
in a very different light. 

The second case is related by Kalm, on the authority 
of Di-. Franklin, but again does not seem to me to justify 
the conclusions drawn from it by Messrs. Kirby and 
Spence. Dr. Franklin having found a number of ants 
in a jar of treacle, shook them out and suspended the 
jar ' by a string from the ceiling. By chance one ant 
remained, which, after eating its fill, with some diffi- 
culty found its way up the string, and, thence reaching 
the ceiling, escaped by the wall to its nest. In less 
than half an hour a great company of ants sallied out 
of their hole, climbing the ceiling, crept along the 
string into the pot and began to eat again ; this they 
continued until the treacle was all consumed, one 
swarm running up the string while another passed 
• Souvenirs Entomolng-iqnes. 



156 KIRBY AND SPENCE. 

down. It seems indisputable that the one ant had iu 
this instance conveyed news of the booty to his com- 
rades, who would not otherwise have at once directed 
their steps in a body to the only accessible route.' ^ 

Elsewhere, Messrs. Kirby and Spence say : ^ — ' If you 
scatter the ruins of an ants' nest in your apartment, you 
will be furnished with another proof of their language. 
The ants will take a thousand different paths, each going 
by itself, to increase the chance of discovery ; they will 
meet and cross each other in all directions, and perhaps 
will wander long before they can find a spot convenient 
for their reunion. No sooner does any one discover a 
little chink in the floor through which it can pass 
below than it returns to its companions, and, by means 
of certain motions of its antennse, makes some of them 
comprehend what route they are to pursue to find it, 
sometimes even accompanying them to the spot; 
these, in their tiu-n, become the guides of others, till 
all know which way to direct their steps.' 

Here, however, Messrs. Kirby and Spence do not 
sufficiently distinguish between the cases in which the 
ants were guided, from those in which they were directed 
to the place of safety. It is obvious, however, that the 
power of communication implied in the latter case is 
much greater than in the former. 

A short but very interesting paper by Dujardin on 
this subject is contained in the ' Annales des Sciences ' 
for ] 852. He satisfied himself that some bees which 

' Loc. eit. p. 422. '■^ Introd. to Entomology, vol. ii p. 6. 



DUJARDIN. 157 

came to honey put out by him for the purpose 'avaient du 
recevoir dans la ruche un avertissement porte par quel- 
ques-unes de celles qui etaient venues isolement, soit a 
dessein, soit par hasard.' That no doubt might re- 
main, he tried the following experiment, which he says, 
' me parait tout-a-fait concluante. Dans I'epaisseur 
d'un mur lateral a 18 metres de distance des ruches A 
et B, se trouve une niche pratiquee, suivant I'usage du 
pays, pour constater la mitoyennete, et recouverte par 
un treillage et par une treille, et cachee par diverses 
plantes grimpantes. J'y introduieis, le 16 novembre, 
une soucoupe avec du sucre legerement humecte ; puis 
j'allai presenter une petite baguette enduite de sirop a 
une abeille sortant de la ruche. Cette abeille s'etant 
cramponnee a la baguette pour sucer le sirop, je la 
transportai dans la niche sur le sucre, oii elle resta cinq 
ou six minutes jusqu'a ce qu'elle se fut bien gorgee ; 
elle commenfa alors a voler dans la niche, puis deya et 
dela devant le treillage, la tete toujours toumee vers la 
niche, et enfin elle prit son vol vers la ruche, oii elle 
rentra. 

' Un quart d'heure se passa sans qu'il revint une 
seule abeille a la niche ; mais, a partir de cet instant, 
elles vinrent successivement au nombre de trente, ex- 
plorant la localite, cherchant I'entree de la niche qui 
avait du leur etre indiquee, et oil I'odorat ne pouvait 
nullement les guider, et, a leur tour verifiant avant de 
retourner a la ruche, les signes qui leur feraient re- 
trouver cette precieuse localite ou qui leur permet- 



158 FOREL. 

traient de I'indiquer a d'autres. Tous les jours suivants 
les abeilles de la ruche A vinrent plus nombreuses a 
la niche ou j'avais soin de renouveler le sucre bumecte, 
et pas une seule de la ruche B n'eufc le moindre 
soupfon de I'existeuce de ce tresor et ne vint volerdece 
cote. II etait facile, en effet, de constater que les 
premieres se dirigeaient exclusivement de la ruche a la 
niche, et reciproquement.' 

It is of course clear from these observations that 
the ants and bees accompanied their fortunate friends 
to the stores of food which they had discovered, but 
this really does not in itself imply the possession of any 
great intelligence. 

That ants and bees have a certain power of com- 
munication cannot, indeed, be doubted. Several 
striking cases are mentioned by M. Forel. For in- 
stance, on one occasion an army of Amazon ants 
(^Polyergus rufescens) was making an expedition to 
attack a nest of F. rujibarbis. They were not, how- 
ever, quite acquainted with the locality. At length it 
was discovered : — ' Aussitot,' he observes, ' un nouveau 
signal fut donne, et toutes les amazones s'elancerent 
dans cette direction.' On another occasion he says : — 
' Je mis un gros tas de T. ccespituTn d'une variete de 
grande taille a un decimetre d'un des nids d'une 
colonic de Pheidole pallidula. En un clin d'oeil 
I'alarme fut repandue, et des centaines de Pheidole se 
jeterent au-devant de I'ennemi.' 

The species of Cain2yonotiis,vfh.en alarmed, 'non 



FOKEL. 159 

seulement se frappent vivemeiit et a coups repetes les 
uns les autres, mais en meme temps ils frappent le sol 
deux ou trois fois de suite avec leur abdomen, et 
repetent cet acte a de courts intervalles, ce qui pro- 
duit un bruit tres marque qu'on entend surtout bien 
lorsque le nid est dans un tronc d'arbre.' ^ 

It would even seem, according to M. Forel, that 
some species understand the signs of others. Thus 
F. sanguinea, he says,^ is able to seize ' I'instant ou 
les pratensis se communiquent le signal de la deroute, 
et elles savent s'apprendre cette decouverte les unes 
aux autres avec une rapidite incrojable. Au moment 
meme oil Ton voit les pratensis se jeter les unes contre 
les autres en se frappant de quelques coups rapides, 
puis cesser toute resistance et s'enfuir en masse, on 
voit aussi les sanguinea se jeter tout-a-coup au milieu 
d'elles sans la plus petite retenue, mordant a droite et a 
gauche comme des Polyergus, et arrachant des cocons 
de toutes les pratensis qui en portent.' 

M. Forel is of opinion (p. 364) that the different 
species differ much in their power of communicating 
with one another. Thus, though Polyergus rufescens 
is rather smaller than F. sanguinea, it is generally 
victorious, because the ants of this species understand 
one another more quickly than those of F. sanguinea. 

These statements are extremely interesting, and 
certainly appear to imply considerable intelligence. 
If, however, his inferences are correct, and the social 
' Loc. cit. p. 355. 2 £(,,, ^,^Y. p. 359. 



160 CONDITIONS OF THE PHOBLEM. 

Hymenoptera are really so highly gifted, it ought 
not to be necessary for us to rely on accidental observa- 
tions ; we ought to be able to test them by appropriate 
experiments. 

Those which I have made with reference to bees 
will be described in a subsequent chapter. 

Every one knows that if an ant or a bee in the course 
of her rambles has found a supply of food, a number of 
others will soon make their way to the store. This, 
however, does not necessarily imply any power of de- 
scribing localities. A very simple sign would suffice, 
and very little intelligence is implied, if the other ants 
merely accompany their friend to the treasure which she 
has discovered. On the other hand, if the ant or bee 
can describe the locality, and send her friends to the 
food, the case is very different. This point, therefore, 
seemed to me very important ; and I have made a 
number of observations bearing on it. 

The following may be taken as a type of what hap- 
pens under such circumstances. On June 12, 1874, I 
put a Lasms niger, belonging to a nest which I had 
kept two or three days without food, to some honey. 
She fed as usual, and then was returning to the nest, 
when she met some friends, whom she proceeded to 
feed. When she had thus distributed her stores, she 
returned alone to the honey, none of the rest coming 
with her. When she had a second time laid in a stock 
of food, she again in the same way fed seveial ants on 
her way towards the nest ; but this time tive of those 



SOME SPECIES MOKE COMMUNICATIVE THAN OTHERS. 161 

SO fed returned with her to the honey. In due course 
these five would no doubt have brought others, and so 
the number at the honey would have increased. 

Some species, however, act much more in association 
than others — Lasius niger, for instance, much more 
than Formica fusca. 

In March 1877 I was staying at Arcachon. It was 
a beautiful and very warm spring day, and numerous 
specimens of Formica fusca (PI. I, fig. 3) were 
coursing about on the flagstones in front of our 
hotel. At about 10.45 a.m. I put a raisin down before 
one of them. She immediately began licking it, 
and continued till 11.2 a.m., when she went off 
almost straight to her nest, the entrance to which was 
about twelve feet away. In a few minutes she came 
out again, and reached the fruit, after a few wander- 
ings, at about 11.18 A.m. She fed till 11.30 a.m., 
when she returned once more to the nest. 

At 11.45 another ant accidentally found the fruit. 
I imprisoned her. 

At 11.50 the first returned, and fed till 11.56, when 
she went off to the nest. On the way she met and 
talked with three ants, none of whom, however, came 
to the fruit. At 12.7 she returned, again alone, to the 
fruit. 

On the following day I repeated the same experi- 
ment. The first ant went backwards and foi-wards 
between the raisin and the nest for several hours, but 
only six others found their way to it. 



162 EXPERIMENT WITH FORMICA FUSCA. 

The details of this observation will be found in the 
Appendix. 

Again, on July 11, 1875, I put out some pupa3 in a 
saucer, and at 5.55 r.M. they were found by a F. fusca, 
who as usual carried one ofif to the nest. 

At 6 P.M. she returned and took another. Again 

6. 1 « „ 

6. 3 ,., „ 

6. 4 

6. 5 „ 

6. 6 

6. 7 

6. 8 

6. 9 

6.10 

6.11 

6.12 ,, 

6.14 

6.15 

6.16 

6.17 

6.19 

6.20 

6.21 

6.23 „ 

6.25 „ 

6.27 

6.29 

6.30 



EXPERIMENTS WITH MYRMICA AND LASIUS. 163 

At 6.31 P.M. she returned and took another. Again 
6.33 „ ., 



6.35 


5) 


55 


6.36 


5J 


5> 


6.37 


5> 


55 


6.38 


55 


JJ 


6.40 


55 


>5 


6.41 


55 


55 


6.45 


» 


55 


6.47 


55 


55 


6.49 


55 


55 


6.50 


55 


>» 


6.51 


55 


» 


6.52 


55 


» 


6.53 


55 


»> 


6.55 


55 


»> 


6.56 


55 


» 


6.57 


55 


n 


. 7. 


55 


j> 


7. 1 


55 


55 


7. 2 


55 


55 


7. 6 


55 


55 


After these 45 


visits, she came no more till 8 p.m. ; 


but when I returned at 10 p.m. 


, I found all the pupae 


gone. During the time she was 


watched, however, she 


brought no other ant to assist. 




I also made 


similar experiments with Myrmica 


ruginodis and Lasius niger, imprisoning (as before) 


all ants that came, except the marked ones, and with 



164 



EXPERIMENTS TO TEST 



Fiff. 3. 



similar results. The details will be found in the 
Appendix, but need not be given in full here. 
I then tried the following experiment: — 
In figure 3, A is the ants' nest, o the door of 
the nest. M is the section of a pole on which the 
whole apparatus is sujoported. b is a 
board 2 feet long ; c, D, E, and F are slips 
of glass connected with the board B by 
narrow strips of paper G, H, i. k is a 
movable strip of paper, 1^ inch long, 
connecting the glass f with the strip H ; 
and L is another movable strip of paper, 
as nearly as possible similar, connecting 
H and I. On each of the slips of glass C 
and F I put several hundred larvae of L. 
flavus. The object of the larvae on c was 
to ascertain whether, under such circum- 
, ,^ ,, y-_,, stances, other ants would find the larvae acci- 
Jl IL Jl dentally ; and I may say at once that none 
did so. I then put an ant (a), whom I 
had imprisoned overnight, to the larvae on f. She 
took one, and, knowing her way, went straight home 
over the bridge K and down the strip h. Now it 
is obvious that by always causing the marked ant 
(a) to cross the bridge K on a particular piece of 
paper, and if at other times the papers K and L were 
reversed, I should be able to ascertain whether other 
ants who came to the larvae had had the direction 
and position explained to them ; oi whether, having only 




POWERS OF COMMUNICATION. 165 

been informed by A of the existence of the larvse, they 
found their way to them by tracking a's footsteps. If the 
former, they would in any case pass over the bridge k 
by whichever strip of paper it was constituted. On 
the other hand, if they found the larvae by tracking, 
then as the piece of paper by which a passed was 
transferred to L, it would mislead them and carry them 
away from the larvae to i. In every case, then, I tran.s- 
posed the two papers forming the little bridges as 
soon as the ant A had crossed over k and L. 

I put her (November 7, 1875) to the larvse on f 
at 6.15 A.M. After examining them carefully, she re- 
turned to the nest at 6.34. No other ants were out ; 
biit she at once reappeared with four friends and 
reached the larvse at 6.38. None of her friends, how- 
ever, crossed the bridge ; they went on to D, wandered 
about, and returned home. A returned to the larvse at 
6.47, this time with one friend, who also went on to D 
and returned without finding the larvse. 



7. 0. Ant A to larvse. 

7. 8 „ An ant at 7.10] 



[went over 
I L to I. 



7.17 „ with a friend, who at 7.21 

fwith two friends.) 
7.25 i \ 7.27 

" ( one of whom at] 

7.32 „ the other at 7.35 

(with a friend who] 
went on to D, and [ '^•41 
then at ) 



166 EXPERIMENTS TO TEST 



7.46 Ant A 


to larvae. 


An ant at 7.42 


7.55 




„ 7.47 


8. 3 




„ 7.48 


8. 8 „ 




7.54 


8.19 „ 




7.57 


8.24 




9.10 



went over 
L to I. 



larvae. 
8.39 „ „ 9.30 went over l 

to I. 



8.50 




9.12 




9.22 




9.40 




9.47 




9.55 




10.35 





At 10.35 I imprisoned her till 12.30, when I put her 
again to the larvae. 

12.48 back to larvse. 

12.55 „ An ant at 12.58 went over L to i. 

1. ,, „ 1. 1 „ „ 

1.15 „ „ 1.10 

1.20 „ „ 1.13 

After this she did not come any more. During the 
time she made, therefore, 25 visits to the larvse; 21 
other ants came a distance of nearly 4 feet from the 
nest and up to the point of junction within 2 inches of 



POWERS OF COMMUNICATION. 167 

the larvsB ; but only one passed over the little bridge to 
the larvae, while 15 went over the bridge L to I. On 
repeating this experiment with another marked ant, she 
herself made 40 journeys, during which 19 other ants 
found their way to the point of junction. Only 2 went 
over the little bridge to the larvse, 8 went over L to I, 
and the remainder on to D. 

In another similar experiment the marked ant made 
16 journeys; and during the same time 13 other ants 
came to the point of junction. Of these 13, 6 went 
on to D, 7 crossed over L to i, and not one found the 
larvae. Thus altogether, out of 92 ants, 30 went on to 
D, 51 crossed over in the wrong direction to i, and only 
11 found their way to the larvae. 

From January 2 to January 24 (1875) I made a 
series of similar observations; and during this time 56 
ants came in all. Of these, 20 went straight on to 
D, 26 across the paper to i, and only 
10 to the larvae. 

This, I think, gives strong reason to 
conclude that, under such circumstances, 
ants track one another by scent. 

I then slightly altered the arrange- 
ment of the papers as shown in the 
accompanying diagram (fig. 4). a, as 
before, is the nest, o being the door. 
B is the board ; A- is a glass on which 
are placed the larvae ; m is a similar glass, but empty ; 
n a strip of paper : to the end of n are pinned two 




168 EXPERIMENTS TO TEST 

other strips / and g, in such a manner that they can be 
freely turned round, so that each can be turned at will 
either to h or m. Under ordinary circumstances the 
paper/, as in the figure, was turned to the larvse ; but 
whenever any ant, excepting the marked one, came, I 
turned the papers, so that / led to m and g to h. The 
result was striking, and I give the observation in full 
in the Appendix. In all, 17 ants came, every one of 
whom took the wrong turn and went to m. 

Although the observations above recorded seem to 
me almost conclusive, still I varied the 
experiments once more (see fig. 5), 
making the connexion between the 
board B and the glass containing the 
larvse by three separate but similar 
strips of paper, cZ, e, and/, as shown in 
the figure. Whenever, however, a 
strange ant came, I took up the strip / 

' ' " and rubbed my finger over it two or 

three times so as to remove any scent, and then re- 
placed it. As soon as the stranger had reached the 
paper e, 1 took up the strip d, and placed it so as to 
connect e with the empty glass m. Thus I escaped the 
necessity of changing the paper /, and yet had a scented 
bridge between e and 7)i. The details, as before, are 
given in the Appendix. 

In this experiment the bridge over which the 
marked ant passed to the larvae was left in its place, 
the scent, however, being removed or obscured by the 




POWERS OF COMMUNICATION. 169 

friction of my finger ; on the other hand, the bridge {d) 
had retained the scent, but was so placed as to lead 
away from the larvse ; and it will be seen that, under 
these circumstances, out of 41 ants which found their 
way towards the larvse as far as e, 14 only passed over 
the bridge / to the larvse, while 27 went over the 
bridge d to the empty glass m. 

Taking these observations as a whole, 150 ants 
came to the point e, of which 21 only went on to the 
larvse, while 95 went away to the empty glass. These 
experiments, therefore, seem to show that when an 
ant has discovered a store of food and others flock to 
it, they are guided in some cases by sight, while in 
others they track one another by scent. 

I then varied the experiment as follows : — I put an 
ant (Z. niger) to some larvae as usual, and when she knew 
her way, I allowed her to go home on her own legs ; but 
as soon as she emerged from the nest, if she had any 
friends with her, I took her up on a bit of paper and 
carried her to the larvae. Under these circumstances very 
few ants indeed found their way to them. Thus, on June 
23, 1876, at 5.30, an ant which had been previously 
under observation was put to some larvae. She took 
one and returned as usual to the nest. At 5.34 she 
came out with no less than 10 friends, and was then 
transferred to the larvse. The others wandered about a 
little, but by degrees returned to the nest, not one of 
them finding their way to the larvse. The first ant 
picked up a larva, returned, and again came out 



170 



EXPEKIMENTS TO TEST 



of the nest at 5.39 with 8 friends, when exactly 
the same thing happened. She again came out with 
companions at the undermentioned times : — 



Hour. 


Number of 
Friends. 


Hour. 


Number of 
Friends. 


5.44 


4 


6.44 


— 


5.47 


4 


6.46 


3 


5.49 


— 


6.49 


2 


5.52 


— 


6.56 


— 


5.54 


5 


6.59 


— 


5.57 


2 


7. 2 


2 


5.59 


2 


7. 4 


— 


6. 1 


5 


7. 6 


3 


6. 4 


1 


7. 8 


3 


6. 7 


— 


7.10 


5 


6.11 


3 


7.13 


— 


6.14 


4 


7.17 


3 


6.17 


6 


7.19 


7 


6.20 


— 


7.21 


5 


6.23 


5 


7.24 


— 


6.25 


6 


7.26 


3 


6.29 


8 


7.29 


1 


6.32 


2 


7.31 


2 


6.35 


— 


7.35 


— 


6.42 


4 







Thus during these two hours more than 120 ants 
came out of the nest in company with the one under 
observation. She knew her way perfectly ; and it is 



POWERS OF COMMUNICATION. 171 

clear that if she had been left alone, all, or at least 
most of, these ants would have accompanied her to the 
store of larvae. Three of them were accidentally 
allowed to do so ; but of the remainder, only 5 found 
their way to the larvse ; all the others, after wandering 
about a while, returned hopelessly to the nest. 

One of the ants which I employed in my experi- 
ments was under observation several days. I was, 
however, away from home most of the day, and when I 
left in the morning and went to bed at night I put her 
in a bottle ; but the moment she was let out she began 
to work again. On one occasion I was away for a week, 
and on my return I let her out of the bottle, placing 
her on a little heap of larvae about 3 feet from the 
nest. Under these circumstances I certainly did not 
expect her to return. However, though she had thus 
been six days in confinement, the brave little creature 
immediately picked up a larva, carried it off to the 
nest, and, after half an hour's rest, returned for another. 

I conclude, then, that when large numbers of ants 
come to food they follow one another, being also to a 
certain extent guided by scent. The fact, therefore, 
does not imply any considerable power of intercom- 
munication. There are, moreover, some other circum- 
stances which seem to show that their powers in this 
respect are but limited. For instance, I have already 
mentioned that if a colony of Polyergus changes the 
situation of its nest, the mistresses are all carried to 
the new one by the slaves. Again, if a number of F. 



172 EVIDENCE OF COMMUNICATION. 

fusca are put in a box, and in one corner a dark place 
of retreat is provided for them with some earth, one soon 
finds her way to it. She then comes out again, and going 
up to one of the others, takes her by the jaws. The 
second ant then rolls herself into a heap, and is carried 
off to the place of shelter. They then both repeat the 
same manoeuvre with other ants, and so on until all their 
companions are collected together. Now it seems to 
me difficult to imagine that so slow a course would be 
adopted if they possessed any considerable power of 
descriptive communication. 

On the other hand, there can, I think, be no doubt 
that they do possess some power of the kind. 

This seems to me clearly shown by the following 
observations. In order, if possible, to determine 
whether the ants in question were brought to the 
larvae, or whether they came casually, I tried (1875) 
the following experiments: I took three tapes, each 
about 2 feet 6 inches long, and arranged them 
parallel to one another and about 6 inches ajDart. 
One end of each I attached to one of my nests 
(X. niger), and at the other end I placed a small 
glass. In the glass at the end of one tape I placed a 
considerable number (300 to 600) of larvae. In the 
second I put two or three larvae only ; in the third 
none at all. The object of the last was to see whether 
many ants would come to the glasses under such cir- 
cumstances by mere accident ; and I may at once say 
that but few did so. I then took two ants and 



EVIDENCE OF COMMUNICATION. 173 

placed one of them to the glass with many larvae, the 
other to that with two or three. Each of them took a 
larva and carried it to the nest, returning for another, 
and so on. After each journey I put another larva in 
the glass with only two or three larvae, to replace that 
which had been removed. Now, if other ants came 
under the above circumstances as a mere matter of 
accident, or accompanying one another by chance, or 
if they simply saw the larvae which were brought and 
consequently concluded that they might themselves 
also find larvae in the same place, then the numbers 
going to the two glasses ought to be approximately 
equal. In each case the number of journeys made by 
the ants would be nearly the same ; consequently, if it 
was a matter of scent, the two glasses would be in the 
same position. It would be impossible for an ant, 
seeing another in the act of bringing a larva, to judge 
for itself whether there were few or many larvae left 
behind. On the other hand, if the ft"iends were 
brought, then it would be curious to see whether more 
were brought to the glass with many larvae, than to 
that which only contained two or three. I should also 
mention that, excepting, of course, the marked speci- 
mens, every ant which came to the larvae was im- 
prisoned until the end of the experiment. I give the 
details in the Appendix. 

The results of the above experiments are shown at 
a glance in the following Table : — 



174 



EVIDENCE OF COMMUNICATION. 



Tabular View of Experiments on Power of Communication. 





Glass 


with many 


lai-vte 


1 
Glass with one or two larviB 


Obser- 
vations 








1 


Time 


No. of 


No. of 


Time 


No. of 


No. of 




occupied 


journeys 


friends 


occupied 


journeys 


friends 




hours 






hours 






1 


1 


7 


11 






1 


2 


— 


— 




1 


6 





3 


— 


— 


— 


2 


13 


8 


4 


— • 


— 


— 


3 


24 


5 


5 


3 


38 


22 


1 


10 


3 


6 


n 


32 


19 








7 


1 


5 


16 








8 


H 


11 


21 


3 


23 


2 


9 


— 


— 


— 


n 


7 


3 


10 


1 


15 


13 


2 


21 


1 


11 


2 


32 


20 


1 


11 


1 


12 


5 


26 


10 








13 


— 


— 


_ 


5 


19 


1 


14 


— 


— 


— 


3 


20 


4 


13 


n 


41 


3 


2 


5 





IG 


i" 


10 


16 


2h 


10 


2 


17 


^ 


53 


2 


4| 


40 


10 


18 




— 


— 


2 


20 


1 


19 


1 


11 


12 








20 


. — 


_ 


— 


1 


6 





21 


n 


20 


15 


^ 


74 


27 


22 




— 


— 


H 


25 


4 


23 


^ 


71 


7 








24 




— 


— 


2 


35 


4 


25 


2 


34 


3 








26 


U 


35 


21 


2 


18 





27 


2" 


37 


9 


u 


15 





28 


n 


9 


10 


2 


14 





29 


2 


37 


5 


u 


25 


3 


30 


H 


9 


10 


2" 


14 





31 


2 


37 


5 


U 


25 


3 


32 


2 


24 


7 


l' 


7 





33 


H 


43 . 


17 


3* 


26 


1 


34 


1 


27 


28 


l' 


18 


12 


35 


1 


14 


2 


1 


15 


9 


52 


678 


304 


59* 


545 


104 



It must be admitted that this mode of observing 



EVIDENCE OF COxMMUNICATION. 175 

is calculated to increase the number of friends brought 
by the ants to the glass with only 2 or 3 larvse, for 
several reasons, but especially because in many cases 
an ant which had for some time had access to a glass 
with many larvae was suddenly deprived of it, and it 
might well be that some time elapsed before the 
change was discovered. Some stray ants would, no 
doubt, in any case have found the larvae ; and we 
may probably allow for about 25 under this head. 
Again, some would, no doubt, casually accompany their 
friends ; if we allow 25 also in this respect, we must 
deduct 50 from each side, and we shall have 254: 
against 54. Nevertheless, even without any allowances, 
the results seem to me very definite. Some of the 
individual cases, especially perhaps experiments 9, 10, 
20, 21, and 22 (see Appendix), are very striking ; and, 
taken as a whole, during 52 hours, the ants which had 
access to a glass containing numerous larvae brought 304 
friends ; while during 59 hours those which were visiting 
a glass with only 2 or 3 larvae brought only 104 to 
their assistance. 

One case of apparent communication struck me 
very much. I had had an ant (X. niger) under obser- 
vation one day, during which she was occupied in 
carrying off larvae to her nest. At night I imprisoned 
her in a small bottle ; in the morning I let her out at 
6,15, when she immediately resumed her occupation. 
Having to go to London, I imprisoned her again at 
9 o'clock. When I retm-ned at 4.40, 1 put her again 



176 EVIDENCE OF COMMUNICATION, 

to the larvae. She examined them carefully, but went 
home without taking one. At this time no other ants 
were out of the nest. In less than a minute she came 
out again with 8 friends, and the little troop made 
straight for the heap of larv£E. When they had gone 
two-thirds of the way, I again imprisoned the marked 
ants ; the others hesitated a few moments, and then, 
with cm'ious quickness, returned home. At 5.15 I 
put her again to the larvae. She again went home 
tvithout a larva, but, after only a few seconds' stay in 
the nest, came out with no less than 13 friends. They 
all went towards the larvae ; but when they got about 
two-thirds of the way, although the marked ant had 
on the previous day passed over the ground about 150 
times, and though she had just gone straight from 
the larvae to the nest, she seemed to have forgotten 
her way and wandered ; and after she had wandered 
about for half an hour, I put her to the larvae. Now 
in this case the 21 ants must have been brought out 
by my marked one ; for they came exactly with her, 
and there were no other ants out. Moreover, it would 
seem that they must have been told, because (which 
is very curious in itself) she did not in either case 
bring a larva, and consequently it cannot have been 
the mere sight of a larva which induced them to 
follow her. I repeated -an experiment similar to this 
more than once. 

For instance, one rather cold day, when but few 
ants were out, I selected a specimen of Atta, testaceo 



EXPERIMENT WITH AN ATT A. 177 

pilosa, belonging to a nest which I had brought back 

with me from Algeria. She was out hunting about 

six feet from home, and I placed before her a large 

dead bluebottle fly, which she at once began to drag 

to the nest. I then pinned the fly to a piece of cork, 

in a small box, so that no ant could see the fly until 

she had climbed up the side of the box. The ant 

struggled, of course in vain, to move the fly. She 

pulled first in one direction and then in another, but, 

finding her efforts fruitless, she at length started off back 

to the nest empty-handed. At this time there were 

no ants coming out of the nest. Probably there were 

some few others out hunting, but for at least a quarter 

of an hour no ant had left the nest. My ant entered 

the nest, but did not remain there ; in less than a 

minute she emerged accompanied by 7 friends. I 

never saw so many come out of that nest together 

before. In her excitement the first ant soon distanced 

her companions, who took the matter with much more 

sang-froid, and had all the appearance of having come 

out reluctantly, or as if they had been asleep and were 

only half awake. The first ant ran on ahead, going 

straight to the fly. The others followed slowly and 

with many meanderings ; so slowly, indeed, that for 

twenty minutes the first ant was alone at the fly, 

trying in every way to move it. Finding this still 

impossible, she again returned to the nest, not chancing 

to meet any of her friends by the way. Again she 

emerged in less than a minute with 8 friends, and 



178 EXPERIMENT WITH AN ATTA. 

hurried on to the fly. They were even less energetic 
than the first party ; and when they found they had 
lost sight of their guide, they one and all retui'ned to 
the nest. In the meantime several of the first detach- 
ment had found the fly, and one of them succeeded in 
detaching a leg, with which she returned in triumph 
to the nest, coming out again directly with 4 or 5 
companions. These latter, with one exception, soon 
gave up the chase and returned to the nest. I do not 
think so much of this last case, because as the ant 
carried in a substantial piece of booty in the shape of 
the fly's leg, it is not surprising that her friends should 
some of them accompany her on her return ; but 
surely the other two cases indicate a distinct power of 
communication. 

Lest, however, it should be supposed that the result 
was accidental, I determined to try it again. Accord- 
ingly on the following day I put another large dead fly 
before an ant belonging to the same nest, pinning it 
to a piece of cork as before. After trying in vain for 
ten minutes to move the fly, my ant started off home. 
At that time I could only see two other ants of that 
species outside the nest. Yet in a few seconds, con- 
siderably less than a minute, she emerged with no less 
than 12 friends. As in the previous case, she ran 
on ahead, and they followed very slowly and by no 
means directly, taking, in fact, nearly half an hour to 
reach the fly. The first ant, after vainly labouring for 
about a quarter of an hour to move the fly, started otf 



EXPEEIMENT WITH AN ATT A. 179 

again to the nest. Meeting one of her friends on the 
way she conversed with her a little, then continued 
towards the nest, but, after going about a foot, changed 
her mind, and returned with her friend to the fly. 
After some minutes, during which two or three other 
ants came up, one of them detached a leg, which she 
carried off to the nest, coming out again almost immedi- 
ately with six friends, one of whom, curiously enough, 
seemed to lead the way, tracing it, I presume, by scent. 
I then removed the pin, and they carried off the fly in 
triumph. 

Again, on June 15, 1878, another ant belonging to 
the same nest had found a dead spider, about the same 
distance from the nest. I pinned down the spider as 
before. The ant did all in her power to move it ; but 
after trying for twelve minutes, she went off to the nest. 
Although for a quarter of an hour no other ant had left 
the nest, yet in a few seconds she came out again with 
10 companions. As in the preceding case, they followed 
very leisurely. She ran on ahead and worked at the 
spider for ten minutes ; when, as none of her friends 
had arrived to her assistance, though they were wan- 
dering about, evidently in search of something, she 
started back home again. In three quarters of a 
minute after entering the nest she reappeared, this 
time with 15 friends, who came on somewhat more 
rapidly than the preceding batch, though still but 
slowly. By degrees, however, they all came up, and 
after most persevering efforts carried off the spider 



180 EXPERIMENT WITH PHEIDOLE. 

piecemeal. On July 7, I tried the same experiment 
with a soldier of Fheidole megacephala. She pulled 
at the fly for no less than fifty minutes, after which she 
went to the nest and brought five friends exactly as 
the Atta had done. 

In the same way, one afternoon at 6.20 I presented 
a slave of Polyergus with a dead fly pinned down. 
The result was quite different. My ant pulled at the 
fly for twenty-five minutes, when, as in the previous 
cases, she returned to the nest. There she remained 
four or five minutes, and then came out again alone, 
returned to the fly, and again tried to carry it off. 
After working fruitlessly for between twenty and twenty- 
five minutes, she again went back to the nest, staying 
there four or five minutes, and then returning by her- 
self to the fly once more. I then went away for an 
hour, but on my return found her still tugging at the 
fly by herself. One hour later again I looked, with the 
same result. Shortly afterwards another ant wandering 
about found the fly, but obviously, as it seemed to me, 
by accddent. 

At 3 o'clock on a subsequent day I again put a dead 
fly pinned on to a bit of cork before a Formica fusca, 
which was out hunting. She tried in vain to carry it off, 
ran round and round, tugged in every direction, and at 
length at ten minutes to four she returned to the nest : 
very soon after she reappeared preceded by one and 
followed by two friends ; these, however, failed to dis- 
cover the fly, and after wandering about a little returned 



EXPERIMENT WITH FORMICA. 181 

to the nest. She then set again to work alone, and in 
about forty minutes succeeded in cutting off the head 
of the fly, which she at once carried into the nest. In 
a little while she came out again, this time accompanied 
by five friends, all of whom found their way to the fly ; 
one of these, having cut off the abdomen of the fly, 
took it into the nest, leaving three of her companions 
to bring in the remainder of their prey. 

These experiments certainly seem to indicate the 
possession by ants of something approaching to lan- 
guage. It is impossible to doubt that the friends were 
brought out by the first ant ; and as she returned 
empty-handed to the nest, the others cannot have been 
induced to follow her merely by observing her proceed- 
ings. In face of such facts as these, it is impossible 
not to ask ourselves how far are ants mere exquisite 
automatons ; how far are they conscious beings ? When 
we see an ant-hill, tenanted by thousands of industrious 
inhabitants, excavating chambers, forming tunnels, 
making roads, guarding their home, gathering food, 
feeding the young, tending their domestic animals, 
— each one fulfilling its duties industriously, and 
without confusion, — it is difficult altogether to deny 
to them the gift of reason ; and the preceding observa- 
tions tend to confirm the opinion that their mental 
powers diff"er from those of men, not so much in kind 
as in degree. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

ON THE SENSES OF ANTS. 

The Sense of Vision. 

It is, I think, generally assumed not only that the world 
really exists as we see it, but that it appears to other 
animals pretty much as it does to us. A little con- 
sideration, however, is sufficient to show that this is 
very far from being certain, or even probable. 

In the case of insects, moreover, the mode of vision 
is still an enigma. They have, at least many of them 
have, a large compound eye on each side ; and ocelli, 
generally three in number, situated on the summit of 
the head. The compound eyes consist of a number of 
facets, each situated at the summit of a tube, to the 
base of which runs a fibre of the optic nerve. 

The structure of the ocellus and that of the com- 
pound eye are essentially different, and it does not seem 
possible that either the ocellus should be derived from 
the compound eye, or the compound eye from the ocel- 
lus. On the contrary, both seem to j)oint back to 
a less developed ancestral type. Starting from such an 
origin, an increase of the separate elements and an im- 
provement of the lens would lead to the ocellus, while 



TWO KINDS OF EYES. 183 

an increase of the number of eyes would bring us to 
the compound eye. 

On the other hand, it must be admitted that there 
are reasons for considering the different kinds of eyes 
to be of perfectly distinct origin. The eye of Limulus^ 
according to Grenacher, is formed on a plan quite 
unlike that of other Crustacea. Again, the develop- 
ment of the eye in 3Iusca, to judge from Weismann's 
observations, is very dissimiliar from that of other 
insects. The varied position of the eye in different 
groups, as, for instance, in Pecten, Spondylus, 
Ewphausia, Onchidium, &c., point to the same con- 
clusion. 

It seems clear that the image produced by the 
ocelli must be altogether different from the picture 
given by the compound eyes ; and we may therefore 
reasonably conclude that the two organs have distinct 
functions. It used formerly to be supposed that the 
compound eyes were intended for distant, the ocelli for 
near vision. Claparede, however, has maintained the 
opposite theory, while Mr. Lowne regards the ocelli as 
incapable of producing ' anything worthy the name of 
an image,' and suspects that their function ' is the 
perception of the intensity in the direction of light, 
rather than vision.' 

The ocelli, or simple eyes, probably see in the same 
manner as ours do. That is to say, the lens throws an 
image on the back of the eye, which we call the retina. 
In that case they would see everything really reversed, 



184 HOW INSECTS SEE. 

as we do ; though long practice has given us the right 
impression. The simj)le eye of insects thus resembles 
ours in this respect. 

As regards the mode of vision of the compound -eyes, 
there are two distinct theories. According to one — 
the mosaic theory of Miiller — each facet takes in only 
a small portion of the field ; while according to the 
other, each facet acts as a separate eye. 

This latter view has been maintained by many high 
authorities, but it is difficult to understand how so 
many images could be combined into one picture. Some 
insects have more than 20,000 facets on each side of 
their head. No ants, indeed, have so many, but 
in some — as, for instance, in the males of Forviica 
pratensis —there are not less than 1,000. The theory, 
moreover, presents some great anatomical difficulties. 
Thus, in certain cases there is no lens, and conse- 
quently there can be no image ; in some it would seem 
that the image would be formed completely behind the 
eye, while in others again it would be in front of the 
receptive surface. Another difficulty is that any true 
projection of an image would in certain species be pre- 
cluded by the presence of impenetrable pigment, which 
only leaves a minute central passage for the light-rays. 
Again, it is urged that even the sharpest image would 
be useless, from the absence of a suitably receptive 
surface ; since the structm-e of the receptive surface 
corresponding to each facet seems to preclude it from 
receiving more than a single impression. 



THE MOSAIC THEORY. 185 

The prevailing opinion of entomologists now is that 
each facet receives the impression of one pencil of rays ; 
so that, in fact, the image formed in a compound eye 
is a sort of mosaic. 

On the other hand, this theory itself presents 
great difficulties. Those ants which have very few 
facets must have an extremely imperfect vision. 
Again, while the image produced on the retina of the 
ocellus must of course be reversed as in our own eyes ; 
in the compound eyes, on the contrary, the vision would, 
on this theory, be direct. That the same animal should 
see some things directly, and others reversed ; and yet 
obtain definite conceptions of the outer world, would 
certainly be very remarkable. 

In fact, these, so far fortunate, insects realise the 
epigram of Plato — 

Thou lookest on the stars, my love, 

Ah, would that I could be 
Yon starry skies, with thousand eyes 

That I might look on thee ! 

But if the male of F. pratensis sees 1,000 queens 
at once, when only one is really present, this would 
seem to be a bewildering privilege, and the prevailing 
opinion among entomologists is, as already mentioned, 
that each facet only takes in a portion of the object. 

But while it is difficult to understand how ants see, 
it is clear that they do see. 

From the observations of Sprengel there could of 



186 LIMITS OF VISION. 

course be little, if any, doubt, that bees are capable of 
distinguishing colours ; and I have j)roved experi- 
mentally that this is the case. Under these circum- 
stances, I have been naturally anxious to ascertain, 
if possible, whether the same holds good with ants. 
I have, however, found more difficulty in doing so 
because, as shown in the observations just recorded, 
ants find their food so much more by smell than by 
sight. 

This being so, I could not aj)ply to ants those 
tests which had been used in the case of bees. 
At length, however, it occurred to me that I 
might utilize the dislike which ants, when in their 
nests, have to light. Of coiuse they have no such 
feeling when they are out in search of food ; but if 
light is let in upon their nests, they at once hurry 
about in search of the darkest corners, and there they 
all congregate. If, for instance, I uncovered one of 
my nests and then placed an opaque substance over one 
portion, the ants invariably collected in the shaded part. 

I procured, therefore, four similar strips of glass, 
coloured respectively green, yellow, red, and blue, or, 
rather, violet. The yellow was rather paler in shade, 
and that glass consequently rather more transparent 
than the green, which, again, was rather more trans- 
parent than the red or violet. I also procured some 
coloured solutions. 

Prof. Dewar was kind enough to test my glasses 
and solutions with reference to their power of trans- 



POWEE OF DISTINGUISHING COLOURS. 187 

mitting colour. Taking the wave-length of the ex- 
treme visible red as 760 and that of the extreme 
violet as 397, we have 

760 to 647 give red. 



647 


„ 585 


„ orange. 


585 


„ 575 


„ yellow. 


575 


„ 497 


„ green. 


497 


„ 455 


„ blue. 


445 


„ 397 


,, violet. 



The result of his examination of my glasses and 
solutions was as follows : — 

The light-yellow glass cut off the high end down 
to wave-length 442. 

The dark-yellow glass cut off the high end down 
to wave-length 493. 

The green glass cut ofif the high end down to wave- 
length 465, and also the red to 616. 

The red glass cut off the high end down to wave- 
length 582. 

The violet glass cut off the orange and yellow from 
wave-length 684 to 583, and a band between 
wave-lengths 543 and 516. 

The purple glass cut ofif the high end down to 
wave-length 528. 

The solution of chromate of potash cut off the 
high end to 507. 

The saffron cut off the high end to about 473. 

The blue fluid cut off the low end to 516. 

The red fluid cut off the high end to 596. 



188 EXPERIMENTS WITH COLOURED GLASSES. 

I then (July 15, 1876) laid the strips of glass on 
one of my nests of Formica fusca, containing about 
170 ants. These ants, as I knew by many pi'evious 
observations, seek darkness, at least when in the nest, 
and would collect in the darkest part. I then, after 
counting the ants under each strip, moved the glasses, 
at intervals of about half an hour, so that each should 
by turns cover the same portion of the nest. The 
results were as follows — the numbers indicating the 
approximate numbers of ants under each glass (there 
were sometimes a few not under any of the strips of 
glass):— 



1. 


Green. 


Yellow. 


Eed. 


Violet. 




50 


40 


80 





2. 


Violet. 


Green. 


Yellow. 


Eed. 







20 


40 


100 


3. 


Eed. 


Violet. 


Green. 


Yellow. 




60 





50 


50 


4. 


Yellow. 


Eed. 


Violet. 


Green. 




50 


70 


1 


40 


5. 


Green. 


Yellow. 


Eed. 


Violet. 




30 


30 


100 





6. 


Violet. 


Green. 


Yellow. 


Eed. 







14 


5 


140 


7. 


Eed. 


Violet. 


Green. 


Yellow, 




50 





40 


70 


8. 


Yellow. 


Eed. 


Violet. 


Green. 




40 


50 


1 


70 



EXPERIMENTS WITH COLOURED GLASSES. 



189 



9. 


Green. 


Yellow. 


Red. 


Violet. 




60 


35 


65 





10. 


Violet. 


Green. 


Yellow. 


Eed. 




1 


50 


40 


70 


11. 


Eed. 


Violet. 


Green. 


Yellow, 




50 


2 


50 


60 


12. 


Yellow. 


• Eed. 


Violet. 


Green. 




35 


55 





70 



Adding these numbers together, there were, in the 
twelve observations, under the red 890, under the 
green 544, under the yellow 495, and under the violet 
only 5. The difference between the red and the green 
is very striking, and would doubtless have been more 
so, but for the fact that when the colours were trans- 
posed the ants which had collected under the red 
sometimes remained quiet, as, for instance, in cases 
7 and 8. Again, the difference between the green and 
yellow would have been still more marked but for the 
fact that the yellow always occupied the position last 
held by the red, while, on the other hand, the green 
had some advantage in coming next the violet. In 
considering the difference between the yellow and 
green, we must remember also that the green was 
decidedly more opaque than the yellow. 

The case of the violet glass is more marked and 
more interesting. To oiu* eyes the violet was as opaque 
as the red, more so than the green, and much more so 
than the yellow. Yet, as the numbers show, the ants 



190 EXPERIMENTS WITH COLOUEED GLASSES. 

bad scarcely any tendency to congregate under it. 
There were nearly as many under the same area of the 
uncovered portion of the nest as under that shaded by 
the violet glass. 

Lasius fiavus also showed a marked avoidance of 
the violet glass. 

I then experimented in the ^ame way with a nest 
of Formica fiisca, in which there were some pupae, 
which were generally collected in a single heap. I 
used glasses coloured dark yellow, dark green, light 
yellow, light green, red, violet, and dark purple. The 
colours were always in the preceding order, but, as 
before, their place over the nest was changed after 
every observation. 

To our eyes the purple was almost black, the violet 
and dark green very dark and quite opaque ; the pupae 
could be dimly seen through the red, rather more 
clearly through the dark yellow and light green, while 
the light yellow were almost transparent. There were 
about 50 pupae, and the light was the ordinary diffused 
daylight of summer. 

These observations showed a marked preference for 
the greens and yellows. The pupae were 6^ times 
under dark green, 3 under dark yellow, 3| under red, 
and once each under light yellow and light green, the 
violet and purple being altogether neglected. 

I now tried the same ants under the same colours, 
but in the sun ; and placed a shallow dish containing 
some 10 per cent, solution of alum sometimes over 



EXPEEIMENTS WITH COLOUEED GLASSES. 



191 



the yellow, sometimes over the red. I also put four 
thicknesses of violet glass, so that it looked almost 
black. 

Under these circumstances, the pupae were placed 
under the red 7 times, dark yellow 5, once they 
were half under each, but never under the violet, 
purple, light yellow, dark or light green. 

The following day I placed over the same nest, in 
the sun, dark green glass, dark red, and dark yellow. 
In nine observations the pupae were carried three times 
under the red and nine times under the yellow. 

I then tried a similar series of experiments with 
Lasius niger, using a nest in which were about 
40 pupae, which were generally collected in a single 
heap all together. As before, the glasses were moved 
in regular order after each experiment ; and I arranged 
them so that the violet followed the red. As far, 
therefore, as position was concerned, this gave violet 
rather the best place. The glasses used were dark 
violet, dark red, dark green, and yellow, the yellow 
being distinctly the most transparent to our eyes. 
Experiment Experiment 



1. 


Pupae under 


yellow. 


2. 






» 


3. 






J5 


4. 






5> 


5. 






5> 


6. 






» 


7. 






green. 



8. 


Pupae undei 


• green. 


9. 




red. 


10. 




yellow. 


11. 




red. 


12. 
13. 
14. 




yellow, 
red. 



192 EXPERIMENTS WITH COLOURED GLASSES. 



I]x25eriment 






Experiment 






15. 


Pupae undei 


green. 


24. 


Pupce under 


red. 


16. 






» 


25. 




J? 


yellow. 


17. 






yellow. 


26. 




>j 


red. 


18. 






J? 


27. 




>? 


?5 


19. 






red. 


28. 




5> 


JJ 


20. 






J5 


29. 




5> 


5> 


21. 






yellow. 


30. 




?> 


yellow. 


22. 






5? 


31. 




?) 


red. 


23. 






J) 


32. 




?» 


green. 



I now put two extra thicknesses of glass over the 
red and green. 



33. Pupae under red. 

34. „ yellow. 

35. „ red. 

36. „ yellow. 



37. Pupae under red. 

38. „ „ 

39. „ yellow. 

40. „ red. 



The result is very striking, and in accordance with 
the observations on Formica fusca. In 40 experi- 
ments the pupae were carried under the yellow 19 
times, under the red 16 times, and under the green 5 
times only, while the violet was quite neglected. 
After the first twenty observations, however, I removed 
it. 

I then tried a nest of Cremastogaster scutellaris 
with violet glass, purple glass, and red, yellow, and 
green solutions, formed respectively with fuchsine, 
bichromate of potash, and chloride of copper. The 
pui-ple looked almost black, the violet very dark ; the 



EXPEKIMENTS WITH COLOUEED GLASSES. 193 

red and green, on the contrary, very transparent, and 
the yellow even more so. The yellow was not darker 
than a tincture of saffron. The latter indeed, to my 
eye, scarcely seemed to render the insects under them 
at all less apparent ; while under the violet and purple 
I could not trace them at all. I altered the relative 
positions as before. The nest contained about 50 
larvae and pupae. 

I made thirteen trials, and in every case the larvae 
and pupas were brought under the yellow or the green 
— never once under any of the other colours. * 

Again, over a nest of Fovmica fusca containing 
about 20 pupae I placed violet glass, purple glass, a 
weak solution of fuchsine (carmine), the same of 
chloride of copper (green), and of bichromate of potash 
(yellow, not darker than salfron). 

I made eleven trials, and again, in every ease the 
pupae were brought under the yellow or the green. 

I then tried a nest of Lasius fiavus with the 
purple glass, violet glass, very weak bichromate of 
potash, and chloride of copper as before. 

With this species, again, the results were the same 
as in the previous cases. 

In all these experiments, therefore, the violet and 
purple light affected the ants much more strongly than 
the yellow and green. 

It is curious that the coloured glasses appear to 
act on the ants (speaking roughly) as they would, or, 



10 



194 DISLIKE OF VIOLET. 

1 should rather say, inversely as they would, on a 
photographic plate. It might even be alleged that the 
avoidance of the violet glass by the ants was due to their 
preferring rays transmitted by the other glasses. From 
the habits of these insects such an explanation would be 
very improbable. If, however, the preference for the 
other coloured glasses to the violet was due to the trans- 
mission and not to the absorption of rays — that is to 
say, if the ants went under the green rather than the 
violet because the green transmitted rays which were 
agreeable to the ants, and which the violet glass, on 
the contrary, stopped — then, if the violet was placed 
over the other colours, they would become as distasteful 
to the ants as the violet itself. On the contrary, how- 
ever, whether the violet glass was placed over the others 
or not, the ants equally readily took shelter under them. 
Obviously, therefore, the ants avoid the violet glass 
because they dislike the rays which it transmits. 

But though the ants so markedly avoided the violet 
glass, still, as might be expected, the violet glass cer- 
tainly had some effect, because if it were put over the 
nest alone, the ants preferred being under it to being 
under the plain glass only. 

I then compared the violet glass with a solution 
of ammonio-sulphate of copper, which is very similar in 
colour, though perhaps a little more violet, and arranged 
the depth of the fluid so as to make it as nearly as pos- 
sible of the same depth of colour as the glass. 



EXPERIMENTS WITH COLOURED SOLUTIONS. 195 



iprox. number 

of Ants 
under the 

Glass .. 


Exp. 1. 
,. 


Exp. 2. 



Exp. 3. 



Exp. 4. 
2 


Exp. 5. 



Exp. G. 
2 


Solution.. 


,. 40 


80 


100 


80 


50 


70 


Glass 


Exp. 7. 
,. 


Exp. 8. 
2 


Exp. 9. 
3 


Exp. 10. 





Total 
9 


Solution., 


.. 60 


40 


90 


100 




710 



In another experiment with Lasius niger I used 
the dark yellow glass, dark violet glass, and a violet 
solution of 5 per cent, ammonio-sulphate of copper, 
diluted so as to be, to my eye, of exactly the same tint 
as the violet glass ; in 8 observations the pupae were 
three times under the violet solution, and 5 times 
under the yellow glass. I then removed the yellow 
glass, and in 10 more observations the pupae were 
always brought under the solution. 

It is interesting that the glass and the solution 
should affect the ants so differently, because to my 
eye the two were almost identical in colour. The 
glass, however, was more transparent than the solu- 
tion. 

To see whether there would be the same difference 
between red glass and red solution as between violet 
glass and violet solution, I then (Aug. 21) put over a 
nest of Forrifiica fusca a red glass and a solution of 
carmine, as nearly as I could make it of the same tint. 
In 10 experiments, however, the ants were, generally 
speaking, some under the solution and some under 
the glass, in, moreover, as nearly as possible equal 
numbers. 

August 20. — Over a nest of Formica fusca con- 



196 EXPEEIMENTS WITH COLOURED SOLUTIONS. 



taining 20 pupse, I placed a saturated solution of 
bichromate of potash, a deep solution of carmine, which 
let through scarcely any but the red rays, and a white 
porcelain plate. 



Obs. 

1. 

2. 

3. 

4. 

6. 

6. 

7. 

8 

9. 
10. 
II 



Under the bichr. of potash were pupte, carmine 18, porcelain 2 






1 i> 


6 


14 


6 


I >> 


3 


11 





) >> 


5 


18 


6 


> )> 


4 


10 





, „ 


19 


1 





, „ 





20 


4 


> <) 


15 


1 


2 




4 


14 





I »i 


4 


16 





) » 


3 


, 17 



Total 



18 



81 



124 



I then put over another nest of Formica fusca 
four layers of red glass (which, when examined with 
the spectroscope, let through red light only), four 
layers of green glass (which, examined in the same 
way, transmitted nothing but a very little green), and a 
porcelain plate. Under these cii'cumstances the ants 
showed no marked preference, but ajipeared to feel 
equally protected, whether they were under the red 
glass, the green glass, or the porcelain. 

Thus, though it appears from other experiments 
that ants are affected by red light, still the quantity 
that passes through dark red glass does not seem greatly 
to disturb them. I tested this again by placing over a 
nest containing a queen and about 10 pupa3 a piece of 



EXPERIMENTS ON A QUEEN ANT. 197 

opaque porcelain, one of violet, and one of red glass, 
all of the same size. The result is shown below. 

Obs. 

1 ^ X J J 1 r fpupffi were taken n < under 

1. Queen went under red glass 5 { ^^^^^^^ ^^^ ^1^^^ ^j^^^^^j^j^ 

2. „ porcelain „ 7 

3. „ red glass „ 7 

4. „ ,,6 „ 2 

5. „ „ 6 „ 2 

6. „ „ 3 „ 7 

7. „ „ 10 „ 

8. „ ,,4 „ 6 

9. „ „ 1 „ 

10. „ porcelain „ 10 

11. „ red glass 10 „ 

12. „ porcelain 4 „ 6 

13. „ red glass 7 „ 3 

14. „ porcelain 4 „ 6 

15. „ red glass 4 „ 6 

16. „ porcelain „ 10 

17. „ red glass 10 „ 

18. „ „ 8 „ 2 

19. „ porcelain 7 „ 3 

20. „ „ 1 „ 9 

Total 90 88 

Obviously, therefore, the ants showed no marked 
preference for the porcelain. On one, but only on one 
occasion (Obs, 9), most of the pupae were carried under 
the violet glass, but generally it was quite neglected. 

I now tried a similar experiment with porcelain and 
yellow glass. 

Oljs. 

, ^ , , 1 • D ( pupae were taken o f under 

1. Queen went under porcelain 8 | ^^ ^^^^^^^ ^^^1^^ ^l porcelain 

2. „ • „ 2 ,. 8 

3. ., .,8 „ 2 



198 



EXPEKIMENTS WITH SPECTRUM. 



Obs. 
4. 

5. 

6. 

7 

8. 

9. 
10. 
11. 
12. 
13. 
14. 
15. 
16. 
17. 
18. 
19. 



Queen went under yellow glass o | P^P=« ^^re taken j under 
•' " I under vellow I Dorcelai 



1 J eiiuvv gias 


' -^1 


under yellow 


porcelain 


3 


8 


yellow glass 


8 


3 


porcelain 


(i 


» 5 


;, 





7 


>> 





10 


yellow glass 


5 


5 


porcelain 


8 


2 


» 


3 


7 


yellow glass 


10 





porcelain 





10 


yellow glass 


10 





„ 


7 


3 


,, 


10 





porcelain 


1 


9 


„ 





10 



porcelain 



98 



92 



The porcelain and yellow glass seemed, therefore, 
to affect the ants almost equally. 

I then put two ants on a paper bridge, the ends 
supported by pins, the bases of which were in water. 
The ants wandered backwards and forwards, endea- 
vouring to escape. I then placed the bridge in the 
dark and threw the spectrum on if, so that succes- 
sively the red, yellow, green, blue, and violet fell on the 
bridge. 

The ants, however, walked backwards and forwards 
without (perhaps from excitement) taking any notice of 
the colour. 

I then allowed some ants {Lasius niger^ to find 
some larvse, to which they obtained access over a 
narrow paper bridge. When they had got used to it, 



LIMITS OF VISION. 199 

1 arranged so that it passed through a dark box, and 
tlirew on it the principal colours of the spectrum, 
namely, red, yellow, green, blue, and violet, as well as 
the ultra-red and ultra-violet; but the ants took no 
notice. 

It is obvious that these facts suggest a number of 
interesting inferences. I must, however, repeat the 
observations and make others ; but we may at least, I 
think, conclude from the preceding that: — (1) ants 
have the power of distinguishing colours ; (2) that they 
are very sensitive to violet ; and it would also seem (3) 
that their sensations of colour must be very different 
from those produced upon us. 

But I was anxious to go beyond this, and to attempt 
to determine how far their limits of vision are the 
same as ours. We all know that if a ray of white light 
is passed through a prism, it is broken up into a 
beautiful band of colours — the spectrum. To our eyes 
this spectrum is bounded by red at the one end and 
violet at the other, the edge being sharply marked at 
the red end, but less abrupt^ at the violet. But a ray 
of light contains, besides the rays visible to our eyes, 
others which are called, though not with absolute 
correctness, heat-rays and chemical rays. These, so far 
from falling within the limits of our vision, extend far 
beyond it, the heat-rays at the red, the chemical rays 
at the violet end. 

I have tried various experiments with spectra 
derived from sunlight ; but, owing to the rotation of 



200 THE ULTRA-RED AND ULTRA-VIOLET RAYS. 

the earth, they were not thoroughly satisfactory. Mr. 
Spottiswoode was also good enough to enable me to 
make some experiments with electric light, which were 
not very conclusive ; more recently I have made some 
additional and much more complete experiments, 
through the kindness of Prof. Dewar, Prof. Tyndall, 
and the Board of Managers of the Eoyal Institution, 
to whom I beg to offer my cordial thanks. 

Of comse, the space occupied by the visible spec 
trum is well marked off by the different colours. 
Beyond the visible spectrum, however, we have no 
such convenient landmarks, and it is not enough to 
describe it by inches, because so much depends on the 
prisms used. If, however, paper steeped in thalline is 
placed in the ultra-violet portion of the spectrum, it 
gives, with rays of a certain wave-length, a distinctly 
visible green colour, which therefore constitutes a green 
band, and gives us a definite, though rough, standard 
of measurement. 

In the above experiments with coloured spectra, 
the ants carried the pupae out of the portion of the 
nest on which coloured light was thrown and deposited 
them agaiust the wall of the nest; or, if I arranged a 
nest of Formica fusca so that it was entirely in the 
light, they carried them to one side or into one corner. 
It seemed to me, therefore, that it would be interesting 
so to arrange matters, that on quitting the spectrum, after 
passing through a dark space, the ants should encounter 
not a solid obstacle, but a barrier of light. With this 



EXPERIMENTS WITH ELECTRIC LIGHT. 201 

object, I prepared some nests 12 inches long by 6 inches 
wide; and IVIr. Cottrell kindly arranged for me at 
the Eoyal Institution on the 29th of June, by means of 
the electric light, two spectra, which were thrown by two 
glass prisms on to a table at an angle of about 45". 
Each occupied about 6 inches square, and there was a 
space of about 2 inches between them — that is, between 
the red end of the one and the violet of the other. 

Ex'periment 1. — In one of the spectra I placed a nest 
of FoTTYiica fusca, 12 inches by 6, containing about 
1 50 pupse, and arranged it so that one end was distinctly 
beyond the limit of the violet visible to us, and all but 
to the edge of the green given by thalline paper, and 
the other just beyond the visible red. The pupae at first 
were almost all in or beyond the violet, but were carried 
into the dark space between the two spectra, the bright 
thalline band being avoided, bvit some pupse being 
deposited in the red. 

Experiment 2. — I then tried the same experiment 
with a nest of Lasius niger, in which there were many 
larvas as well as pupae. They were all at the commence- 
ment at the blue end of the nearer spectrum. The 
larvae were left by themselves in the violet, while pupae 
were ranged from the end of the green to that of the 
red inclusive. 

Experiment 3. — Arranged a nest of L. niger as 
before ; at the commencement the pupae and larvae were 
much scattered, being, however, less numerous in the 
violet and ultra-violet rays. Those in the ultra-violet 



202 EXPERIMENTS WITH ELECTRIC LIGHT. 

rays were moved first, and were deposited, the larvfe in 
the violet, and the pupse in the red. 

Experiment 4. — Made the same experiment with 
another nest of L. niger. At the commencement the 
larvae and pupae were in the violet and ultra-violet 
j)ortion, extending to double the distance from the 
visible end to the thalline band. The ants soon began 
bringing the pupae to the red. Over part of the red I 
placed a piece of money. The pupae were cleared from 
the ultra-violet first. That the pupae were not put in 
the red for the sake of the red light was evident, 
because the space under the coin was even more 
crowded than the rest. The pupae were heaped up in 
the dark as far as the thalline band of the other spec- 
trum. I then brought the second spectrum nearer to 
the first. The pupae which thus came to be in the 
thalline band were gradually moved into the dark. 

ExperiTnent 5. — Tried the same with another nest 
of L. niger. The pupse were at first in the violet and 
ultra-violet about double as far as the thalline line, 
while most of the larvae were in the green. The 
furthest part was cleared first ; and they were again 
brought principally into the yellow, red, and dark. 

Again, I scattered them pretty equally, some being 
in the ultra-violet portion, as far as double the distance 
of the thalline from the violet ; most, however, being 
in the violet and blue. 

The ants began by removing the pupae which were 



EXPEKIMENTS WITH ELECTRIC LIGHT. 203 

in and near the thalline band, and carried them into 
the yellow or red. 

Experiment 6. — Kepeated the same experiment. 
Begun it at 11.15. Placed some pupae in the red, some 
in the yellow, and a few scattered over the second 
spectrum ; there were none in the nearer one. 

They were all carried away from the red past the 
violet, and put down in the dark portion, or in the red 
and yellow, of the nearer spectrum. 

These experiments surprised me much at the time, 
as I had expected all the pupae to be carried into the space 
between the two spectra ; but it afterwards occurred to 
me that the ultra-violet rays probably extended further 
than I had supposed, so that even the part which lay 
beyond the thalline band contained enough rays to 
appear light to the ants. Hence perhaps they selected 
the red and yellow as a lesser evil. 

Experiment 7. — I altered, therefore, the arrange- 
ment. Prof. Dewar kindly prepared for me a con- 
densed pure spectrum (showing the metallic lines) with 
a Siemens' machine, using glass lenses and a mirror to 
give a perpendicular incidence when thrown on the 
nest. I arranged the pupae again in the ultra-violet 
as far as the edge of the fluorescent light shown with 
thalline paper. The pupae were all again removed, and 
most of them placed just beyond the red, but none in 
the red or yellow. 

Experiment 8. — Arranged the light as before, and 
placed the pupae in the ultra-violet rays. In half an 



204 EXPEKIMENTS WITH ELECTKIC LIGHT. 

hour they were all cleared away and carried into the dark 
space beyond the red. We then turned the nest round 
so that the part occupied by the pupge again came to be 
in the violet and ultra-violet. The light chanced to be 
so arranged that along one side of the nest was a line of 
shadow ; and into this the pupse were carried, all those 
in the ultra-violet being moved. We then shifted the 
nest a little, so that the violet and ultra-violet fell on 
some of the pupse. These were then all carried into 
the dark, the ones in the ultra-violet being moved first. 

In these experiments with the vertical incidence 
there was less diffused light, and the pupse were in no 
case carried into the red or yellow. 

Experiment 9. — I arranged the light and the ants 
as before, placing the pupae in the ultra-violet, some 
being distinctly beyond the bright thalline band. The 
ants at once began to remove them. At first many 
were deposited in the violet, some, however, being at 
once carried into the dark beyond the red. When all 
had been removed from the ultra-violet, they directed 
their attention to those in the violet, some being carried, 
as before, into the dark, some into the red and yellow. 
Again, when those in the violet had all been removed, 
they began on the pupge in the red and yellow, and 
carried them also into the dark. This took nearly half 
an hour. As I had arranged the pupae so that it might 
be said that they were awkwardly placed, we then 
turned the nest round, leaving the pupae otherwise as 
they had been arranged by the ants ; but the result of 



ANTS NOT SENSITIVE TO ULTRA-RED RAYS. 205 

moving the nest was to bring some of them into the 
violet, though most were in the ultra-violet. They 
were, as before, all carried into the dark space beyond 
the red in about half an hour. 

We then turned the glass round again, this time 
arranging the end about the length of the spectrum 
beyond the end of the violet visible to our eyes. They 
began clearing the thalline band, carrying some into 
the violet, but the majority away further from the 
spectrum. In a quarter of an hour the thalline band 
had been quite cleared ; and in half an hour a band 
beyond, and equal to the thalline band, those in the 
violet being left untouched. After the pupas in the 
ultra-violet portion had all been moved, those in the 
violet were also carried away and deposited about twice 
as far from the edge of the violet as the further edge 
of the bright thalline band. 

Ex'peri'ment* 10. — Experimented again with the 
same arrangement as before, using another nest of 
Lasius niger and placing the pupae in the violet and a 
little beyond. The ants at once began removing them 
into the dark, tunnelling into the heap, and then carry- 
ing away those in the ultra-violet first, although they 
were farther off. In half an hour they had all been 
moved out of the violet and ultra-violet, about half 
being placed in the dark, and half having been pro- 
visionally deposited in the red and yellow. 

Experiment 11. — Same arrangement as before. 
The pupae being placed all along one side of the nest, 



206 ANTS NOT SENSITIVE TO ULTRA-KED RAYS, 

from the edge of the red to a distance beyond the violet 
as great as the whole length of the spectrum. I began 
at 4.15. By degrees they were all cleared away from the 
spectrum, except those in the violet, where indeed, and 
immediately outside of which, the others were placed. 
At 5, however, they began to carry them back into the 
red. At 5.45 the blue and violet were nearly cleared, 
the pupse being placed in the red and yellow. At 6.15 
they had all been brought from the violet and ultra- 
violet into the red and yellow. 

I then shook up the pupse so that they were 
arranged all along one side of the nest, and extended 
about an inch beyond the red. This excited the ants 
very much, and in less than ten minutes all those in the 
spectrum, and for about 6 inches beyond the violet, were 
moved, but at first they were put down anywhere, so that 
they were scattered all over the nest. This, however, 
lasted for a very short time, and they were all carried 
into the dark beyond the red, or into the extreme end 
at some distance beyond the violet. At 7 the edge 
of the heap of pupse followed the line of the red at one 
end, coming about ^ inch within it, which was not 
owing to want of room, as one side of the nest was 
almost unoccupied ; at the other end they were all 
carried 3 inches beyond the end of the violet. 

It would seem, then, as the result of these experi- 
ments, that the limits of vision of ants at the red 
end of the spectrum are approximately the same 
as ours, that they are not sensitive to the ultra-red 



BUT VEKY SENSITIVE TO ULTRA-VIOLET RAYS. 207 

rays ; but, on the other hand, that they are very sen- 
sitive to the ultra-violet rays, which our eyes cannot 
perceive. 

I then arranged the same ants in a wooden frame 
consisting of a base and two side walls, between which 
in the middle was a perpendicular sliding door. The 
pupae had been arranged by the ants in the centre of 
the nest, so that some were on each side of the door. 
We then threw, by means of a strong induction-coil, a 
magnesium-spark on the nest from one side, and the 
light from a sodium-flame in a Bunsen burner on the 
other, the light being in each case stopped by the sliding 
door, which was pressed close down on the nest. In this 
way the first half was illuminated by the one light, the 
second by the other, the apparatus being so arranged 
that the lights were equal to our eyes — that, however, 
given by the magnesium, consisting mainly of blue, 
violet, and ultra-violet rays, that of the sodium being 
very yellow and poor in chemical rays. In a quarter of 
an hom* the pupae were all carried into the yellow. 
The sodium light being the hotter of the two, to 
eliminate the action of heat I introduced a water- cell 
between the ants and the sodium-flame, and made the 
two sides as nearly as possible equally light to my eye. 
The pupre, however, were again carried into the sodium 
side. 

I repeated the same experiment as before, getting 
the magnesium- spark and the sodium-flame to the same 
degree of intensity, as nearly as my eye could judge, 



208 EXPERIMENTS WITH MAGNESIUM SPARK 

and interposing a water-screen between the sodium- 
flame and the ants. The temperature was tested by 
the thermometer, and I could distinguish no diflference 
between the two sides. Still the ants preferred the 
sodium side. This I repeated twice. I then removed 
the magnesium-spark somewhat, so that the illumina- 
tion on that side was very much fainter than on the 
other ; still the pupae were carried into the sodium- 
light. I then turned the nest round so as to bring 
them back into the magnesium. They were again 
carried to the sodium side. 

Once more I repeated the same experiment. The 
light on the magnesium side was so faint that I could 
scarcely see the pupae, those on the sodium side being 
quite plain. The thermometer showed no difference 
between the two sides. The pupae were carried into 
the sodium-light. I then turned the nest round twice ; 
but the pupae were each time carried out of the 
magnesium-light. 

These experiments seemed strongly to indicate, if 
not to prove, that ants were really sensitive to the 
ultra-violet rays. Now to these rays sulphate of 
quinine and bisulphide of carbon are extremely opaque, 
though perfectly transparent in the case of visible rays, 
and therefore to our eyes entirely colourless and trans- 
parent. If, therefore, the ants were really affected by 
the ultra-violet rays, then a cell containing a layer of 
sulphate of quinine or bisulphide of carbon would tend 
to darken the underlying space to their eyes, though 
to ours it would not do so. 



AND SODIUM FLAME. 209 

It will be remembered that if an opaque substance is 
placed over a part of a glass nest, other things being 
equal, the ants always congregate under it ; and that if 
substances of different opacity are placed on different 
parts of a nest, they collect under that which seems to 
them most opaque. Over one of my nests of Formica 
fusca, therefore, I placed two pieces of dark-violet glass 
4 inches by 2 inches ; and over one of them I placed a 
cell containing a layer of bisulphide of carbon, an inch 
thick, slightly coloured with iodine. In all these experi- 
ments, when I moved the liquids or glasses, I gave 
the advantage, if any, to the one under which experi- 
ence showed that the ants were least likely to congre- 
gate. The ants all collected under the glass over 
which was the bisulphide of carbon. 

I then thought that though no doubt the iodine 
rendered the bisulphide more completely impervious to 
the ultra-violet rays, I would try the effect of it when 
pure and perfectly colourless. I therefore tried the 
same experiment with pure bisulphide, moving the two 
glasses from time to time in such a manner that the 
ants had to pass the first violet glass in order to reach 
that over which was the bisulphide. 

At 8.30 the ants were all under the glass over which 
was the bisulphide of carbon : I then changed 
the position. 
8.45 „ „ „ 

" 5) 5J 5^ 

y«15 <^ ^^ it 



210 EXPERIMENTS WITH 

Although the bisulphide of carbon is so perfectly 
transparent, I then thought I would try it without 
the violet glass. I therefore covered part of the nest 
with violet glass, a part with a layer of bisulphide of 
carbon, moving them from time to time as before, and 
the ants in every case went under the bisulphide. 

I then reduced the thickness of the layer of bisul- 
phide to -j\ of an inch, but still they preferred the 
bisulphide. 

Then thinking that possibly the one shelter being a 
plate of glass and the other a liquid might make a 
difference, I tried two similar bottles, one contain- 
ing water and the other bisulphide of carbon ; but in 
every case the ants went under the bisulphide of 
carbon. On the other hand, when I used coloured solu- 
tions so deep in tint that the ants were only just visible 
through them, the ants went under the coloured liquids. 

October 10.- -I uncovered the nest at 7 a.m., giving 
the ants an option between the bisulphide of carbon 
and various coloured solutions, taking for violet am- 
monio-Gulphate of copper ; for red, a solution of carmine 
so deep in tint that the ants could only just be seen 
through it ; for green, a solution of chlorate of copper ; 
and for yellow, saffron. They were each separately 
tried with the bisulphide, and in every case the ants 
preferred the coloured solution. 

I now took successively red, yellow, and green 
glass ; but in every case the ants preferred the glass to 
the bisulphide. Although, therefore, it would seem 



BISULPHIDE OF CAEBON. 211 

firom the previous experiments that the bisulphide 
darkened the nests to the ants more than violet glass, 
it would appear to do so less than red, green, or yellow. 

I now made some experiments in order, if possible, 
to determine whether the reason why the ants avoided 
the violet glass was because they disliked the colour 
violet, or whether it was because the violet glass trans- 
mitted more of the ultra-violet rays. 

For this purpose I placed a layer of the bisulphide 
of carbon over a piece of violet glass. By this arrange- 
ment I got the violet without the ultra-violet rays ; 
and I then contrasted this combination with other 
coloured media. 

First, I took a solution of bichromate of potash 
(bright orange), and placed it on a part of the nest, side 
by side with the violet glass and bisulphide of carbon. 
I should add that the bichromate of potash also cuts off 
the ultra-violet rays. In all the following observations 
I changed the position after each observation. 

At 1.30 P.M. the ants were under the bichromate. 

3 „ „ half under the bichromate 

and half under the violet 
glass and bisulphide. 

8 A.M. „ „ under the bichromate. 
8.30 „ „ under the violet glass and 

bisulphide. 

9 „ „ half under each. 

9.30 „ „ some under each, but most 



212 EXPERIMENTS WITH 

under the violet glass and 
bisulphide. 
9.45 „ „ half under each. 

1^ 5> 55 55 55 

In this case, therefore, though without the layer of 
bisulphide the violet glass would always have been 
avoided, the result of placing the bisulphide over the 
violet glass was that the ants did not care much 
whether they were under the violet glass or under the 
bichromate of potash. 

I then took the same solution of carmine which I 
had already used. 

10. The ants were under the carmine. 
10.15 . „ „ „ 

10.30 „ most under the carmine, but 

some under the violet. 
10.45 „ under the carmine. 

11. „ most under the carmine, but 

some under the violet. 

Here, then, again the bisulphide made a distinct 
difference, though not so much so as with the bichro- 
mate of potash. 

I then took the solution of chlorate of copper 
already used. 

1 About half the ants were under each. 

1.30. The greater number were under the violet 
glass and bisulphide. 



BISULPHIDE OF CARBON. 213 

2. The greater number were under the violet 

glass and bisulphide. 
2.30 

3. Almost all were under the glass and bisulphide. 

The addition of the bisulphide thus caused the violet 
glass to be distinctly preferred to the chlorate of copper. 

I then took a solution of sulphate of nickel, almost 
exactly the same tint as, or a shade paler than, the 
chlorate of copper. 

At 3.45 the ants were under the violet glass and 
bisulphide. 

4 

K 

"• 5> JJ « 

October 18. 

7 A.M. „ „ „ 

8. About half of the ants were under each. 

Here the effect was even more marked. 
I then took some saffron 1 inch in thickness and of 
a deep-yellow colour. 

12.45 The ants were about half under each. 

1. JMost of the ants were under the violet glass 

and bisulphide. 
1'15 „ „ „ 

2. Most of the ants were under the saffron. 

Here, again, we have the same result. 

I then tried the different-coloured glasses, all of 
which, as I had previously found, are unmistakably 
preferred to the violet. It remained to be seen what 



214 EXPEEIMENTS WITH 

effect placing the bisulphide of carbon on the violet 
would have. 

First, I placed side by side, as usual, a piece of 
green glass and the violet glass covered with bisulphide 
of carbon : — 

1st exp. Half of the ants were under each. 
2nd „ They were under the violet glass and 
bisulphide. 

"I'd 55 5) 55 ?> 

4th exp. Most of them were under the violet glass 

and bisulphide, 
otn „ „ „ „ 

Next, I tried pale-yellow glass. 
1st obs. The ants were almost all under the violet 

glass and bisulphide. 
2nd „ About three-quarters were „ „ 
3rd „ They were all „ „ 

4th „ About half were under each. 

I then took the dark-yellow glass. 

1 st obs. About half the ants were under the yellow 
glass and half under the violet glass and 
bisulphide. 

2nd „ Most of them were under the violet glass 
and bisulphide. 

3rd „ „ „ yellowglass. 

4th „ „ „ violet glass 

and bisulphide. 

5th „ About half under each. 



BISULPHIDE OF CARBON. 215 

I now took deep-red glass. 

1st obs. The ants were under the red glass. 

2nd „ Half of the ants were under each. 

3rd „ Most of the ants were under violet glass 

and bisulphide. 
4th „ Half were under each. 

It seemed evident, therefore, that while if violet 
glass alone was placed side by side with red, yellow, or 
green, the ants greatly preferred any of the latter, on 
the other hand, if a layer of bisulphide of carbon, which 
to our eyes is perfectly transparent, was placed over 
the violet glass, they then went as readily, or even 
more readily, under it than under other colours. 

In order to be sure that it was not the mere 
presence of a fluid, or the two layers of glass, to which 
this was due, I thought it would be well to try a similar 
series of experiments, using, however, a layer of similar 
thickness (1 inch) of water coloured light blue by 
ammonio-sulphate of copper. 

I therefore took again the piece of violet glass, over 
which I placed a flat-sided bottle, about 1 inch thick, 
containing a light-blue solution of ammonio-sulphate 
of copper ; and, in contrast with it, I used the same 
coloured glasses as before. The difference, however, 
was very marked, the ants always preferring the red, 
green, and yellow to the violet. 

These experiments seem to demonstrate that in 
the previous series the ants were really influenced by 



216 EXPERIMENTS WITH 

.some difference due to the bisulphide of carbon, which 
affected their eyes, though not ours. 

I then thought it would be interesting to use, 
instead of the bisulphide, a solution of sulj)hate of 
quinine (i dr. to 4 ounces), which differs from it in 
many points, but agrees in cutting off the ultra-violet 
rays. I used, as before, a layer about an inch thick, 
which I placed over violet glass, and then placed by its 
side the same coloured glasses as before. 

First, I took the red glass. 
Obs. 1. About half the ants were under each. 
„ 2. Most of them were under the red glass. 
„ 3. About half under each ; rather more under the 
violet glass and sulphate of quinine than 
under the red glass. 
4 

I now took the dark-yellow glass instead of the red. 

Obs. 1. Most of the ants were under the violet glass and 

sulphate of quinine. 
2 All 

5> "• 5» » ?5 J' 

„ 4. „ „ „ yellow glass. 

?» ^' 5J 5> 55 ?5 

„ 6. All the ants were under the violet glass and 

sulphate of quinine. 
„ 7. About half under each. 
„ 8. Rather more under the violet glass and sulphate 

of quinine than under the yellow glass. 



BISULPHIDE OF CARBON. 217 

I then took the light-yellow glass instead of the dark. 

Obs. 1 . The ants were all under the violet glass and 

sulphate of quinine. 
„ 2. Eather more than half under the yellow glass. 
„ 3. Almost all under the violet glass and sulphate 

of quinine. 
,, 4. All ,, ,, ,, „ 

I then took the green glass instead of the yellow. 
Obs. 1. They were under the violet glass and sulphate 
of quinine. 
9 

„ 3. About half under each. 
„ 4. About three-quarters under the green glass. 
„ 5. Almost all under the violet glass and sulphate 
of quinine. 

Thus, then, while if the ants have to choose 
between the violet and other coloured glasses, they 
will always prefer one of the latter, the effect of 
putting over the violet glass a layer either of sul- 
phate of quinine or bisulphide of carbon, both of 
which are quite transparent, but both of which cut oti" 
the ultra-violet rays, is to make the violet glass seem 
to the ants as good a shelter as any of the other glasses. 
This seems to me strong evidence that the ultra-violet 
rays are visible to the ants. 

I then tried similar experiments with a saturated 
solution of chrome alum and chromium chloride. These 
11 



218 CITROME ALUM AND CHROMIUM CHLORIDE. 

are dark greenish blue, very opaque to the visible 
light-rays, but transparent to the ultra-violet. I used 
a layer ^ inch thick, which was still so dark that I 
conld not see the ants through it; and for comparison, 
a solution 1 inch thick of bisulphide of carbon, moving 
them after each observation as before. 

Exp. 1. The ants were under the bisulphide of 
carbon. 

J) '^^ 55 55 55 

Exp. 3. Most of the ants were under the bisulphide 
of carbon.* 
„ 4. All but three „ „ 

„ 5. All „ ,, 

I now took chromium chloride instead of alum. 
Exp. 1. Most were under the bisulphide of carbon. 

55 ^' All „ 5, J5 

„ 3. Almost all „ „ „ 

„ 4. About three - fourths were under the 

chromium chloride. 
„ 5. All were under the chromium chloride. 
„ 6. About two-thirds „ „ 

„ 7. About one-half under each. 
„ 8. All under the bisulphide of carbon. 
„ 9. About three-fourths under the bisulphide 

of carbon. 
„ 10. About half „ „ „ 

„ 11. All under the chrome alum. 
„ 12. „ bisulphide of carbon. 



ANTS SENSITIVE TO ULTRA-VIOLET RAYS. 219 

This result is very striking. It appears to show that 
though to our eyes the bisulphide of carbon is absolutely 
transparent, while the chrome alum and chromium chlo- 
ride are very dark, to the ants, on the contrary, the 
former appears to intercept more light than a layer of 
the latter, which to our eyes appears dark green. 

The only experiments hitherto made with the view 
of determining the limits of vision of animals have 
been some by Prof. Paul Bert ' on a small fresh-water 
crustacean belonging to the genus Daphnia, from 
which he concludes that they perceive all the colours 
known to us, being, however, specially sensitive to the 
yellow and green, and that their limits of vision are 
the same as ours. 

Nay, he even goes further than this, and feels 
justified in concluding from the experience of two 
widely divergent species — Man and Daphnia —that 
the limits of vision would be the same in all cases. 

His words are — 

A. ' Tous les animaux voient les rayons spectraux 
que nous voyons.' 

B. 'lis ne voient aucun de ceux que nous ne 
voyons pas.' 

C. ' Dans I'etendue de la region visible, les differ- 
ences entre les pouvoirs eclairants des differents rayons 
colories sont les memes pour eux et pour nous.' 

He adds, that 'puisque les limites de visibilites 
semblent etre les memes pour les animaux et pour nous, 

' AroMv. de Physiol. 1869, p. 547. 



220 THE SENSE OF COLOUR. 

ne trouvons-n Dus pas la une raison de plus pour 
supposer que le role des milieux de I'oeil est tout-a-fait 
seeondaire, et que la visibilite tient a rimpressionnabilite 
de I'appareil nerveux lui-meme ? ' 

Such a generalisation would seem to rest on but a 
slight foundation ; and I may add that I have made 
some experiments myself on Daphnias which do not 
agree with those of M. Bert. On the contrary, I 
believe that the eyes of Daphnias are in this respect 
constituted like those of ants. 

These experiments seem to me very interesting. 
They appear to prove that ants perceive the ultra-violet 
rays. Now, as every ray of homogeneous light which 
we can perceive at all appears to us as a distinct colour, 
it becomes probable that these ultra-violet rays must 
make themselves apparent to the ants as a distinct 
and sej)arate colour (of which we can form no idea), 
but as unlike the rest as red is from yellow, or green 
from violet. The question also arises whether white 
light to these insects would differ from our white light 
in containing this additional colour. At any rate, as 
few of the colours in nature are pure, but almost all 
arise from the combination of rays of different wave- 
lengths, and as in such cases the visible resultant would 
be composed not only of the rays which we see, but of 
these and the ultra-violet, it would appear that the 
colours of objects and the general aspect of nature 

' British Assoc. Beport 1881, and Linncean Soe. Journ. 1882 



THE SENSE Of HEARING. 221 

must present to them a very different appearance from 
what it does to us. 



The Sense of Hearing. 

Many eminent observers have regarded the antennae 
of insects as auditory organs, and have brought forward 
strong evidence in favour of their view. 

I have myself made experiments on grasshoppers, 
which convinced me that their antennae serve as organs 
of hearing. 

So far, however, as Ants, Bees, and Wasps are con- 
cerned, the evidence is very conflicting. The power of 
hearing has indeed generally been attributed to them. 
Thus St. Fargeau, in his ' Hist. Nat. des Hymenopteres,' • 
thinks there can be no doubt on the subject. Bevan 
expresses, no doubt, the general opinion with reference 
to Bees, when he says that ' there is good evidence that 
Bees have a quick sense of hearing.' ^ 

As regards Wasps, Ormerod, who studied them 
so lovingly, came to the same conclusion.' 

On the other hand, both Huber* and ForeP state 
that ants are quite deaf. As I have already men- 
tioned in the ' Linnsean Journal ' (vols. xii. and xiii.), 
I have never succeeded in satisfying myself that my 
ants, bees, or wasps heard any of the sounds with 

> Vol. i. p. 113. "^ The Honey Bee, p. 264. 

' Xat. Hist, of Wasps, p 72. ■• Nat. Hist, of Ants. 

* Fourmis de la Suisse, p. 121. 



222 THE SENSE OF HEARING. 

which I tried them. I have over and over again 
tested them with the loudest and shrillest noises I 
could make, using a penny pipe, a dog-whistle, a 
violin, as well as the most piercing and startling 
sounds I could produce with my own voice, but all 
without effect. At the same time, I carefully avoided 
inferring from this that they are really deaf, though 
it certainly seems that their range of hearing is very 
different from ours. 

In order, if possible, to throw some light upon 
this interesting question, I made a variety of loud 
noises, including those produced by a complete 
set of tuning-forks, as near as possible to the ants 
mentioned in the preceding pages, while they were 
on their journeys to and fro between the nests and 
the larvse. In these cases the ants were moving 
steadily and in a most business-like manner, and any 
start or alteration of pace would have been at once 
apparent. I was never able, however, to perceive that 
they took the slightest notice of any of these sounds. 
Thinking, however, that they might perhaps be too 
much absorbed by the idea of the larvae to take any 
notice of my interruptions, I took one or two ants at 
random and put them on a strip of paper, the two ends 
of which were supported by pins with their bases in 
water. The ants imprisoned under these circumstances 
wandered slowly backwards and forwards along the 
paper. As they did so, I tested them in the same 
manner as before, but was unable to perceive that they 



APPARENT DEAFNESS OF ANTS. 223 

took the slightest notice of any sound which I was 
able to produce. I then took a large female of F. 
ligniperda, and tethered her on a board to a pin by a 
delicate silk thread about 6 inches in length. After 
wandering about for a while, she stood still, and I 
then tried her in the same way; but, like the other 
ants, she took no notice whatever of the sounds. 

It is of course possible, if not probable, that ants, 
even if deaf to sounds which we hear, may hear others 
to which we are deaf. 

Having failed, therefore, in hearing them or making 
them hear me, I endeavoured to ascertain whether they 
could hear one another. 

To ascertain then if possible whether ants have the 
power of summoning one another by sound, I tried the 
following experiments. I put out (Sej)t. 1874) on the 
board where one of my nests of Lasius fiavus was 
usually fed, six small pillars of wood about an inch 
and a half high, and on one of them I put some 
honey. A number of ants were wandering about on 
the board itself in search of food, and the nest itself 
was immediately above, and about 12 inches from, the 
board. I then put three ants to the honey, and when 
each had sufficiently fed I imprisoned her and put 
another; thus always keeping three ants at the 
honey, but not allowing them to go home. If then' 
they could summon their friends by sound, there 
ought soon to be many ants at the honey. The results 
were as follow : 



224 ATTEMPTS TO ASCERTAIN 

Septembers. — Began at 11 a.m. Up to 3 o'clock 
only seven ants found their way to the honey, while 
about as many ran up the other pillars. The arrival of 
these seven, therefore, was not more than would 
naturally result from the numbers running about close 
by. At 3 we allowed the ants then on the honey to 
return home. The result was that from 3.6, when the 
first went home, to 3.30, eleven came ; from 3.30 to 4, 
no less than forty-three. Thus in four hours only seven 
came, while it was obvious that many would have 
wished to come, if they had known about the honey, 
because in the next three quarters of an hour, when 
they were informed of it, fifty-four came. 

On September 10 I tried the same again, keep- 
ing as before three ants always on the honey, but not 
allowing any to go home. From 12 to 5.30, only eight 
came. Those on the honey were then allowed to take 
the news home. From 5.30 to 6, four came ; from 
6 to 6.30, four ; from 6.30 to 7, eight ; from 7.30 to 8, 
no less than fifty-one. 

On September 23 we did the same again, begin- 
ning at 11.15. Up to 3.45 nine came. The ants 
on the honey were then allowed to go home. From 
4 to 4.30 nine came ; from 4.30 to 5, fifteen ; from 5 
to 5.30 nineteen ; from 5.30 to 6, thirty-eight. Thus 
in three and a half hours only nine came ; in two, 
when the ants were permitted to return, eighty-one. 

Again, on September 30 I tried the same arrange- 
ment, again beginning at 11. Up to 3.30 seven ants 



WHETHER ANTS CALL ONE ANOTHER. 225 

came. We then allowed the ants which had fed to 
go home. From 3.30 to 4.30 twenty-eight came. 
From 4.30 to 5, fifty-one came. Thus in four hours 
and a half only seven came ; while when the ants were 
allowed to return no less than seventy-nine came in an 
hour and a half. It seems obvious therefore that in 
these cases no communication was transmitted by 
sound. 

Again, Professor Tyndall was good enough to arrange 
for me one of his sensitive flames ; but I could not 
perceive that it responded in any way to my ants. The 
experiment was not, however, very satisfactory, as I was not 
able to try the flame with a very active nest. Professor 
Bell most kindly set up for me an extremely sensitive 
microphone : it was attached to the underside of one of 
my nests ; and though we could distinctly hear the ants 
walking about, we could not distinguish any other 
sound. 

It is, however, far from improbable that ants may 
produce sounds entirely beyond our range of hearing. 
Indeed, it is not impossible that insects may possess 
senses, or sensations, of which we can no more form an 
idea than we should have been able to conceive red or 
green if the human race had been blind. The human 
ear is sensitive to vibrations reaching at the outside to 
38,000 in a second. The sensation of red is produced 
when 470 millions of millions of vibrations enter the 
eye in a similar time ; but between these two numbers, 
vibrations produce on us only the sensation of heat ; 



226 EXPERIMENTS WITH SENSITIVE FLAME. 

we have no special organs of sense adapted to them. 
There is, however, no reason in the nature of things 
why this should be the case with other animals ; and 
the problematical organs possessed by many of the 
lower forms may have relation to sensations which we 
do not perceive. If any apparatus could be devised 
by which the number of vibrations produced by any 
given cause could be lowered so as to be brought within 
the range of our ears, it is probable that the result 
would be most interesting. 

Moreover, there are not wanting observations which 
certainly seem to indicate that ants possess some sense 
of hearing. 

I am, for instance, indebted to Mr. Francis Galton 
for the following quotation from Colonel Long's recent 
work on Central Africa.^ ' I observed,' he says, ' the 
manner of catching them ' (the ants, for food), ' as here 
pictured' (he gives a figure). 'Seated round an ant- 
hole were two very pretty maidens, who with sticks 
beat upon an inverted gourd, "bourmah," in cadenced 
time to a not unmusical song, that seduced from its 
hole the unwary ant, who, approaching the orifice, was 
quickly seized.' (The species of ant is not mentioned.) 

Moreover, there are in the antennae certain remark- 
able structures, which may very probably be auditory 
organs. 

These curious organs (Fig. 6) were first noticed, 

• Central Africa, by Col. C. C. Long, p. 274. 



ANTS PEOBABLY HEAR HIGH NOTES 227 

no far as I am aware, by Dr. J. Braxton Hicks in his ex- 
cellent paper on the * Antennae of Insects,' published in 
the 22nd volume of the 'Linnaean Transactions;' and, 
again, by Dr. Forel in his ' Fourmis de la Suisse.' 
They certainly deserve more attention than they have 
yet received. The cork-shaped organs (Figs. 6 and 7, e e) 
occur in allied species ; but these stethoscope-like 
organs have not, so far as I am aware, been yet 
observed in other insects. They consist of an outer 
sac (Figs. 6 and 7, s), of a long tube (t), and a posterior 
chamber (w), to which is given a nerve (n). 

Forel • also describes these curious organs. He 
appears to consider that the number varies consider- 

Fig. 6. 




Terminal portion of antennae of Myrmica rvginodis ^ x 75. 

ably, namely, from 5 to 12. My own impression is 
that this difference is only apparent, and that in reality 
the numbers in each species vary little. Though 

' Trans, of Linna-an Soc, vol. xxii. p. 391. 
* Fourmis de la Suisse, p. 301. 



228 ORGANS OF SENSE 

sometimes the presence of air renders them very con- 
spicuous, they are in others by no means easy to make 

Fig. 7. 




Diagrammatic section through part of Fig. 6. 

c, chitinou.s skin of the antenna, e e, two of the cork-shaped 
organs, s, external chamber of one of the stethoscope-shaped 
organs, t, the tube. 7V, the posterior sac. 7i, the nerve. 

out ; and I think that when a small number only are 
apparently present, this is probably due merely to the 
fact that the others are not brought out by the mode 
of preparation. 

In addition to the group of these organs situated 
in the terminal segment, there is one, or in some rare 
cases I have found two, in each of the small preceding 
segments. The tubes in these segments appeared to 
the eye to be nearly of the same length as those in the 
terminal segment, but I could not measure their exact 
length, as they do not lie flat. In some cases, when 
the segment was short, the tube was bent — an indica- 
tion, perhaps, that the exact length is of importance. 
It is possible that these curious organs may be audi- 
tory, and serve like microscopic stethoscopes. Professor 
Tyndall, who was good enough to examine them with 
me, concurred in the opinion that this was very pro- 
bable. I believe I am correct in saying that the bend- 



IN THE ANTENNA OF ANTS. 229 

ing of the tube in the short segments would make 
little difference in its mode of action. 

Kirby and Spence were, I believe, the first to 
notice that an insect allied to the ants (^Mutilla 
Europcea) has the power of making a sibilant, 
chirping sound, but they did not ascertain how 
this was effected. Goureau ^ subsequently called at- 
tention to the same fact, and attributed it to fric- 
tion of the base of the third segment of the abdo- 
men against the second. Westwood,^ on the other 
hand, thought the sound was produced ' by the action 
of the large collar against the front of the mesothorax. 
Darwin, in his ' Descent of Man,' adopts the same view. 
' I find,' he says,^ ' that these surfaces (i.e. the over- 
lapping portions of the second and third abdominal 
segments) are marked with very fine concentric ridges, 
but so is the projecting thoracic collar, on which the 
head articulates ; and this collar, when scratched with 
the point of a needle, emits the proper sound.' Landois, 
after referring to this opinion, expresses himself strongly 
in opposition to it. The true organ of sound is, he 
maintains," a triangular field on the upper surface of 
the fourth abdominal ring, which is finely ribbed, and 
which, when rubbed, emits a stridulating sound. It 
certainly would appear, from Landois' observations, 
that this structure does produce sound, whether or not 

' Ann. de la Soc. Ent. de France, 1 837. 

* Modern Classifications of Insects, vol. ii. 

* Descent of Man, vol. i. p. 366. 

* Thierstimmen, p. 132. 



230 



STRIDULATING APPARATUS 



we consider that the friction of the collar against the 
mesothorax may also assist in doing so. 

Under these circumstances, Landois asked himself 
whether other genera allied to Mutilla might not 
possess a similar organ, and also have the power of pro- 
ducing sound. He first examined the genus Ponera^ 
which, in the structure of its abdomen, nearly resem- 
bles Mutilla, and here also he found a fully developed 
stridulating apparatus. 

He then turned to the true ants, and here also he 
found a similar rasp-like organ in the same situation. 
It is indeed true that ants produce no sounds which 
are audible by us ; still, when we find that certain 
allied insects do produce sounds appreciable to us by 
rubbing the abdominal segments one over the other ; 
and when we find, in some ants, a nearly similar 
structure, it certainly seems not unreasonable to 
conclude that these latter also do produce sounds, 
even though we cannot hear them. Landois describevS 

Fig. 8. 




Attachment of abdominal segments of Lasius flaxms ^ x 225. 

the structure in the workers of Lasius fuliginosus as 
having 20 ribs in a breadth of 0*1 3 of a millimetre, 



ON ABDOMINAL SEGMENTS. 231 

but he gives no figure. In Fig. 8 I have represented 
the junction of the second and third abdominal seg- 
ments in Lasius fiavus, x 225, as shown in a longi- 
tudinal and vertical section. There are about ten 
well-marked ribs (r), occupying a length of approxi- 
mately Y^ of an inch. Similar ridges also occur 
between the following segments. 

In connection with the sense of hearing I may 
mention another very interesting structure. In the 
year 1844, Von Siebold described ^ a remarkable organ 
which he had discovered in the tibiae of the front legs 
of Gryllus, and which he considered to serve for the 
purpose of hearing. These organs have been also 
studied by Burmeister, Brunner, Hensen, Leydig, and 
others, and have recently been the subject of a mono- 
graph by Dr. V. Graber,^ who commences his memoir 
by observing that they are organs of an entirely unique 
character, and that nothing corresponding to them 

Fig. 9. 




Tibia of Lasiiis Jlamis ^ x 75. 

occurs in any other insects, or indeed in any other 
Arthropods. 

' Ueber das Stimm. und Gehororgan der Orthojiteren, Wieg- 
mann^s Art. f. Natur., 1844. 

^ Bie Tgmpanalen Sinnempparate. der Orthopteren,' von Dr 
Vitus Graber, 1875. 



232 REMARKABLE STRUCTURE IN 

I have therefore been very much interested by dis- 
covering (1875) in ants a structure which seems in 
some remarkable points to resemble that of the 
Orthoptera. As will be seen from a glance at Dr. 
Graber's memoir, and the plates which accompany it, 
the large trachea of the leg in the Orthoptera is con- 
siderably swollen in the tibia, and sends off, shortly 
after entering the tibia, a branch which, after running 
for some time parallel to the principal trunk, joins it 
again. See, for instance, in his monograph, plate ii., 
fig. 43 ; plate vi., fig. 69 ; plate vii., fig. 77 ; &c. 

Now, I have observed that in many other insects the 
tracheae of the tibia are dilated, and in several I have 
been able to detect a recurrent branch. The same is 
also the case in some mites. I will, however, reserve 
what I have to say on this subject, with reference to 
other insects, for another occasion, and will at present 
confine myself to the ants. If we examine the tibia, 
say of Lasius fiaviis. Fig. 9, we shall see that the 
trachea presents a remarkable arrangement, which at 
once reminds us of that which occurs in Gryllus and 
other Orthoptera. In the femur it has a diameter of 
about -3-5V0 ^^ ^^ ^^*^^ » ^^ soon, however, as it enters 
the tibia, it swells to a diameter of about -^^ of an 
inch, then contracts again to -^-^, and then again, at 
the apical extremity of the tibia, once more expands 
to 3-^. Moreover, as in Gryllus, so also in Formica^ a 
small branch rises from the upper sac, runs almost 



THE TIBIA OF ANTS. 233 

straight down the tibia, and falls again into the main 
trachea just above the lower sac. 

The remarkable sacs (Fig. 9, s s) at the two ex- 
tremities of the trachea in the tibia may also be well 
seen in other transparent species, such, for instance, 
as Myrmica ruginodis and Pheidole megacephala. 

At the place where the upper tracheal sac con- 
tracts (Fig. 9), there is, moreover, a conical striated 
organ (x), which is situated at the back of the leg, just 
at the apical end of the upper tracheal sac. The 
broad base lies against the external wall of the leg, and 
the fibres converge inwards. In some cases I thought 
I could perceive indications of bright rods, but I was 
never able to make them out very clearly. This also 
reminds us of a curious structure which is found in the 
tibise of Locustidae, between the trachea, the nerve, 
and the outer wall, and which is well shown in some of 
Dr. Graber's figures. 

On the whole, then, though the subject is still 
involved in doubt, I am disposed to think that ants 
perceive sounds which we cannot hear 

The Sense of Smell. 

I have also made a number of experiments on the 
power of smell possessed by ants. I dipped camel's-hair 
brushes into peppermint-water, essence of cloves, laven- 
der-water, and other strong scents, and suspended them 



234 THE SENSE OF SMELL. 

about ^ of an inch above the strips of paper along which 
the ants were passing, in the experiments above recorded. 
Under these circumstances, while some of the ants passed 
on without taking any notice, others stopped when they 
came close to the pencil, and, evidently perceiving the 
smell, turned back. Soon, however, they returned and 
passed the scented pencil. After doing this two or 
three times, they generally took no further notice of 
the scent. This experiment left no doubt on my mind ; 
still, to make the matter even more clear, I experi- 
mented with ants placed on an isolated strip of paper. 
Over the paper, and at such a distance as almost, but 
not quite, to touch any ant Avhich passed under it, I 
again suspended a camel's-hair brush, dipped in assa- 
foetida, lavender-water, peppermint-water, essence of 
cloves, and other scents. In this experiment the 
results were very marked ; and no one who watched 
the behaviour of the ants under these circumstances 
could have the slightest doubt as to their power of 
smell. 

I then took a large female of F. ligniperda and 
tethered her on a board by a thread as before. When 
she was quite quiet I tried her with the tuning-forks ; 
but they did not disturb her in the least. I then ap- 
proached the feather of a pen very quietly, so as almost 
to touch first one and then the other of the antennae, 
which, however, did not move. I then dipped the pen 
in essence of musk and did the same ; the antenna 
was slowly retracted and drawn quite back. I then 



THE SENSE OF SMELL. 235 

repeated the same with the other antenna. If I 
touched the antenna, the ant started away, apparently 
smarting. I repeated the same with essence of laven- 
der, and with a second ant. The result was the same. 
Many of my other experiments — for instance, some 
of those recorded in the next chapter — point to the 
same conclusion ; and, in fact, there can be no doubt 
whatever that in ants the sense of smell is highly 
developed. 



CHAPTER IX. 

GENERAL INTELLIGENCE, AND POWER OF FINDING 
THEIR WAY. 

A NUMBER of interesting anecdotes are on record as to 
the ingenuity displayed by ants under certain circum- 
stances. 

M. Lund, for instance, tells the following story as 
bearing on the intelligence of ants : ' — 

' Passant un jour pres d'un arbre presque isole, je 
fus surpris d'entendre, par un temps calme, des feuilles 
qui tombaient comme de la pluie. Ce qui augmenta 
mon etonnement, c'est que les feuilles detachees avaient 
leur oouleur naturelle, et que I'arbre semblait jouir de 
toute sa vigueur. Je m'approchai pour trouver I'expli- 
cation de ce phenomene, et je vis qu'a peu pres sur 
chaque petiole etait postee une fourmi qui travaillait 
de toute sa force ; le petiole etait bientot coupe et la 
feuille tombait par terre. Une autre scene se passait 
au pied de I'arbre : la terre etait couverte de fourmis 
occupees a decouper les feuilles a mesure qu'elles tom- 
baient, et les morceaux etaient sur le champ transportes 
dans le nid. En moins d'une heure le grand oeuvre 

" Ann. des Sci. Nat. 1831, p. 112. 



ECONOMY OF LABOUK. 237 

s'accomplit sous mes yeux, et I'arbre resta entierement 
depouille.' 

Bates ' gives an apparently similar, but really very 
different account. ' The Saiiba ants,' he says, ' mount 
the tree in multitudes, the individuals being ^11 
worker-minors. Each one places itself on the surface 
of a leaf, and cuts with its sharp scissor-like jaws a 
nearly semicircular incision on the upper side ; it then 
takes the edge between its jaws, and by a sharp jerk 
detaches the piece. Sometimes they let the leaf drop to 
the ground, where a little heap accumulates, until carried 
off by another relay of workers ; but, generally, each 
marches off with the piece it has operated upon.' 

Dr. Kerner recounts^ the following story communi- 
cated to him by Dr. Gredler of Botzen : — 

' One of his colleagues at Innsbriick, says that 
gentleman, had for months been in the habit of sprink- 
ling pounded sugar on the sill of his window, for a 
train of ants, which passed in constant procession from 
the garden to the window. One day, he took it into 
his head to put the pounded sugar into a vessel, 
which he fastened with a string to the transom of the 
window; and, in order that his long-petted insects 
might have information of the supply suspended above, 
a number of the same set of ants were placed with the 
sugar in the vessel. These busy creatures forthwith 

' Naturalist on the Amazons, vol. i. p. 26. 

* Flowers and their Unbidden Giiests, Dr. A. Kerner. Trans, by 
W. Ogle, 1878, p. 21. 



238 STATEMENT BY 

seized on the particles of sugar, and soon discovering 
the only way open to them, viz. up the string, over 
the transom and down the window-frame, rejoined their 
fellows on the sill, whence they could resume the old 
roiite down the steep wall into the garden. Before 
long the route over the new track from the sill to the 
sugar, by the window-frame, transom, and string was 
completely established; and so passed a day or two 
without anything new. Then one morning it was 
noticed that the ants were stopping at their old place, 
that is, the window-sill, and getting sugar there. Not 
a single individual any longer traversed the paih that 
led thence to the sugar above. This was not because 
the store above had been exhausted ; but because some 
dozen little fellows were working away vigorously and 
incessantly up aloft in the vessel, dragging the sugar 
crumbs to its edge, and throwing them down to 
their comrades below on the sill, a sill which with 
their limited range of vision they could not possibly 



see 



t ' 



Leuckart also made a similar experiment. Eound a 
tree which was frequented by ants, he spread a band 
soaked in tobacco water. The ants above the band 
after awhile let themselves drop to the ground, but 
the ascending ants were long baffled. At length he 
saw them coming back, each with a pellet of earth in 
its mouth, and thus they constructed a road for them- 
selves, over which they streamed up the tree. 



PREVIOUS OBSERVERS. 239 

Dr. Biichner records the following instance on the 
authority of a friend (M. Theuerkauf) : — 

' A maple tree standing on the ground of the 
manufacturer, Vollbaum, of Elbing (now of Dantzic) 
swarmed with aphides and ants. In order to chefck 
the mischief, the proprietor smeared about a foot width 
of the ground round the tree with tar. The first ants 
who wanted to cross naturally stuck fast. "But what 
did the next? They turned back to the tree and 
carried down aphides, which they stuck down on the 
tar one after another until they had made a bridge, over 
which they could cross the tar-ring without danger. 
The above-named merchant, Vollbaum, is the guarantor 
of this story, which I received from his own mouth on 
the very spot whereat it occurred.'' 

In this case I confess I have my doubts as to the 
interpretation of the fact. Is it not possible that as 
the ants descended the tree, carrying the aphides, the 
latter naturally stuck to the tar, and would certainly 
be left there. In the same way I have seen hundreds 
of bits of earth deposited on the honey with which I 
fed my ants. 

On one occasion Belt observed ^ a community of 
leaf-cutting ants {(Ecodoma), which was in the process 
of moving from one nest to another. ' Between the 
old burrows and the new one was a steep slope. In- 
stead of descending this with their burdens, they cast 

' Mind in, Animals, by Prof. Ludwig Biichner, p. 120. 
* NatxiraUst in Nicaragua, 0. Belt, p. 76. 



240 EXPERIMENTS AS TO POWERS. 

them down on the top of the slope, whence they 
rolled to the bottom, where another relay of labourers 
picked them up and carried them to the new burrow. 
It was amusing to watch the ants hurrying out with 
bundles of food, dropping them over the slope, and 
rushing back immediately for more.' 

With reference to these interesting statements, I 
tried the following experiment : — 

October 15 (see Fig. 10).— At a distance of 10 
inches from the door of a nest of Lasius niger I fixed 

Fig- 10. an upright ash wand 3 feet 6 inches 

high (<x), and from the top of it 

I suspended a second, rather shorter 

wand (6). To the lower end of this 

d second wand, which hung just over the 

I 1 *' entrance to the nest (c), I fastened 

a flat glass cell {d) in which I placed a number of larvae, 
and to them I put three or four specimens of L. niger. 
The drop from the glass cell to the upper part of the 
frame was only ^ an inch ; still, though the ants 
reached over and showed a great anxiety to take this 
short cut home, they none of them faced the leap, but 
all went round by the sticks, a distance of nearly 7 
feet. At 6 p.m. there were over 550 larvae in the glass 
cell, and I reduced its distance from the upper surface 
of the nest to about f of an inch, so that the ants 
could even touch the glass with their antennae, but 
could not reach up nor step down. Still, though the 
drop was so small, they all went round. At 1 1 p.m. the 




OF ECONOMISING LABOUE. 241 

greater number of the larvse had been carried off ; so 
I put a fresh lot in the cell. The ants were busily at 
work. At 3 A.M. I visited them again. They were 
still carrying off the larvse, and all going round. At 
6 A.M. the larvse were all removed. I put a fresh lot, 
and up to 9 A.M. they went on as before. 

The following day (October 17) I took two longer 
sticks, each 6 feet 6 inches in length, and arranged 
them in a similar manner, only horizontally instead of 
vertically. I also placed fine earth under the glass 
supporting the larvse. At 8 o'clock I placed an ant on 
the larvse ; she took one, and I then coaxed her home 
along the sticks. She deposited her larva and im- 
mediately came out again, not, however, going along 
the stick, but under the larvse, vainly reaching up and 
endeavouring to reach the glass. At 8.30 I put her 
on the larvse again, and as she evidently did not know 
her way home, but kept stretching herself down and 
trying to reach the earth under the glass cell, I again 
coaxed her home along the sticks. At 9.3 she came 
out again, and again went under the larvse and wandered 
about there. At 10 I put her on the larvse and again 
helped her home. At 10.15 she came out again, and 
this time went to the stick, but still wanted some 
guidance. At 10.45 she again reached the frame, but 
immediately came out again, and I once more coaxed 
lier round. After wandering about some time with a 
larva in her mouth, she dropped down at 11.14. After 
depositing her larva, she came out directly and went 
12 



242 WANT OF INGENUITY IN ASSISTING 

under the larvae. I again coaxed her round, and this 
time also she dropped off the glass with her larva. At 
12.30 she came out again, and for the last time I 
helped her round. After this she found her way by 
herself. At 12.20 another (No. 2) found her way 
round and returned at 12.37. For the next hour their 
times were as follows : — 

No. 1. No. 2. 

12.46 

12.47 

12.54 12.54 



1. 1 
1. 7 

1.12 

1.19 

1.2G 

1.32 

1.38 

1.45 

1.52 



1. 

1. 8 
1.14 
1.21 
1.28 
1.34 
1.41 
1.47 

1.54 



Thus they both made 9 visits in an hour. As 
regards actual pace, I found they both did about 6 feet 



ONE ANOTHER OVER CHASMS. 243 

in a minute. Soon after these began, other ants came 
with them. It was a beautiful day, and all my ants 
were unusually active. At 1 p.m. I counted 10 on the 
sticks at once, by 1.30 over 30, and at 5 in the after- 
noon over 60. They went on working very hard, and 
forming a continuous stream till I went to bed at 1 1 ; 
and at 4 in the morning I found them still at work ; 
but though they were very anxious and, especially at 
first, tried very hard to save themselves the trouble of 
going round, they did not think of jumping down, nor 
did they throw the larvse over the edge. 

Moreover, as I had placed some sifted mould under 
the glass, a minute's labour would have been sufficient 
to heap up one or two particles, and thus make a little 
mound which would have enabled them to get up and 
down without going round. A mound | inch high 
would have been sufficient; but it did not occur to 
them to form one. 

The following morning (October 18) I put out some 
larvae again at 6 a.m. Some of the ants soon came ; 
and the same scene continued till 11.30 a.m., when I 
left off observing. 

Again, on October 22, I placed a few larvae in a 
glass, which I kept continually replenished, which 
was suspended ^ of an inch above the surface of the 
frame containing their nest, but only connected with it 
by tapes five feet long. I then, at 6.30, put a L. niger 
to the larvae ; she took one and tried hard to reach* 
down, but could not do so, and would not jump; so I 



244 WANT OF INGENUITY IN 

coaxed her round the tapes. She went into the nest, 
deposited her larva, and immediately came out again. 
I put her back on the larvae at 7.15 ; she took one, and 
again tried hard, but ineffectually, to reach down. I 
therefore again coaxed her round. She went into the 
nest, deposited her larvn, and came out again directly 
as before. I put her back on the larvae at 7.35, when 
the same thing happened again. She got back to the 
nest at 7.40, and immediately came out again. This 
time she found her way round the string, with some 
help from me, and reached the larvae at 7.50. I helped 
her home for the last time. The next journey she 
found her way without assistance, and reached the 
larvae at 8.26. After this she returned as follows, 
viz. : — 

At 8.50 
9. 
9.10 
9.17 

9.28 

I now made the length of the journey round the 
tapes 10 feet. This puzzled her a little at first. 
She returned as follows : — 

9.41 , 10.35 

9.55 ' 10.44 

10. 8 10.54 

10.16 11. 6 

10.26 11. 14 with a friend 



CONSTKUCTINa BRIDGES. 245 

1 now increased the length to 16 feet, and watched 
her while she made thirty journeys backwards and 
forwards. She also brought during the time seven 
friends with her. 

It surprised me very much that she preferred to go 
so far round rather than to face so short a drop. 

In illustration of the same curious fact, I several 
times put specimens of L. niger on slips of glass raised 
only one-third of an inch from the surface of the nest. 
They remained sometimes three or four hours running 
about on the glass, and at last seemed to drop off 
accidentally. 

Myriinica ruginodis has the same feeling. One 
morning, for instance, I placed one in an isolated 
position, but so that she could escape by dropj)ing one- 
third of an inch. Nevertheless at the same hour on 
the following morning she was still in captivity, having 
remained out twenty-four hours rather than let herself 
down this little distance. 

Again I filled a saucer (woodcut. Fig. 11, s) with 
water and put in it a block of wood (w), on the top of 
which I fastened a projecting wooden rod (b), on the 
end of which I placed a shallow glass cell (a) containing 
several hundred larvse. From this cell I allowed a slip 
of paper (p) to hang down to within J^ of an inch 
of the upper surface of the nest. At one side I put 
another block of wood (c) with a* lateral projection 
(d) which hung over the cell containing the larvoe. 
I then made a connexion between d and A, so that ants 



246 WANT OF INGENUITY 

could ascend C, and, passing over D, descend upon the 
larvse. I then put some specimens of Lasius niger to 
the larvffi, and soon a large number of ants were en- 
gaged in carrying off the larvae. When this had con- 
tinued for about three horns, I raised D -f^ of an inch 
above a. The ants kept on coming and tried hard to 
reach down from D to A, which was only just out of 
their reach. Two or three, in leaning over, lost their 
foothold and dropped into the larvse ; but this was 
obviously an accident ; and after a while they all gave 
up their efforts, and went away, losing their prize, in 
spite of most earnest efforts, rather than drop j^^ of 

an inch. 

Fig. 11. 



I^^~~S2L 




At the moment when the separation was made there 
were fifteen ants on the larvse. These could, of course, 
have returned if one had stood still and allowed the 
others to get on its back. This, however, did not 
occur to them ; nor did they think of letting themselves 
drop from the bottom of the paper on to the nest. 
Two or three, indeed, fell down, I have no doubt, by 
accident ; but the remainder wandered about, until at 
length most of them got into the water. After a time 
the others abandoned altogether as hopeless the attempt 
to get at the larvse. 

I waited about six hours, and then again placed the 



IN CONSTEUCTING BRIDGES. 247 

glass (a) containing the larvae so as to touch the piece 
of wood (d), and again pnt some ants to the larva?. 
Soon a regular string of ants was established ; when I 
again raised the wood (d) -^ of an inch above the glass 
(a), exactly the same result occuiTed. The ants bent 
over and made every effort to reach the larvse, but did 
not drop themselves down, and after a while again 
abandoned all hope of getting the larvae. 

In order to test their intelligence, it has always 
seemed to me that there was no better way than to 
ascertain some object which they would clearly desire, 
and then to interpose some obstacle which a little 
ingenuity would enable them to overcome. Following 
up, then, the preceding observations, I placed some 
larvae in a cup which I put on a slip of glass surrounded 
by water, but accessible to the ants by one pathway in 
which was a bridge consisting of a strip of paper § 
inch long and ^ inch wide. Having then put a Lasitis 
niger from one of my nests to these larvae, she began 
carrying them off, and by degrees a number of friends 
came to help her. I then, when about twenty-five ants 
were so engaged, moved the little paper bridge slightly, 
so as to leave a chasm, just so wide that the ants could 
not reach across. They came and tried hard to do so ; 
but it did not occur to them to push the paper bridge, 
though the distance was only about ^ inch, and they 
might easily have done so. After trying for about a 
quarter of an hour, they gave up the attempt and re- 
turned home. This I repeated several times 



248 WANT OF INGENUITY 

Then, thinking that paper was a substance to which 
they were not accustomed, I tried the same with a bit 
of straw 1 inch long and |- inch wide. The result was 
the same. I repeated this more than once. 

Again I suspended some honey over a nesL of 
Lasius fiavus at a height of about ^ an inch, and 
accessible only by a paper bridge more than 10 feet 
long. Under the glass I then placed a small heap of 
earth. The ants soon swarmed over the earth on to the 
glass, and began feeding on the honey. I then 
removed a little of the earth, so that there was an 
interval of about ^ of an inch between the glass and 
the earth ; but, though the distance was so small, they 
would not jump down, but preferred to go round by the 
long bridge. They tried in vain to stretch up from the 
earth to the glass, which, however, was just out of their 
reach, though they could touch it with their antennae ; 
but it did not occur to them to heap the earth up a 
little, though if they had moved only half a dozen 
particles of earth they would have secured for them- 
selves direct access to the food. This, however, never 
occurred to them. At length they gave up all attempts 
to reach up to the glass, and went round by the paper 
bridge. I left the arrangement for several weeks, but 
they continued to go round by the long paper bridge. 

Again I varied the experiment as follows: — Having 
left a nest without food for a short time, I placed some 
honey on a small wooden brick surrounded by a little 
moat of glycerine ^ an inch wide and about y'^ of 



IN CONSTEUCTING EARIHWOKKS. 249 

an incli in depth. Over this moat I then placed a 
paper bridge, one end of which rested on some fine 
mould. I then put an ant to the honey, and soon a 
little crowd was collected round it. I then removed 
the paper bridge; the ants could not cross the 
glycerine ; they came to the edge and walked round and 
round, but were unable to get across, nor did it occm- 
to them to make a bridge or bank across the glycerine 
with the mould which I had placed so conveniently for 
them. I was the more surprised at this on account of 
the ingenuity with which they avail themselves of earth 
for constructing their nests. For instance, wishing, if 
possible, to avoid the trouble of frequently moistening 
the earth in my nests, I supplied one of my communities 
of Lasius fiavus with a frame containing, instead of 
earth, a piece of linen, one portion of which projected 
beyond the frame and was immersed in water. The 
linen then sucked up the water by capillary attraction, 
and thus the air in the frame was kept moist. The 
ants approved of this arrangement, and took up their 
quarters in the frame. To minimize evaporation I 
usually closed the frames all round, leaving only one or 
two small openings for the ants, but in this case I left 
the outer side of the frame open. The ants, however, 
did not like being thus exposed ; they therefore brought 
earth from some little distance, and built up a regular 
wall along the open side, blocking up the space between 
the upper and lower plates of glass, and leaving only 
one or two small openings for themselves. This struck 



250 INGENUI'lY IN BUILDING NESTS. 

me as very ingenious. The same expedient was, more- 
over, repeated under similar circumstances by the 
slaves belonging to my nest of Polyergus. 

The facility or difficulty with which ants find their 
way, while it partly falls within the section of the 
subject dealing with their organs of sense, is also 
closely connected with the question of their general 
intelligence. 

Partly, then, in order to test how far they are 
guided by sight, partly to test their intelligence, I 
made various observations and experiments, the ac- 
companying woodcuts being reduced copies of tracings 
of some of the routes followed by the ants during the 
course of the observations. 

I may here note that the diagrams Figs. 12-17 are 
careful reductions of large tracings made during the 
experiments. Though not absolutely correct in every 
minute detail of contour, they are exact for all practical 
purposes. As the ants pursued their way, pencil-mark- 
ings in certain instances, and coloured lines in others, 
were made so as to follow consecutively the paths 
pursued. 

Exjperiment 1. — February. On a table communi- 
cating with one of my nests (see Fig. 12)1 placed upright 
a common cylindrical lead pencil ^ inch in diameter 
and 7 inches long, fastened with sealing-wax to a 
penny piece. Close to the base of the pencil (a) I 
brought the end of a paper bridge (b) leading to the 
nest, and then placed a shallow glass with larvae at c, 



DIFFICULTY IN FINDING WAY. 251 

4 inches from the base of the pencil. I then put an 
ant to the larvae ; when she had become acquainted 
with the road, she went very straight, as is shown in 
the woodcut (Fig. 12). In one case^ at the point E, she 
dropped her larva and returned for another. When 

Ficr. 12. 




Routes followed in experiment No. 1, as detailed above. 

A, position of pencil. B, paper bridge, c and D, glass with larvaj. 
K, point where larva dropped, the opposite arrow and loop marking 
return route. 1,2, 3, 4, comparatively straight paths to the glass. 
5, .5, circuitous route on shifting of glass. ^ different access to nest. 

she returned on the next journey and was on the glass, 
I moved it 3 inches, to D, so that the end of the glass 
was 6 inches from the base of the pencil. If she were 
much guided by sight, then she would have had little 



252 



DIFFICULTY IN 



or no difficulty in finding her way back. Her pathway, 
however (No. 5), which is traced on the paper, shows 
tliat she was completely abroad ; and, after all, she got 
back to the nest by a different route. 

Fig. 13. 




Routes followed in experiment No, 2, as mentioned in text. 

B, paper bridge leading to nest, c, glass tray with larvae, in its 
first position ; and D in it-; position when shifted. 1, 2, 3, 4, thin 
white lines indicating the comparatively straight routes. 5, thick 
white line, and fi, dotted line showing tortuous paths when glass had 
been altered in position. The arrows indicate directions travelled. 



FINDING THEIE WAY. 253 

I then varied the experiment as subjoined, and as 
shown in the woodcut (Fig. 13). 

Exjperinnent 2. — I connected the table with the 
nest by a paper bridge, the end of which is shown 
at B (Fig. 13), and which came down about an inch 
from the pole supporting the nest (see Fig. 1). This 
pole rose 18 inches above the table. I then put the 
glass tray (c) with larvee as before, 12 inches from 
the base of the pole, and put an ant to the larva?. 
When she had learnt her way I traced fom* of her 
routes, as shown in the thin lines 1, 2, 3, 4. I then 
on her next journey (5, thick white line), when she 
was on the tray (c), moved it three inches to d, as 
shown in the figure, and again traced her route. The 
contrast is very striking between the- relatively straight 
thin white lines 1, 2, 3, 4 of the four journeys when 
familiar with the road ; whereas in the broad white line 
No. 5 the zigzag twistings show how much difficulty 
the ant experienced in finding her way. When she re- 
turned I again moved the tray as before, and the dotted 
sinuous white line (6) shows the course she followed. 

Experiment 3. — I then again varied the experi- 
ment as follows : — I j)laced the larvae in a small china 
cup on the top of the pencil, which thus formed a 
column 7^ inches high. The cross line close to the 
arrows (Fig. 14) is as before, the base of the paper bridge 
leading to the nest, c shows the position of the penny 
on which the pencil was supported. The dotted white 
lines 1, 2, 3, 4 show the routes of a marked ant on four 



254 



SIGHT LITTLE USED 



successive journeys from the nest to the base of the 
pencil. I then moved the pencil 6 inches to D, and 
the two following routes are marked 5 and 6. In one 
of them, 5 (thick white line), the ant foiind a stray 

Fig. 14. 




Routes followed in experiment No. 3, as described in text. 

The line at the six arrows represents a paper brid.e going to nest. 
C, china cup on top of pencil. D, pencil moved. E, place where 
a stray larva was found. 1, 2, 3, 4, dotted lines show the nearly 
direct journeys. 5, thick white line (crossing c in black) of route 
returning to ne.st, the ant having picked up a straj- larva at E. 6, 
very circuitous thin white line of track from nest to pencil D. 



IN FINDING THEIR WAY. 



255 



larva at E, with which she returned to the nest, without 
finding the pencil at all. On the following journey, 
shown in the fine white zigzag line (6), she found the 
pencil at last, but, as will be seen, only after many 
ineanderings. 

FiR. 15. 




Diagram of complex path traversed in experiment i. 

A, first position of pencil. B, second position of pencil. 1,2, 
straight lines of two tracks of the observed ants. 3, winding narrow 
white line, showing course pursued by the same ant before arriving 
at B, when the position of the pencil was unchanged. 

Eayperiment 4. — I then repeated the observation 



256 



SIGHT LITTLE USED 



on three other ants (see Figs. 15-17) with the same 
result : the second was 7 minutes before she found the 
pencil, and at last seemed to do so accidentally ; the 
third actually wandered about for no less than half an 
.hour (Fig. 15), returning up the paper bridge several 
times. 

Other experiments somewhat similar to the pre'- 

Fii?. 16. 




Diagram representing three tracks of an ant in another experiment. 

A, the first position of pencil and the food, towards which and 
from the base-line of nest 1 and 2 lead by nearly direct broadish 
white lines to A. When the latter was removed to B the ant, in its 
eflfort to reach this, pursued the narrow white winding line ending 
in 3 -> 

ceding, the results of which are shown in the figures 
16 and 17, seem to prove that this species of ant, at any 



IN FINDING THEIR WAY. 



257 



rate, guides itself but little by sight. This, which I 
had not at all anticipated, seems to follow from the 
fact that after the pencil and tray of larvae had been 
removed but a short distance to the right or left, the 



Fis?. 17. 




Another tracing showing a similar experiment. 1, 2, 3, the direct 
broad lines towards A ; and 4, the complicated track made when 
reservoir of larvte was removed to B. 

ants on their journey to the shifted object travelled 
very often backwards and forwards and around the spot 
where the coveted object first stood. Then they would 
retrace 'their steps towards the nest, wander hither and 



2o8 IMPORTANCE OF SCENT. 

thither from side to side between the nest and the 
point A, and only after very repeated efforts around the 
original site of the larvae reach, as it were accidentally, 
the object desired at b. 

Another evidence of this consists in the fact that if 
when ants (Z. nigei') were carrying off larvae placed in a 
cup on a piece of board, I turned the board round so that 
the side which had been turned towards the nest was 
away from it, and vice versa, the ants always returned 
over the same track on the board, and, in consequence, 
directly away from home. 

If I moved the board to the other side of ray 
artificial nest, the result was the same. Evidently they 
followed the road, not the direction. 

In order further to test how far ants are guided by 
sight and how much by scent, I tried the following ex- 
periment with Lasius niger. Some food was put out at 
the point a. on a board measuring 20 inches by 12 (Fig. 
Fig- 18- 18), and so arranged 

— that the ants in going 



I'' 

ri 

III 
11 
11 
1^1 



straight to it from the 
nest would reach the 
board at the point 6, 
and after passing under 
a paper tunnel, c, would 
proceed between five 
pairs of wooden bricks, each 3 inches in length and l-j[- 
in height. When they got to know their way, they went 
quite straight along the line d e to a. The board was 



IMPOETANCE OF SCENT. 



259 




then twisted as shown in Fig. 1 9. The bricks and tunnel 

being also rearranged so that they were exactly in the 

same direction as before, but the board having been moved, 

the line d e was now outside them. This change, however, 

didnotatalldiscom- Fig. 19. 

pose the ants ; but 

instead of going, as 

before, through the 

tunnel and between 

the rows of bricks 

to o, they walked 

exactly along the 

old path to e. 

I then arranged 
matters as before, 

but without the tunnel and with only three pairs of 
bricks (Fig. 20). When an ant had got quite used to the 
path d to e,l altered 
the position of the 
bricks and food, as 
shown in Fig. 21 , mak- 
ing a difference of 8 
inches in the position 
of the latter. The ant 
came as before, walked 
up to the first brick, 

touched it with her antennae, but then followed her old 
line to a. From there she veered towards the food, and 
very soon found it. When she was gone, I altered it 



Fig 


20. 


I 


d 




1 


1 


1 


1 


1 


g 


^3 1 



260 



THE SENSE OF DIHECTION. 



Fig. 21. 
h 



// 



again, as shown in Fig. 22 ; she returned after the usual 
interval, and went again straight to a ; then, after some 

wanderings, to /, and 
at length, but only 
after a lapse of 25 
minutes, found the 
food at g. These ex- 
periments were re- 
peated more than once, 
and always with simi- 
lar results. I then 
varied matters by re- 
moving the bricks, 
which, however, did not 
seem to make any dif- 
ference to the ants. 

I then accustomed 
some ants ( Lasius ni- 
ger) to go to and fro over a wooden bridge, 6,c (Fig. 23), 

to some food- 
Fig. 23. 
I c__ 



Fig. 


22. 




S^ 




\\ 




S^ 


./ 


^^ y 



When they had got quite accustomed to the way, I 
watched when an ant was on the bridge and then turned 
it round, so that the end h was at c, and c at h. In 
most cases the ant immediately turned round also ; but 
even if she went on to h or c, as the case may be, as 



EXPERIMENTS. 261 

soon as she came to the end of the bridge she turned 
round. 

I then modified the arrangement, placing between 
the nest and the food three similar pieces of wood. 
Then when the ant was on the middle piece, I trans- 
posed the other two. To my surprise this did not at 
all disconcert them. 

I then tried the arrangement shown in Fig. 24. 

Fig. 24. 




a is a paper bridge leading to the nest ; 6 is a board 
about 22 inches long by 13 broad, on which is a disk of 
white paper fastened at the centre by a pin d; e is 
some food. When the ants had come to know their way 
so that they passed straight over the paper disk on their 
way from a to e, I moved the disk round with an ant 
on it, so that / came to g and g to /. As before, the 
ants turned round with the paper. 

As it might be possible that the ants turned 
round on account of the changed relative position 
of external objects, I next substituted a circular 
box 12 inches in diameter, open at the top, and 



262 EXPERIMENTS WITH 

7 inches high (in fact, a hat-box) for the flat paper, 
cutting two small holes at / and g, so that the ants 
passing from the nest to the food went through the box 
entering at / and coming out at rj. The box was fixed 

Fiff. 25. 




at d, so that it might turn easily. I then, when they 
had got to know their way, turned the box round as 
soon as an ant had entered it, but in every case the 

Fig 26. 




ant turned round too, thus retaining her direction. I 

then varied the experiment as shown in Figs. 25 and 26. 

I replaced the white disk of paper, but put the 

food e at the middle of the board. When the ant had 



ROTATING DISKS. 



263 



got used to this arrangement I waited till one was on 
the disk (Fig. 25) and then gently drew it to the other 
side of e, as shown in Fig. 26. In this case, however, 
the ant did not turn round, but went on to g, when she 
seemed a good deal surprised at finding where she was. 
In continuation of the preceding experiments I 
constructed a circular table 18 inches in diameter. 
It consisted, as shown in Figs. 27 and 28, of three 
concentric pieces — a central f g, an intermediate 
D E, H I, and an outer piece B c, K L, each of these 

Fiff. 27. 




three pieces being capable of separate rotation. This 
arrangement was kindly devised for me by Mr. Francis 
Gal ton. 

I then connected the table with a nest of Lasius 
oiiger by a paper bridge a, and also made a paper path 
across the table, as shown in Fig. 28, divided into five 
pieces corresponding to the divisions of the table. 
This I did because I found that the ants wandered less 
if they were provided with a paper road than if they 
walked actually on the wood itself. I then placed a 
cup containing larvae on the table at B, and put an ant on 



264 



EXPEHIMENTS WITH 



the larvJE. She at once picked one up, and, with some 
little guidance from me, carried it off to the nest, 
returning at once for another, bringing some friends 
with her to help. When she knew her way, I gradually 
moved the cup across the table along the paper path 

Fig. 28. 




to M, placing it on a column five inches high. After 
a while the ants came to know the way quite well, 
and passed straight along the path from the nest to 
the larvae at M. Having thus established a service of 
ants, I tried the following experiments : — 

1. I removed the piece of paper G P. This dis- 



ROTATING TABLE. 265 

turbed them ; but they very soon re-established the 
chain. 

2. I turned round the central piece of the table G 
r, so that the paper G f was reversed, G being where 
F had been, and vice versa. This did not seem to 
diconcert the ants at all. They went straight over 
the paper as before, without a moment's hesitation. 

3. When some ants were between i and D, I rotated 
the outer circle of the table halfway round, which of 
course carried the cup containing the larvae from L to b. 
The ants took no notice of this, but went straight to L. 

4. When some ants were between i and d, I rotated 
the table several times, bringing it finally to its 
original position. This disturbed them a good deal ; 
but eventually they all continued their course to l. 

5. When some ants were between i and D, I half 
rotated the two centre parts of the table, the result of 
which, of course, was that the ant was moving to- 
wards, instead of away from, the nest. In every case 
the ants turned round too, so as duly to reach L. So 
also those which were on their way back from the 
larvae to the nest turned in the same manner. 

6. When the ants were between i and d, I half 
rotated the whole table. Again the ants turned round 
too, though of course in this case, when they reached 
the place where L had been, the cup with the larvae 
was behind them at b. 

The two latter experiments, though quite in accord- 
ance with those previously made, puzzled me a good 
13 



266 



EXPERIMENTS WITH 



deal. Experiment 3, as well as some of those recorded 
previously, seemed to show that ants were little guided 
in such cases by the position of siurounding objects. 
However, I was anxious to test this. 

7. Accordingly I took a round box and placed it 
upside down on the table, having cut two niches, one 
at each side, where it lay on the paper path, so as to 
afford a passage for the ants, as in the experiments 
recorded in my previous paper ; but on this occasion I 
left the lid on, cutting, however, a hole through which 
I could watch the result. In this case, therefore, the 
surrounding objects, i.e. the walls of the box, turned 
round with the table. Then, as' before, when the ants 
were between i and d, I turned the table half round. 
The results were as follows: — 





Ants which 


Ants which 




turned. 


did not turn 


Experiment 1 


1 


2 


2 ... 


1 




3 ... 


1 




4 ... 


4 




5 ... 







6 ... 







7 ... 





3 


8 ... 


1 




9 ... 







10 ... 


2 


2 


11 ... 


1 


1 


12 ... 





3 


11 


19 



In this case, then, only 11 ants turned; and as 4 
of them were together, it is possible that 3 simply 



A ROTATING BOX. 



267 



followed the first. Moreover, the ants which turned 
did so with much more hesitation and less'immediately. 
8. For comparison, I then again tried the same 
experiment, but without the box. The results were as 
follows : — 





Ants which 


Ants -which 




turned 


did not turn 


Observation 1 


.S 





2 


3 





3 ... 


3 


1? 


4 ... 


3 





5 ... 


4 





6 ... 


4 







20 


1 



Under these circumstances, therefore, all the ants 
bat one certainly turned, and her movements were 
undecided. 

From these last two experiments it is obvious that 
the presence of the box greatly affected the result, and 
yet the previous results made it difficult to suppose 
that the ants noticed any objects so distant as the walls 
of the rooms, or even as I was myself. The result 
surprised me considerably ; but I think the explanation 
is given by the following experiments. 

I again put some larvae in a cup, which I placed in 
the centre of the table ; and I let out an ant which I 
had imprisoned after the previous experiments, placing 
her in the cup ; she carried off a larva to the nest and 
soon returned. When she was again in the cup I half 
rotated the table: when she came out she seemed a 



268 EFFECT OF LIGHT. 

little surprised ; but after walking once round the cup, 
started off along the paper bridge straight home. 
When she returned to the cup I again half rotated the 
table. This time she went back quite straight When 
she had come again, I once more half rotated the table ; 
she returned quite straight. Again the same happened. 
A second ant then came : I half rotated the table as 
before. She went wrong for about an inch and a half, 
but then turned round and went straight home. 

I was working by the light of two candles which were 
on the side of the table towards the nest. The next time 
the two ants came I half rotated the table as before, and 
moved the candles to the far side. This time the ants 
were deceived, and followed the paper bridge to the end 
of the table furthest from the nest. This I repeated a 
second time, with the same result. I then turned the 
table as before without altering the lights, and the 
ants (four of them) went back all right. I then again 
turned the table, altering the lights, and the ant went 
wrong. 

I then altered the lights without rotating the table . 
the first ant went wrong ; the second right ; the third 
wrong ; the fourth wrong ; the fifth hesitated some 
seconds, and then went wrong ; the sixth right ; the 
seventh went all but to the edge the wrong way, but, 
after various wanderings, at last went right. When, 
therefore, the direction of the light was changed, but 
everything else left as before, out of seven ants, five 
were deceived and went in the wrong direction. 

After an interval of a week, on March 25, I arranged 



EFFECT OF LIGHT. 269 

the nest and the rotating table as before, and let out 
three ants which I had imprisoned on the 19th, and 
which knew their way. I put them on the larvae at M 
as before. The paper pathway had been left untouched. 
The ants examined the larvge and then went straight 
home along the paper path ; but, to my surprise, only 
one of them carried off a larva. Nevertheless they 
had evidently taken the news to the nest, for the ants 
at once began coming to the cup in considerable num- 
bers and carrying off the larvae. I do not altogether 
understand this proceeding, and unluckily had not 
marked the first three ants ; so that I cannot tell 
whether they brought or sent their friends. It seems 
possible that they felt unequal to the exertion of carrying 
a burthen to the nest until they had had some food. 

When the ants were fairly at work I turned the 
table 90 degrees. In this case eight ants which were 
on their way to the larvae continued their march along 
the paper, while two turned back ; but none left the 
paper and went across the table straight for the larvae. 

I then stopped the experiment for a while, so that 
the excitement might subside ; as when the ants 
become too numerous it is not so easy to watch them. 

When all was quiet I put the cup with the larvae 
on the middle of the table, and covered the greater 
part of the table with the box as before. In a short 
time some ants again came to the larvae, and then, 
just as they were leaving the cup on their way home, I 
turned the table, as before, half round. 

Under these circumstances, however, instead of 



270 RELUCTANCE OF ANTS 

turning as in the previous experiment, ten ants, one 
after another, continued their course, thus coming out 
of the box at the end furthest from the nest. When 
ten ants successively had, under these circumstances, 
gone wrong, to make the experiment complete, I tried 
it again, everything being the same, except that 
there was no box. Under these circumstances five 
ants, one after the other, turned directly the table was 
rotated. 

From these experiments, therefore, it seems clear 
that in determining their course the ants are greatly 
influenced by the direction of the light. 

March 27. — I let out two ants imprisoned on the 
25th, and placed them on the larvge, which I put on a 
column 7 inches high, covered with blue paper, and 
communicating with the nest by the paper path 
(a. Fig. 29) arranged as usual, but supported on 
pins. At first I arranged it as shown below, placing 
the larvas at m, on a table 18 inches in diameter, 
Yig. 29. SO that the ants, on arriving at 

the larvae, made nearly a semi- 
circle round the edge of the 
table. I then gradually moved 
the larvae to m' and afterwards 
to m". The ants, however, 
obviously knew that they were 
going unnecessarily round. They 
ran along the paper bridge in a very undecided manner, 
continually turning round and often coming down the 




TO GO OUT OF THEIR WAY. 271 

pins ; while in returning to the nest they persistently 
came down the side of the pillar nearest to the nest, 
though I repeatedly attempted to guide them the 
other way. Even when placed on the paper bridge 
between m and m', they were very dissatisfied. In 
fact, it was obvious that they knew they were being 
sent a long way round, and were attempting to make a 
shorter cut. 

I then again placed the larvae on the column at 
M, and when the ants were once more going to and 
fto regularly along the paper path, I altered the 
p sition of the column and larvae to m', placing the 
edge of the pillar, which the ants had been accustomed 
to ascend, towards the paper bridge, connecting it with 
the original bridge by a side- Fig. 30. 

bridge a, u being an inch from 
the original bridge. Under 
these circumstances three ants 
ran on to m ; then two found 
their way over the bridge a to 
m'. Of the next ten ants, five 
went to M and five over a to m'. 
The next ten all went over the paper bridge a to m'. 

I then put the pillar and the larvae on the other side 
of the original paper path at m", connected with the 
main path by a short bridge a', taking for a" a new 
piece of paper, so that scent would be no guide. I left 
the little bridge a in its place. The ants went as 
follows : — 




272 



ANTS TO SOME EXTENT 



To m' 



1 To m' 





To M 





^ J? 





J? 




^ >? 





5? 




^ 5> 





?) 




^ 5> 


1 


5? 




^ ?5 





>5 




^ 5> 





?? 





'^ 5? 





?? 





^ 5> 





?) 





^ ?) 





5J 





'^ 5> 


1 


!>5 





^ J? 


1 


?? 





^ ?> 





?! 






12 3 5 

It seems clear, therefore, that though the ants did 
not trust so much to their eyes as a man would have 
done under similar circumstances, yet that they were 
to some extent guided by sight. 

I then removed all the paper pathways and put the 
Fig. 31. pillar to M. Of the first two ants 

which came to the table, the first 
found the pillar in five minutes, 
the second, after wandering about 
for a quarter of an hour, gave the 
search up in despair, and went 
home. I then moved the pillar 
to m', and watched the next ant 
that came on to the table ; she found it in a minute or 




GUIDED BY SIGHT. 273 

two. I then moved it to m". Two ants came together. 
One found the pillar in 7 minutes ; the other took no 
less than 25, although, as already mentioned, the table 
was only 1 8 inches in diameter. Obviously, therefore, 
though it seems clear that they are helped by sight, still 
these last observations support those previously re- 
corded, and show that in finding their way they do 
not derive by any means so much assistance from their 
eyes as we should under corresponding circumstances. 



CHAPTER X. 

BEES. 

I ORIGINALLY intended to make my experiment prin- 
cipally with bees, but soon found that ants were on the 
whole more suitable for my purpose. 

In the first place, ants are much less excitable, they 
are less liable to accidents, and from the absence of 
wings are more easy to keep under continuous obser- 
vation. 

Still, I have made a certain number of observations 
with bees, some of which may be worth here recording. 

As already mentioned, the current statements with 
reference to the language of social insects depend much 
on the fact that when one of them, either by accident or 
in the course of its rambles, has discovered a stock of 
food, in a very short time many others arrive to profit 
by the discovery. This, however, does not necessarily 
imply any power of describing localities. If the bees 
or ants merely follow their more fortunate comrade, 
the matter is comparatively simple ; if, on the con- 
trary, others are sent, the case becomes very different. 

In order to test this I proposed to keep honey in a 
given place for some time, in order to satisfy myself 



METHOD OF OBSERVATION. 275 

that it would not readily be found by the bees ; and 
then, after bringing a bee to the honey, to watch 
whether it brought others, or sent them — the latter of 
course implying a much higher order of intelligence 
and power of communication. 

I therefore placed some honey in a glass, close to 
an open window in my sitting-room, and watched it for 
sixty hours of sunshine, during which no bees came 
to it. 

I then, at 10 a.m. on a beautiful morning in June, 
went to my hives, and took a bee which was just, 
starting out, brought it in my hand up to my room 
(a distance of somewhat less than 200 yards), and gave 
it some honey, which it sucked with evident enjoyment. 
After a few minutes it flew quietly away, but did not 
return ; nor did any other bee make its appearance. 

The following morning I repeated the same experi- 
ment. At 7.15 I brought up a bee, which sipped the 
honey with readiness, and after doing so for about four 
minutes flew away with no appearance of alarm or 
annoyance. It did not, however, return ; nor did any 
other bee come to my honey. 

On several other occasions I repeated the same experi- 
ments with a like result. Altogether I tried it more than 
twenty times. Indeed, I rarely found bees to return to 
honey if brought any considerable distance at once. By 
taking them, however, some twenty yards each time they 
came to the honey, I at length trained them to come to 
my room. On the whole, however, I found it more con- 



276 BEES DO NOT INVAKIAELY 

venient to procure one of Marriott's observatory hives, 
both on account of its construction, and also because I 
could have it in my room, and thus keep the bees more 
immediately under my own eye. My room is square, with 
three windows, two on the south-west side, where the hive 
was placed, and one on the south-east. Besides the 
ordinary entrance from the outside, the hive had a small 
postern door opening into the room ; this door was 
provided with an alighting-board, and closed by a plug ; 
as a general rule the bees did not notice it much unless 
the passage was very full of them. 

I then placed some honey on a table close to the 
hive, and from time to time fed certain bees on it. 
Those which had been fed soon got accustomed to come 
for the honey ; but partly on account of my frequent 
absence from home, and partly from their difficulty 
in finding their way about, and their tendency to lose 
themselves, I could never keep any marked bee under 
observation for more than a few days. 

Out of a number of similar observations I will here 
mention a few and give them in detail in the Appendix, 
as throwing some light on the power of communicating 
facts possessed by the bees ; they will also illustrate the 
daily occupations of a working bee. 

Exjperiment 1. — Thus, on August 24, 1874, I opened 
the postern door leading into my room at 6.45 a.m., and 
watched till 1 p.m. three bees, which had been trained 
to come to honey at a particular spot. They did not, 
however, know their way very well, and consequently 



BRING FRIENDS TO SHARE TREASURES. 277 

lost a good deal of time. One made 23 jom^neys 
backwards and forwards between the hive and the 
honey, the second 13, and the third only 7. 

The following day I watched the first of these bees 
from 7.23 to 12.54, during which time she made 19 
journeys. Scarcely any other bees came, but I did not 
record the exact number. 

Experirfient 2. — I watched another bee from 6.55 
A.M. till 7.15 P.M., during which time she made 59 
visits to the honey, and only one other bee came 
to it. 

Exjperiraent 3. — Another from 7 a.m. till 3 p.m. ; 
she made 40 journeys, and only two other bees came. 
She returned the two following mornings, and was 
watched for three hours each day, during which time 
no other bee came. 

Experiment 4. — Another morning I watched a dif- 
ferent bee from 9.19 a.m. to 2 p.m. : she made 21 jour- 
neys, and no other bee came. 

Then, thinking that perhaps this result might be 
due to the quantity of honey being too small, I used a 
wide-mouthed jar, containing more than one pound of 
honey. 

Experiment 5. — I watched two bees from 1.44 till 
4.30, during which time they made 24 journeys, but only 
one other bee came. 

Experiinent G. — Besides the honey in the jar I 
spread some out over two plates, so as to increase the 
surface. I watched a bee from 12.15 till 6.15 p.m. She 



278 DIFFICULTY IN 

made 28 journeys, but did not bring a single friend 
with her. 

Experiment 7. — On July 19 I put a bee to a honey- 
comb, which contained twelve and a half pounds of honey 
at 12.30, and which was placed in a comer of my room 
as far as possible from the window. That afternoon she 
made 22 visits to it, and no other bee came. The 
following morning she returned at 6.5 a.m., and I 
watched her till 2. She made 22 journeys, but did not 
bring a single friend with her. 

Experiment 8. — Another bee was also brought to 
the same honeycomb, watched from 2.30 till 7.14. She 
made 14 journeys, but did not bring a single friend. 

I might give other similar cases, but these are, I 
think, sufficient to show that bees do not bring their 
friends to share any treasure they have discovered, so 
invariably as might be assumed from the statements 
of previous observers. Possibly the result is partly 
due to the fact that my room is on the first floor, so 
that the bees coming to it flew at a higher level than 
that generally used by their companions, and hence 
were less likely to be followed. 

Indeed, I have been a good deal surprised at the 
difficulty which bees experience in finding their way. 

For instance, I put a bee into a bell-glass 18 inches 
long, and with a mouth 6^ inches wide, turning the closed 
end to the window; she buzzed about for an hour, 
when, as there seemed no chance of her getting out, 
1 put her back into the hive. Two flies, on the 



FINDING THEIR WAY. 279 

contrary, which I put in with her, got out at once. At 
] 1.30 I put another bee and a fly into the same glass : 
the latter flew out at once. For half an hour the bee 
tried to get out at the closed end ; I then turned the 
glass with its open end to the light, when she flew out at 
once. To make sure, I repeated the experiment once 
more with the same result. 

Some bees, however, have seemed to me more in- 
telligent in this respect than others. A bee which I 
had fed several times, and which bad flown about in 
the room, found its way out of the glass in a quarter of 
an hour, and when put in a second time came out at 
once. Another bee, when I closed the postern door 
which opened from my hive directly into my room, 
used to come round to the honey through an open 
window. 

One day (April 14, 1872), when a number of 
them were very busy on some berberries, I put a saucer 
with some honey between two bunches of flowers ; these 
flowers were repeatedly visited, and were so close that 
there was hardly room for the saucer between them, 
yet from 9.30 to 3.30 not a single bee took any notice 
of the honey. At 3.30 I put some honey on one of the 
bunches of flowers, and it was eagerly sucked by the 
bees ; two kept continually retiurning till past five in 
the evening. 

One day when I came home in the afternoon I found 
that at least a hundred bees had got into my room 
through the postern and were on the window, yet not 



280 BEES FOLLOW ONE ANOTHER 

one was attracted by an oj^en jar of honey which stood 
in a shady corner about 3 feet 6 inches from the 
window. 

Another day (April 29, 1872) I placed a saucer of 
honey close to some forget-me-nots, on which bees 
were numerous and busy ; yet from 10 a.m. till 6 only 
one bee went to the honey. 

I put some honey in a hollow in the garden wall 
opposite my hives at 10.30 (this wall is about five feet 
high and four feet from the hives), yet the bees did 
not find it during the whole day. 

On March 30, 1873, a fine sunshiny day, when the 
bees were very active, I placed a glass containing 
honey at 9 in the morning on the wall in front of the 
hives ; but not a single bee went to the honey the 
whole day. On April 20 I tried the same experiment 
with the same result. 

SepteTTiber 19. — At 9.30 I placed some honey in a 
glass about four feet from and just in front of the 
hive, but during the whole day not a bee observed it. 

As it then occurred to me that it might be 
suggested that there was something about this honey 
which rendered it unattractive to the bees, on the 
following day I first placed it again on the top of the 
wall for three hours, during which not a single 
bee came, and then moved it close to the alighting- 
board of the hive. It remained unnoticed for a quarter 
of an horn-, when two bees observed it, and others soon 
followed in considerable numbers. 



TO STORES OF FOOD. 281 

It is generally stated not only that the bees in a 
hive all know one another, but also that they immedi- 
ately recognise and attack any intruder from another 
hive. It is possible that the bees of particular hives 
have a particular smell. Thus Langstroth, in his in- 
teresting ' Treatise on the Honey-Bee,' says, ' Members 
of different colonies appear to recognise their hive 
companions by the sense of smell ; ' and I believe that 
if colonies are sprinkled with scented syrup they may 
generally be safely mixed. Moreover, a bee returning 
to its own hive with a load of treasure is a very dif- 
ferent creature from a hungry marauder ; and it is 
said that a bee, if laden with honey, is allowed to enter 
any hive with impunity. INIr. Langstroth continues : 
' There is an air of roguery about a thieving bee which, 
to the expert, is as characteristic as are the motions of 
a pickpocket to a skilful policeman. Its sneaking look 
and nervous, guilty agitation, once seen, can never be 
mistaken.' It is at any rate natural that a bee which 
enters a wrong hive by accident should be much sm-- 
prised and alarmed, and would thus probably betray 
herself. 

So far as my own observations go, though bees 
habitually know and return to their own hive, still, if 
placed on the alighting-board of another, they often 
enter it without molestation. Thus : — 

On May 4 I put a strange bee into a hive at 2 
o'clock. She remained in till 2.20, when she came out, 
but entered again directly. I was away most of the 



282 BEHAVIOUR OF BEES 

afternoon, but returned at 5.30 ; at 6 she came out of 
the hive, but soon returned ; and after that I saw no 
more of her. 

May 12. — A beautiful day, and the bees very active. 
I placed twelve marked bees on the alighting-board of 
a neighbouring hive. They all went in ; but before 
evening ten had returned home. 

May 13. — Again put twelve marked bees on the 
alighting-board of another nest ; eleven went in. The 
following day I found that seven had returned home ; 
the other five I could not see. 

May 17. — Took a bee, and, after feeding her and 
marking her white, put her to a hive next but one to 
her own at 4.18. She went in. 
4.22. Came out and went in again. 
4.29. Came out. I fed her and sent her back. 

4.35. Came out. Took a little flight and came back. 

4.45. Went in, but returned. 4.52. Went in. 
4.53. Came out. 4.56. „ 
4.57. „ 4.58. „ 

5. I. Came out, took another little flight, and returned. 
I fed her again. 5.25. Went in again. 

5.28. Came out again. 5.29. „ 

O.Oi. „ OmOOm ,, 

5.36. „ 5.40. „ 

5.46. Shut her and the others in with a piece of note- 

paper. 
6.36. One of the bees forced her way through. [ 
opened the door ; and several, including the 



IN A STRANGE HIVE. 283 

white one, came out directly. Till 6.50 this bee 
kept on going in and out every minute or two ; 
hardly any bees were flying, only a few stand- 
ing at the doors of most of the hives. At 
7.20 she was still at the hive door. 
j^^y 20.— Between 6 and 7 P.M. I marked a bee 
and transferred her to another hive. 

May 21.— Watched from 7.30 to 8.9 in themommg 
without seeing her. At half-past six in the evening 
went down again, directly saw and fed her. She was 
then in her new hive; but a few minutes after I ob- 
served her on the lighting-stage of her old hive; so I 
again fed her, and when she left my hand she returned 

to the new hive. 

j^^y 22.-8 o'clock. She was back m her old 

hive. , . 

May 23.-About 12.30 she was agam m the new 

hive. 

Though bees which have stung and lost their stmg 
always perish, they do not die immediately ; and in the 
meantime they show little sign of suffering from the 
terrible injury. On August 25 a bee which had come 
several times to my honey was startled, flew to one of 
the windows, and had evidently lost her way. While 
I was putting her back she stung me, and lost her 
sting in doing so. I put her in through the postern, 
and for twenty minutes she remained on the landing- 
stage ; she then went into the hive, and after an hour 
returned to the honey and fed quietly, notwithstandmg 



284 LABOUR OF BEES NOT INCESSANT. 

the terrible injury she had received. After this, how- 
ever, I did not see her any more. 

Like many other insects, bees are much affected 

by light. One evening, having to go down to the 

' cellar, I lit a small covered lamp. A bee which was 

out came to it, and, flying round and round like a 

moth, followed me the whole of the way there. 

I often found that if bees which were brought to 
honey did not return at once, still they would do so a 
day or two afterwards. For instance, on July 11, 1874, 
a hot thundery day, and when the bees were much out 
of humour, I brought twelve bees to some honey : only 
one came back, and that one only once ; but on the 
following day several of them returned. 

My bees sometimes ceased work at times when I 
could not account for their doing so. October 19 was a 
beautiful, sunshiny, warm day. All the morning the 
bees were fully active. At 11.25 I brought one to the 
honeycomb, and she returned at the usual intervals for 
a couple of hours ; but after that she came no more, nor 
were there any other bees at work. Yet the weather 
was lovely, and the hive is so placed as to catch the 
afternoon sun. 

I have made a few observations to ascertain, if 
possible, whether the bees generally go to the same 
part of the hive. Thus, — 

October 5. — I took a bee out of the hive, fed her, 
and marked her. She went back to the same part. 

October 9. — At 7.15 I took out two bees, fed and 



RECKLESSNESS OF BEES. 285 

marked them. They returned ; but I could not see 
them in the same part of the hive. One, however, I 
found not far off. 

At 9.3.0 brought out four bees, fed and marked them. 
One returned to the same part of the hive. I lost sight 
of the others. 

Since their extreme eagerness for honey may be 
attributed rather to their anxiety for the commonweal 
than to their desire for personal gratification, it cannot 
fairly be imputed as greediness; still the following 
scene, described by Dr. Langstroth, and one which 
most of us have witnessed, is incompatible surely with 
much intelligence. 'No one can understand the 
extent of their infatuation until he has seen a con- 
fectioner's shop assailed by myriads of hungry bees. 
I have seen thousands strained out from the syrup 
in which they had perished ; thousands more alighting 
even upon the boihng sweets ; the floor covered and 
windows darkened with bees, some crawling, others 
flying, and others still so completely besmeared as 
to be able neither to crawl nor fly — not one in ten 
able to carry home its ill-gotten spoils, and yet the air 
filled with new hosts of thoughtless comers.' ' 

If, however, bees are to be credited with any moral 
feelings at all, I fear the experience of all bee-keepers 
shows that they have no conscientious scruples about 
robbing their weaker brethren. ' If the bees of a strong 
stock,' says Langstroth, ' once get a taste of forbidden 
' Hive- and Honey-Bee, Langstroth, p. 277. 



286 WANT OF AFFECTION. 

sweets, they will seldom stop until they have tested the 
strength of every hive.' And again, ' Some bee- 
keepers question whether a bee that once learns to 
steal ever returns to honest courses.' Siebold has men- 
tioned similar facts in the case of certain wasps (^Polistes). 
Far, indeed, from having been able to discover any 
evidence of affection among them, they appear to be 
thoroughly callous and utterly indifferent to one 
another. As already mentioned, it was necessary for 
me occasionally to kill a bee ; but I never found that 
the others took the slightest notice. Thus on October 
111 crushed a bee close to one which was feeding — in 
fact, so close that their wings touched ; yet the sur- 
vivor took no notice whatever of the death of her 
sister, but went on feeding with every appearance of 
composure and enjoyment, just as if nothing had hap- 
pened. When the pressure was removed, she remained 
by the side of the corpse without the slightest appear- 
ance of apprehension, sorrow, or recognition. She evi- 
dently did not feel the slightest emotion at her 
sister's death, nor did she show any alarm lest the 
same fate should befall her also. In a second case 
exactly the same occurred. Again, I have several 
times, while a bee has been feeding, held a second 
bee by the leg close to her ; the prisoner, of course, 
struggled to escape, and buzzed as loudly as she could ; 
yet the bee which was feeding took no notice whatever. 
So far, therefore, from being at all affectionate, I doubt 
whether bees are in the least fond of one another. 



DEVOTION TO QUEEN. 287 

Their devotion to their queen is generally quoted 
as an admirable trait ; yet it is of the most limited 
character. For instance, I was anxious to change 
one of my black queens for a Ligurian ; and accord- 
ingly on October 26 Mr. Hunter was good enough to 
bring me a Ligurian queen. We removed the old 
queen, and we placed her with some workers in a box 
containing some comb. I was obliged to leave home 
on the following day ; but when I returned on the 30th 
I found that all the bees had deserted the poor queen, 
who seemed weak, helpless, and miserable On the 31st 
the bees were coming to some honey at one of my 
windows, and I placed this poor queen close to them. 
In alighting, several of them even touched her ; yet not 
one of her subjects took the slightest notice of her. The 
same queen, when afterwards placed in the hive, im- 
mediately attracted a number of bees. 

As regards the affection of bees for one another, it 
is no doubt true that when they have got any honey 
on them, they are always licked clean by the rest; 
but I am satisfied that this is for the sake of the 
honey rather than of the bee. On September 27, for 
instance, I tried with two bees : one had been drowned, 
the other was smeared with honey. The latter was 
soon licked clean ; of the former they took no notice 
whatever. I have, moreover, repeatedly placed dead 
bees by honey on which live ones were feeding, but the 
latter never took the slightest notice of the corpses. 

Dead bees are indeed usually carried out of the 



288 SENSE OF SMELL. 

hive ; but if one is placed on the alighting-stage, the 
others seem to take no notice of it, though it is in 
general soon pushed off accidentally by their move- 
ments. I have even seen the bees sucking the juices 
of a dead pupa. 

As regards the senses of bees, it seems clear that 
they possess a keen power of smelL 

On October 5 I put a few drops of eau de Cologne 
in the entrance of one of my hives, and immediately 
a number of bees (about fifteen) came out to see what 
was the matter. Eose-water also had the same effect ; 
and, as will be mentioned presently, in this manner 
I called the bees out several times ; but after a few 
days they took hardly any notice of the scent. 

These observations were made partly with the view 
of ascertaining whether the same bees act as sentinels. 
With this object, on October 5 I called out the bees by 
placing some eau de Cologne in the entrance, and 
marked the first three bees that came out. At 5 p.m. 
I called them out again ; about twenty came, including 
the three marked ones. I marked three more. 

October 6.— Called them out again. Out of the first 
twelve, five were marked ones. I marked three more. 

October 7. — Called them out at 7.30 a.m. as before. 
Out of the first nine, seven were marked ones. 

At 5.30 P.M. called them out again. Out of six, 
five were marked ones. 

October 8. — Called them out at 7.15. Six came out, 
all marked ones. 



SENTINELS. 289 

October 9. — Called them out at 6.40. Out of the 
first ten, eight were marked ones. 

Called them out at 11.30 a.m. Out of six, three 
were marked. I marked the other three. 

Called them out at 1.30 p.m. Out of ten, six were 
marked.- 

Called them out at 4.30. Out of ten," seven were 
marked. 

October 10. — Called them out at 6.5 a.m. Out of 
six, five were marked. 

Shortly afterwards I did the same again, when out 
of eleven, seven were marked ones. 

5.30 P.M. Called them out again. Out of seven, 
five were marked. 

October 11. — 6.30 a.m. Called them out again. 
Out of nine, seven were marked. 

5 P.M. Called them out again. Out of seven, five 
were marked. 

After this day they took hardly any notice of the 
scents. 

Thus in these nine experiments, out of the ninety- 
seven bees which came out first, no less than seventy- 
one were marked ones, though out of the whole number 
of bees in the hive there were only twelve marked for 
this pmrpose, and, indeed, even fewer in the earlier ex- 
periments. I ought, perhaps, to add that I generally 
fed the bees when I called them out. 



14 



290 SENSE OF HEARING. 

The Sense of Hearing. 

August 29. — The result of my experiments on the 
hearing of bees has surprised me very much. It is 
generally considered that to a certain extent the 
emotions of bees are expressed by the sounds they 
make,^ which seems to imply that they j)ossess the 
power of hearing. I do not by any means intend to 
deny that this is the case. Nevertheless I never found 
them take any notice of any noise which I made, even 
when it was close to them. I tried one of my bees 
with a violin. I made all the noise I could, but to my 
surprise she took no notice. I could not even see a 
twitch of the antennas. The next day I tried the same 
with another bee, but could not see the slightest sign 
that she was conscious of the noise. On August 31 I 
repeated the same experiment with another bee with 
the same result. On September 12 and 13 I tried 
several bees with a dog-whistle and a shrill pipe ; but 
they took no notice whatever, nor did a set of tuning- 
forks which I tried on a subsequent day have any more 
effect. These tuning-forks extended over three octaves, 
begiiming with a below the ledger line. I also tried 
with my voice, shouting, &c., close to the head of a bee ; 
but, in spite of my utmost efforts, the bees took no 
notice. I repeated these experiments at night when 
the bees were quiet ; but no noise that I could make 
seemed to disturb them in the least. 

' See, for instance, Landois, Zeits. f. ivisx. Xnol. 18G7, p. 184. 



COLOUR SENSE. 291 

In this respect the results of my observations on 
bees entirely agreed with those on ants, and I will 
here, therefore, only refer to what has been said in 
a preceding chapter. 

The Colour Sense of Bees. 

The consideration of the causes which have led to 
the structm-e and coloui'ing of flowers is one of the 
most fascinating parts of natural history. Most botanists 
are now agreed that insects, and especially bees, have 
played a very important part in the development of 
flowers. While in many plants, almost invariably with 
inconspicuous blossoms, the pollen is carried from 
flower to flower by the wind, in the case of almost all 
large and brightly coloured flowers this is effected by 
the agency of insects. In such flowers the colours, 
scent, and honey serve to attract insects, while the size 
and form are arranged in such a manner that the 
insects fertilise them with pollen brought from another 
plant. 

There could, therefore, be little doubt that bees 
possess a sense of colour. Nevertheless I thought it 
would be desirable to prove this if possible by actual 
experiment, w^iich had not yet been done. Accordingly 
on July 12 I brought a bee to some honey which 
I placed on blue paper, and about 3 feet off I 
placed a similar quantity of honey on orange paper. 
After she had returned twice I transposed the 
papers; but she returned to the honey on the blue 



292 EXPERIMENTS WITH 

paper. After she had made three more visits, always 
to the blue paper, I transposed them again, and she 
again followed the colour, though the honey was left 
in the same place. The following day I was not able to 
watch her; but on the 14th at — 

7.29 A.M. she returned to the honey on the blue paper 

7.31 left. 
7 44 7 41 

7.56 „ „ 

I then again transposed the papers. At 8.5 she 
returned to the old place, and was just going to 
alight ; but observing the change of colours, without a 
moment's hesitation darted off to the blue. No one 
who saw her at that moment could have entertained 
the slightest doubt about her perceiving the difference 
between the two colours. At 8.9 she went. 

8.13 she returned to the blue; 8.16 went. 
8.20 „ „ 8.23 „ 

8.26 „ „ 8.30 „ 

Transposed the colours again. 

At 8.35 she returned to the blue, and at 8.39 went. 



8.44 


8.47 


8.50 


8.53 


Transposed the colours again. 




8.57 she returned again to the blue ; 


9. 


9. 4 


9. 7 


9.12 


9.15 



COLOUEED PAPER. 293 

9.19 she returned again to the bhie ; 9.22 went. 

9.2.^ „ „ 9.27 „ 

9-30 „ „ 9.34 „ 

9.40 „ „ 9.44 „ 

9.50 „ „ 9.55 „ 

Transposed the colours again. 

10. 2 she returned again to the blue ; 10. 6 „ 

10-10 „ „ 10.14 „ 

10.20 „ „ 10.25 „ 
10.30 „ „ 10.34 „ 
10.40 „ „ 10.44 „ 
10.48 „ „ 10.51 „ 
11-12 „ „ 11.14 „ 

11.21 „ and flew about, having 

been disturbed. 
11.26 „ „ 11.28 went. 

11.36 „ „ 11.40 „ 

12. 5 came and flew about, but did not settle till— 
12.17 she returned again to the blue ; 12.17 went. 
12.21 came and flew about. 

Though it was a beautiful afternoon, she did not 
return any more that day. 

On October 2 I placed some honey on slips of glass 
resting on black, white, yellow, orange, green, blue, 
and red paper. A bee which was placed on the orange 
returned twenty times to that slip of glass, only once 
or twice visiting the others, though I moved the posi- 
tion and also the honey. The next morning again two 



294 EVIDENT POWER 01 

or three bees paid twenty-one visits to the orange and 
yellow, and only four to all the other slips of glass. I 
then moved the glass, after which, out of thirty-two 
visits, twenty-two were to the orange and yellow. 
This was due, I believe, to the bee having been placed 
on the orange at the beginning of the experiment. 
I do not attribute it to any preference for the 
orange or yellow ; indeed, I shall presently give reasons 
for considering that blue is the favourite colour of 
bees. 

October 6. — I had ranged my colours in a line, with 
the blue at one end. It was a cold morning, and only 
one bee came. She had been several times the pre- 
ceding day, generally to the honey which was on the 
blue paper. This day also she came to the blue ; I 
moved the blue gradually along the line one stage 
every half-hour, dviring which time she paid fifteen 
visits to the honey, in every case going to that which 
was on the blue paper. 

Again, on September 13 at 11 a.m., I brought up a 
bee from one of my hives ; at 11 .40 she returned to 
honey which I had put on a slip of glass on green paper. 
She returned at 11.61. And again at 

12. 1 

12.13 

12.22 

12.33 

12.46 

12.58 



DISTINGUISHING COLOUES. 295 

She returned at 1.12. This time she lost her way in 

the room. 
1.49 

., 2. 1. This time she got stuck in the 

honey, and had to clean 
herself. 

„ 2.25 

„ 2.40. I now put red paper instead 

of the green, and put the 
green paper with a similar 
quantity of honey on it a 
foot off. 

„ 2.51 to the honey on green paper. 

I then gently moved the 
green paper, with the bee 
on it, back to the old spot. 
When the bee had gone, I 
put yellow paper where the 
green had been, and put 
the green again a foot off. 

^ 3. to the honey on the yellow 

paper. I distiubed the 
bee, and she at once flew 
to the honey on the green 
paper ; when she had gone, 
I put orange paper in the 
old place, and put the green 
paper about a foot off. 

,, 3.10 to the honey on the green paper. 



296 EVIDENT POWER OF 

I again gently moved the 
paper, with the bee on it, 
to the usual place; and 
when the bee had gone, 
put white paper in the old 
place, and put the green a 
foot off. 
She returned at 3.20 to the honey on the green paper. 

I again gently moved the 
green paper, with the bee 
on it, to the old place ; and 
when she had gone, re- 
placed it by blue paper, 
putting the green a foot off. 
„ 3.30 to the honey on the green paper. 

I again repeated the same 
thing, putting yellow in- 
stead of blue. 
„ 3.40 to the green paper. I now re- 

versed the position of the 
yellow and green papers ; 
but 
„ 3.51 to the green. After this 

4. 6 
4.15 
„ 4.28, when she left off for the day, 

nor were there any bees still working in the garden. 
The same afternoon a wasp, which I was observing, 
remained at work till 6.29 p.m. 



DISTINGUISHING COLOURS. 



297 



August 20. — About noon I brought five bees to 
some honey at my window. They all soon returned, 
and numerous friends came with them. One of them 
I put to some honey on blue paper. She returned as 
follows, viz. : — 



At 12.36 
12.42 
12.53 
1.28 
1.38 
1.49 
2. 2 
2.11 
2.24 



At 2.30 
2.38 

3. 2 
3.10 
3.22 
3.50 

4. 4 
4.14 
4.23 



when I left off watching and shut her out. The longer 
intervals are due to her having got some honey every 
now and then on her wings and legs, when she lost a 
little time in cleaning herself. 

August 21. — I opened my window at 6 a.m. No 
bee came till at 7.33 the one above-mentioned came to 
the honey on blue j)aper. 

I also placed some honey on orange paper about 
two feet off. 

At 7.42 she returned to the honey on blue paper, 
and again 
7.55 she returned to the honey on blue paper. 
8. 3 „ „ 

8.14 



298 EVIDENT POWER OF 

At 8.25 She returned to the honey on blue paper. 
8.36 
8.44 
8.54 
9. 5 J, „ 

I then transposed the papers, but not the honey. 

At 9.16 she came back to the honey on blue paper. 
I then transposed the papers again. 

At 9.29 she came back to the honey on blue paper. 
1 then transposed them again. 

At J.ov „ „ ,f „ 

At 9.53 she came back to the honey on blue paper. 
I now put green paper instead of orange, and transposed 
the places. 

At 10.0 she came back to the honey on green paper. 
I transposed them again. 

At 10.8 she came back to the honey on blue paper. 
I transposed them again. 

At 10.21 she came back to the honey on green paper. 
I now put red paper instead of green, and transposed 
the places. 

At 10.30 she came back to the honey on blue paper. 
I transposed them again. 

At 10.42 

10. oo ,, „ „ „ 

ii« 4 ?5 »? 55 55 

11 'lo „ „ „ „ 

I now put white j)aper instead of red, and trans- 
posed the places. 



DISTINGUISHING COLOURS. 299 

At 11.28 she came back to the honey on blue paper. 
I transposed them again. 

At 11.41 „ „ „ 

11.56 „ „ „ „ 

l^. 8 „ „ „ „ 

At 12.17 she came back to the honey on blue paper. 
1 now put green paper again instead of white, and 
transj)osed the places. 

At 12.27 she came back to the honey on blue paper. 
I transposed them again. 
At 12.40 

12.50 „ „ „ „ 

^' o „ ,, ,, „ 

^•'^ 5> )? JJ ?5 

At 1.25 she came back to the honey on blue 
paper, and then to the green. I transposed them 
again. 

At 1 .40 she came back to the honey on blue paper. 
I transposed them again. 

At 1.47 she came back to the honey on green paper. 
„ 1.57 she came back to the honey on blue paper, 
and then to the green. 

At 2. 6 she came back to the honey on blue paper. 
9 17 

The following day I accustomed this bee to green 
[)aper. She made 63 visits (beginning at 7.47 and 
ending at 6.44), of which 50 were to honey on green 
paper. 

The following day, August 23, she began work, — 



300 EVIDENT POWER OF 

At 7.12 returning to honey on green paj^er. I then 
put some on yellow paper about a foot off. 

At 7.19 she turned to the honey on green paper. 
I transposed the colours. 

At 7.25 she turned to the honey on green paper. 
I replaced the yellow paper by orange and transposed 
the places. 

At 7.36 she turned to the honey on green paper. 
I transposed the colours so that the orange might be on 
the spot to which the bee was most accustomed. 

At 7.44 she turned to the honey on green paper. 
I now put white instead of orange. 

At 7.55 she turned to the honey on green paper. 
Transposed the papers. 

At 8.1 she turned to the honey on green paper, 
I now put blue paper instead of white. 

At 8.12 she turned to the honey on blue paper; 
but it will be remembered that she had been previously 
accustomed to come to the blue. I now put red instead 
of blue. 

At 8.23 she turned to the honey on green paper, 
8.25 „ „ „ ,, 

"•47 „ f) 55 55 

I then ceased observing and removed the honey. 

Thus the bee which was accustomed to green, 
returned to that colour when it was removed about a 
foot, and replaced by yellow, orange, white, and red ; 
but, on the other hand, when it was replaced by blue, 
she went to the blue. 1 kept this bee under obser- 



DISTINGUISHING COLOURS. 301 

vation till the 28th, but not with reference to 
colours. 

August 24. — At 7.45 I put another bee to honey 
on green paper, to which she kept on returning till 
9.44. The next day (August 25) she came at 7.38, and 
I let her come to the green jDaper till 9. The follow- 
ing morning she returned at 6 a.m., coming back as 
follows, viz. : — 

At 6.10 
6.18 
6.25 
6.35 
6.45 
6.54 
7. 3 
7.13 

I now put orange in place of green, and put the 
green a foot off. 

At 7.24 she returned to the green. I replaced the 
paper with the bee on it ; and when she had gone I 
put light blue in place of the green, and again moved 
the green a foot off. 

At 7.36 she returned to the blue. I again replaced 
the paper with the bee on it ; and when she had gone I 
put yellow in place of the green, and again moved the 
green a foot off. 

At 7.44 she returned to the green. I then did 



302 M. BONNIER'S VIEWS. 

exactly the same, only putting vermilion in place of 
the green. 

At 7.55 she returned to the green. I then did ex- 
actly the same, only putting white in place of green. 

At O. O ,, ,, ,, ,5 

These observations clearly show that bees possess 
the power of distinguishing colours. 

It remained to determine, if possible, whether 
they have any preference for one colour over another. 
M. Bonnier in a recent memoir^ denies this. He 
does not question the power of insects to distinguish 
colours, which he admits that the preceding observa- 
tions clearly prove, but he maintains that they would 
not be in any way attracted or guided by the colours 
of flowers. This he has attempted to demonstrate by 
experiment. With this view he proceeded as follows : 
— He took four cubes, 22 centim. by 12 (i.e. about 9 
inches by 3|), and coloured red, green, yellow, and white, 
placing them 6 feet apart in a line parallel to and about 
60 feet distant from the hives. He then placed on 
each an equal quantity of honey, and from minute 
to minute counted the number of bees on each cube. 
He found that the number of bees on each was approx- 
imately equal, and that the honey was removed from 
each in about twenty minutes. In the experiment he 
records the bees began to arrive directly the honey 
was arranged, and in ten minutes there were nearly a 
hundred bees on each cube. I presume, therefore, that 
Zci jVectaircs, 



M. BONNIEE'S EXPERIMENT. 303 

the bees were previously accustomed to come to the 
spot in question, expecting to find honey. 

I do not think, however, that any conclusive result 
could be expected from this experiment. In the first 
place, after the first five minutes there were about 
thirty bees on each cube, and in less than ten minutes 
nearly a hundred, and the colour therefore must have 
been almost covered up. The presence of so many bees 
would also attract their companions. Moreover, as the 
honey was all removed in less than twenty minutes, the 
bees were evidently working against time. They were 
like the passengers in an express train, turned hurriedly 
into a refreshment-room ; and we cannot expect that 
they would be much influenced by the colouring of the 
tablecloth. In fact, the experiment was too hurried, 
and the test not delicate enough. 

Then, again, he omitted blue, which I hope to show 
is the bee's favourite colour, and his cubes were all 
coloured. It is true that one was green ; but any one 
may satisfy himself that a piece of green paper on 
grass is almost as conspicuous as any other colour. To 
make this experiment complete, M. Bonnier should 
have placed beside the honey on the coloured cubes a 
similar supply, without any accompaniment of colour to 
render it conspicuous. 

I could not, therefore, regard these experiments as 
at all conclusive. The following seem to me a more 
fair test : - 

I took slips of glass of the size generally used for 



304 EXPERIMENTS TO TEST 

slides for the microscope, viz. 3 inches by 1, and pasted 
on them slips of paper coloured respectively blue, green, 
orange, red, white, and yellow. I then put them on a lawn, 
in a row, about a foot apart, and on each put a second 
slip of glass with a drop of honey. I also put with them 
a slip of plain glass with a similar drop of honey. I had 
previously trained a marked bee to come to the place for 
honey. My plan then was, when the bee returned and 
had sipped about for a quarter of a minute, to remove the 
honey, when she flew to another slip. This then I took 
away, when she went to a third ; and so on. In this 
way — as bees generally suck for three or four minutes 
— I induced her to visit all the droj)s successively before 
returning to the nest. When she had gone to the nest 
I transposed all the upper glasses with the honey, and 
also moved the coloured glasses. Thus, as the drop of 
honey was changed each time, and also the position of 
the coloured glasses, neither of these could influence 
the selection by the bee. 

In recording the results I marked down successively 
the order in which the bee went to the different coloured 
glasses. For instance, in the first journey from the 
nest, as recorded below, the bee lit first on the blue, 
which accordingly I marked 1 ; when disturbed from 
the blue, she flew about a little and then lit on the 
white.; when the white was removed, she settled on 
the green ; and so on successively on the orange, yellow, 
plain, and red. I repeated the experiment a hundred 
times, using two different hives — one in Kent and 



PREFERENCE FOR PARTICULAR COLOURS. 305 

one in Middlesex — and spreading the observations over 
some time, so as to experiment with different bees, 
and under varied circumstances. Adding the numbers 
together, it of course follows that the greater the 
preference shown for each colour the lower will be the 
number standing against it. 

The following table gives the first day's observa- 
tions in extenso : — 



Journeys 


Blue 


Green 


Plain 

Glass 


Orange 


Red 


White 


Yellow 


1 
2 
3 
4 
5 
6 
7 
8 
9 
10 
1] 


1 
5 
1 

1 

1 
2 
3 
5 
1 
4 


3 
4 
4 
4 

4 
2 
1 

4 
1 
6 
(j 


6 

7 
7 
6 

3 

4 
6 

7 
7 
5 


4 
6 
6 

7 
2 
6 

7 
2 
4 
5 
2 


7 
1 
5 
5 
6 
5 
3 
7 
6 
3 
7 


2 
2 
3 
1 
5 
4 
5 
5 
3 
2 

3 


5 
3 

2 
3 
8 

7 
6 
1 
2 

4 
1 




26 


3!) 


65 


51 


55 


35 


37 



In the next series of experiments the bees had 
been trained for three weeks to come to a particular 
spot on a large lawn, by placing from time to time 
honey on a piece of plain glass. This naturally gave 
the plain glass an advantage ; nevertheless, as will be 
seen, the blue still retained its pre-eminence. It seems 
hardly necessary to give the observations in detail. 
The following table shows the general result : — 



306 



EXPERIMENTS SHOWING 



Series 


No. of 
Exp. 


Blue 


Green 


Orange 


Plain 


Red 


White 


YeUow 


1st 

2nd, May 30 ... 
3rd, July 2 ... 
4th, „ 4 . 
5th, „ 5 ... 
6th, „ 6 ... 
7th, ,. 20 ... 
8th, „ 23 ... 
9th, „ 25 ... 


11 
15 
16 
15 
10 
2 
11 
10 
10 


26 
38 
44 
43 
36 
2 
33 
31 
22 


39 
57 
76 
61 
47 
8 
39 
46 
54 


51 
59 
82 
64 
39 
9 
50 
48 
38 


65 
72 
73 
80 
40 
10 
47 
52 
52 


55 
66 
53 
66 
40 
14 
49 
37 
33 


35 
58 
53 
50 
36 
6 
41 
35 
35 


37 
70 
67 
56 
42 
7 
49 
31 
46 


100 


275 


427 


440 


491 


413 


349 


405 



The precautions taken seem to me to have placed 
the colours on an equal footing ; while the number of 
experiments appears sufficient to give a fair average. 
It will be observed also that the different series agree 
well among themselves. The difference between the 
numbers is certainly striking. Adding together 1, 2, 
3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, we get 28 as the total number given 
by each journey ; 100 journeys therefore give, as the 
table shows, a total of 2,800, which divided by 7 would 
of course, if no preference were shown, give 400 for 
each colour. The numbers given, however, are — for 
the blue only 275, for the white 349, yellow 405, red 
413, green 427, orange 440, and plain glass as many as 
491. 

Another mode of testing the result is to take the 
per-centage in which the bees went respectively to each 
colour first, second, third, and so on. It will be 
observed, for instance, that out of a hundred rounds 
the bees took blue as one of the first three in 74 cases, 



PREFERENCE FOR BLUE. 



307 



and one of the last four only in 26 cases ; while, on the 
contrary, they selected the plain as one of the first 
three only in 25 cases, and one of the last four in 75 
cases. 





Blue 


Green 


Orange 


Plain 


Bed 


White 


Yellow 


First 


31 


10 


11 


5 


14 


19 


9 


Second 


18 


11 


13 


7 


10 


21 


20 


Third 


25 


12 


8 


13 


16 


13 


13 


Fonrth 


8 


23 


15 


11 


11 


12 


20 


Fifth 


11 


13 


15 


19 


17 


16 


10 


Sixth 


3 


15 


22 


21 


18 


12 


9 


Seventh ... 


4 


16 


16 


24 


14 


7 


19 


100 


100 


100 


100 


100 


100 


100 



I may add that I was by no means prepared for 
this result. Miiller, in his remarkable volume on 
Alpine Flowers, states that bees are much more attracted 
by yellow than by white.' In the same work he gives 
the following table : — 



Flowers 


lu every 100 visits of insects 
there vc ere 


Butterflies 


Bees 


Flies and 
Gnats 


Other 
insects 


3 3'ello wish-white species 
23 yellow 
16 red 

7 blue 


12-8 
47 
51-4 
64-9 


51-3 
27-5 
351 
26-6 


15-4 

281 

9-2 

10-7 


20-5 
7-2 
8-2 
1-9 



This table does not indeed show any absolute pre- 
ference for one colour rather than another. In the 
first place, the number of species compared is very 
different in the case of the different colours ; and in 

' Aljfcnblumen, p. 487. 



308 PAUCITY OF BLUE FLOWERS. 

the second place, the results may of course be due to 
the taste, quantity, or accessibility of the honey (all of 
which we know exercise a great influence), rather than 
by the colour of the flower. Still the table rather 
seemed to indicate that bees preferred red, white, and 
yellow, to blue. 

I may very likely be asked, if blue is the favourite 
colour of bees, and if bees have had so much to do 
with the origin of flowers, how is it that there are 
so few blue ones ? I believe the explanation to be 
that all blue flowers have descended from ancestors 
in which the flowers were green ; or, to speak more 
precisely, in which the leaves immediately surround- 
ing the stamens and pistil were green ; and that they 
have passed through stages of white or yellow, and gene- 
rally red, before becoming blue. That all flowers were 
originally green and inconspicuous, as those of so many 
plants are still, has, I think, been shown by recent 
researches, especially those of Darwin, Miiller, and 
Hildebrand. 

But what are the considerations which seem to 
justify us in concluding that blue flowers were formerly 
yellow or white ? Let us consider some of the orders 
in which blue flowers occur with others of different 
colours. 

For instance, in the Kanunculacese,' those with 
simple open flowers, such as the buttercups and Thalic- 

' T take most of the following facts from Miiller's admirable 
work on Alpine Flowers. 



PROBABLE REASON. 309 

trums, are generally yellow or white. The blue 
delphiniums and aconites are highly specialised, 
abnormal forms, and doubtless, therefore, of more recent 
origin. Among the Caryophyllaceffi the red and pm'plish 
species are amongst those with highly specialised 
flowers, such as Dianthus and Saponaria, while the 
simple open flowers, which more nearly represent the 
ancestral type, such as Stellaria, Cerastium, &c., are 
yellow and white. 

Take, again, the Primulaceae. The open-flowered, 
honeyless species, such as Lysimachia and Trientalis, 
are generally white or yellow ; while red, purple, and 
blue occur principally in the highly specialised species 
with tubular flowers. The genus Anagallis here, how- 
ever, certainly forms an exception. 

Among the violets we find some yellow, some blue 
species, and Miiller considers that the yellow is the 
original colour. Viola hijlora, a small, comparatively 
little specialised fly-flower, is yellow ; while the large, 
long-spm'red V. calcarata, specially adapted to humble- 
bees, is blue. In V. tricolor, again, the smaller 
varieties are whitish-yellow ; the larger and more 
highly developed, blue. Myosotis versicolor we know 
is first yellow and then blue ; and, according to Miiller, 
one variety of V. tricolor alpestris is yellow when it 
first opens, and gradually becomes more and more blue. 
En this case the individual flower repeats the phases 
which in past times the ancestors have passed through. 

The only other family I will mention is that of the 



310 LATE ORIGIN OF BLUE FLOWERS 

Gentians. Here, also, while the well-known deep blue 
species have long tubular flowers, specially adapted to 
bees and butterflies, the yellow Gentiana lutea has 
a simple open flower with exposed honey. 

Miillerand Hildebrand • have also pointed out that the 
blue flowers, which, according to this view, are descended 
from white or yellow ancestors, passing in many cases 
through a red stage, frequently vary, as if the colours had 
not had time to fix themselves, and by atavism assume 
their original colour. Thus Aquilegia vulgaris, Ajuga 
Geiievensis, Polygala vulgaris, P. comosa, Salvia pra- 
tensis, Myosotis alpestris, and many other blue flowers, 
are often reddish or white ; Viola calcarata is normally 
blue, but occasionally yellow. On the other hand, flowers 
which are normally white or yellow, rarely, 1 might 
almost say never, vary to blue. Moreover, though it is 
true that there are comparatively few blue flowers, still, 
if we consider only those in which the honey is con- 
cealed, and which are, as we know, specially suited to 
and frequented by bees and butterflies, we find a larger 
proportion. Thus, of 1 50 flowers with concealed honey 
observed by Miiller in the Swiss Alps,^ 68 were white 
or yellow, 52 more or less red, and 30 blue or violet. 

However this may be, it seems to me that the 
preceding experiments show conclusively that bees do 
prefer one colour to another, and that blue Is distinctly 
their favourite. 

' Die Farben der Bluthen, p. 26. 
* Alpenbluvien, p. 492. 



CHAPTER XL 

WASPS. 

I HAVE also made a few experiments with wasps. 

So far as their behaviom-, when they have discovered 
a store of food, is concerned, what has been said with 
reference to bees would apply in the main to wasps also. 
I will give some of the details in the Appendix, and 
here only refer very briefly to some of the experiments. 

Experiment 1 . — Watched a wasp, which I had accus- 
tomed to come to my room for honey, from 9.36 a.m. to 
6.25 P.M. She made forty-five visits to the honey, but 
did not bring a single comrade. 

Experiment 2. — The following day this wasp began 
working — at least, came to my room for the first time at 
6.55 A.M., and went on passing backwards and forwards 
most industriously till 6.17 p.m. She made thirty-eight 
journeys, and did not bring a single friend. 

Experiment 3. — Another wasp was watched from 
6.16 A.M. till 6 P.M. She made fifty-one journeys, and 
during the day five other wasps came to the honey. ] 
do not think she brought them. 

Experiment 4. — Another wasp was watched from 
10 A.M. to 5.15 P.M.; she made twenty-eight journeys, 



312 POWER OF COMMUNICATION. 

and brought no friend. This wasp returned the next 
morning at 6 a.m. 

Experiment 5. — A wasp was watched from 11.56 
A.M. to 5.36 P.M. She made twenty-three journeys, 
without bringing a friend 

Experiment 6. — Another wasp between 6.40 a.m. 
and 5.55 p.m. made sixty journeys, without bringing a 
friend. 

Experiment 7. — Another wasp between 7.25 a.m. 
and 6.43 p.m. made no less than ninety-four visits to 
the honey, but did not bring a single friend. 

Experiment 8. — I watched a wasp on September 19. 
She passed regularly backwards and forwards between the 
nest and the honey, but during the whole day only one 
other wasp came of herself to the honey ; this wasp 
returned on the 20th, but not one other. The 21st was 
a hot day, and there w^ere many wasps about the house ; 
my honey was regularly visited by the two marked wasps, 
but during the whole day only five others came to it. 

September 22. — Again only one strange wasp came, 
up to one o'clock. 

September 27. — Only one strange wasp came 

October 2 and 3. — These days were cold; a few 
marked bees and wasps came to my honey, but no 
strangers. 

October 4. — Two strangers. 

October 6. — Only one stranger. 

On these days the honey was watched almost with- 



POWER OF HEARING. 313 

out intermission the whole day, and was more or less 
regularly visited by the marked bees and wasps. 

My experiments, then, in opposition to the state- 
ments of Huber and Dujardin, serve to show that wasps 
and bees do not in all cases convey to one another in- 
formation as to food which they may have discovered, 
though I do not doubt that they often do so. Of 
course, when one wasp has discovered and is visiting 
a supply of syrup, others are apt to come too ; but I 
believe that in many instances they merely follow one 
another. If they communicated the fact, considerable 
numbers would at once make their appearance ; but I 
have not often found this to be the case. The frequent 
and regular visits which my wasps paid to the honey 
put out for them, prove that it was very much to their 
taste ; yet few others made their appearance. 

These and other observations of the same tendency 
seem to show that, even if wasps have the power of in- 
forming one another when they discover a store of good 
food, at any rate they do not habitually do so. 

On the whole, wasps seem to me more clever in 
finding their way than bees. I tried wasps with the 
glass mentioned on p. 278, but they had no difficulty 
in finding their way out. 

My wasps, though courageous, were always on the 
alert, and easily startled. It was, for instance, more 
difficult to paint them than the bees ; nevertheless, 
though I tried them with a set of tuning-forks covering 

15 



314 COURAGE OF WASPS. 

three octaves, with a shrill whistle, a pipe, a violin, and 
my own voice, making in each case the loudest and 
shrillest sounds in my power, I could see no symptoms 
in any case that they were conscious of the noise. 

The following fact struck me as rather remarkable. 
One of my wasps smeared her wings with syrup, so that 
she could not fly. When this happened to a bee, it was 
only necessary to carry her to the alighting-board, when 
she was soon cleaned by her comrades. But I did not 
know where this wasp's nest was, and therefore could 
not pursue a similar course with her. At first, then, 
I was afraid that she was doomed. I thought, however, 
that I would wash her, fully expecting, indeed, to terrify 
her so much that she would not return again. I there- 
fore caught her, put her in a bottle half full of water, 
and shook her up well till the honey was washed off. I 
then transferred her to another bottle, and put her in 
the sun to dry. When she appeared to have recovered 
I let her out : she at once flew to her nest, and 
I never expected to see her again. To my surprise, in 
thirteen minutes she returned as if nothing had hap- 
pened, and continued her visits to the honey all the 
afternoon. 

This experiment interested me so much that I re- 
peated it with another marked wasp, this time, how- 
ever, keeping the wasp in the water till she was quite 
motionless and insensible. When taken out of the 
water she soon recovered ; I fed her ; she went quietly 
away to her nest as usual, and returned after the usual 



TAME WASP. 315 

absence. The next morning this wasp was the first to 
visit the honey. 

I was not able to watch any of the above-mentioned 
wasps for more than a few days, but I kept a specimen 
of Polistes gallica for no less than nine months. 

I took her, with her nest, in the Pyrenees, early in 
May. The nest consisted of about twenty cells, the 
majority of which contained an egg ; but as yet no 
grubs had been hatched out, and, of com'se, my wasp 
was as yet alone in the world. 

I had no difficulty in inducing her to feed on my 
hand ; but at first she was shy and nervous. She kept 
her sting in constant readiness ; and once or twice in 
the train, when the railway ofiicials came for tickets, 
and I was compelled to hm-ry her back into her bottle, 
she stung me slightly — I think, however, entirely from 
fright. 

Gradually she became quite used to me, and when 
I took her on my hand apparently expected to be fed. 
She even allowed me to stroke her without any appear- 
ance of fear, and for some months I never saw her 
sting. 

When the cold weather came on she fell into a 
drowsy state, and I began to hope she would hibernate 
and survive the winter. I kept her in a dark place, but 
watched her carefully, and fed her if ever she seemed 
at all restless. 

She came out occasionally, and seemed as well as 
usual till near the end of February, when one day I 



316 POWER OF DISTINGUISHING COLOURS. 

observed she had nearly lost the use of her antennae, 
though the rest of the body was as usual. She would 
take no food. Next day I tried again to feed her ; but 
the head seemed dead, though she could still move her 
legs, wings, and abdomen. The following day I offered 
her food for the last time ; but both head and thorax 
were dead or paralysed ; she could but move her tail, 
a last token, as I could almost fancy, of gratitude and 
affection. As far as I could judge, her death was quite 
painless ; and she now occupies a place in the British 
Museum. 

Power of distinguishing Colours. 

As regards colours, I satisfied myself that wasps are 
capable of distinguishing colour, though they do not 
seem so much guided by it as bees are. 

July 25. — At 7 a.m. I marked a common worker 
wasp [Vespa vulgaris), and placed her to some honey 
on a piece of green paper 7 inches by 4|. She worked 
with great industry. After she had got well used to the 
green paper I moved it 18 inches off, putting some 
other honey on blue paper where the green had pre- 
viously been. She returned to the blue. I then replaced 
the green paper for an hour, during which she visited 
it several times, after which I moved it 18 inches, as 
before, and put brick-red paper in its place. She returned 
to the brick-red paper. But although this experiment 
indicates that this wasp was less strongly affected by 



EXPERIMENTS WITH COLOURED PAPERS. 317 

colours than the bees which I had previously observed, 
still I satisfied myself that she was not colour-blind. 

I moved the green paper slightly and put the 
honey, which, as before, was on a slip of plain glass, 
about four feet off. She came back and lit on the green 
paper, but finding no honey, rose again, and hawked 
about in search of it. After 90 seconds I put the 
green paper under the honey, and in 15 seconds she 
found it. I then, while she was absent at the nest, 
moved both the honey and the paper about a foot from 
their previous positions, and placed them about a foot 
apart. She returned as usual, hovered over the paper, 
lit on it, rose again, flew about for a few seconds, lit 
again on the paper, and again rose. After 2 minutes 
had elapsed 1 slipped the paper under the honey, when 
she almost immediately (within 5 seconds) lit on it. 
It seems obvious, therefore, that she could see green. 

I then tried her with red. I placed the honey on 
brick-red paper, and left her for an hour, from 5 p.m. to 
6, to get accustomed to it. During this time she con- 
tinued her usual visits. I then put the honey and the 
colorued paper about a foot apart ; she returned first 
to the paper and then to the honey. I then transposed 
the honey and the paper. This seemed to puzzle her. 
She returned to the paper, but did not settle. After 
she had hawked about for 100 seconds I put the honey 
on the red paper, when she settled on it at once. I 
then put the paper and the honey again 18 inches 
apart. As before, she returned first to the paper, but 



318 EXPERIMENTS WITH COLOURED PAPERS. 

almost immediately went to the honey. In a similar 
manner I satisfied myself that she could see yellow. 

Again, on August 18 1 experimented on two wasps, 
one of which had been coming more or less regu- 
larly to some honey on yellow paper for four days, the 
other for twelve — coming, that is to say, for several 
days, the whole day long, and on all the others, with 
two or three exceptions, for at least three hours in the 
day. Both, therefore, had got well used to the yellow 
paper. I then put blue paper where the yellow had 
been, and put the yellow paper with some honey 
on it about a foot off. Both the wasps returned to the 
honey on the blue paper. I then moved both the papers 
about a foot, but so that the blue was somewhat nearer 
the original position. Both again returned to the blue. 
I then transposed the colours, and they both returned 
to the yellow. 

Very similar results were given by the wasp watched 
on September 1 1 . After she had made twenty visits 
to honey on blue paper, I put it on yellow paper, and 
moved the blue 12 inches off. She came back to the 
yellow. I then put vermilion instead of yellow ; she 
came back to the vermilion. I transposed the colours ; 
she came back to the vermilion. 

I put white instead of vermilion ; she came to 

the blue. 
„ green „ white ; she came to the blue. 
„ orange „ green ; she came to the blue. 

I transposed the colours ; she returned to the orange. 



EXPERIMENTS WITH COLOUEED PAPERS. 319 

I put white instead of orange ; she came to the white. 
„ green „ white ; she came to the blue. 

„ purple „ green ; she came to the 

purple. 
„ orange „ purple ; she came to the 

orange. 
,, green „ orange ; she came to the 

green. 
I transposed the colours ; she came to the blue. 

5j » „ « gJ^een. 

So far, therefore, she certainly showed no special 
predilection for the blue. I then left her the rest 
of the day to visit the honey on blue paper exclusively. 
She made fifty-eight visits to it. The following 
morning I opened my window at 6.15, when she im- 
mediately made her appearance. 

I let her make ten more visits to the honey on blue 
paper, moving it about a foot or so backwards and 
forwards on the table. I then put orange paper instead 
of the blue, and put the blue about a foot off. She 
returned to the orange. 

I put yellow instead of orange ; she came to the 

yellow. 
„ vermilion „ yellow; she came to the 

vermilion. 
„ white „ she came to the white. 

„ green „ white ; she came to the 

green. 
I transposed the colours ; she came to the blue. 



320 EXPERIMENTS WITH COLOURED PAPERS. 

I now put vermilion instead of green, and moved 
both of them a foot, but so that the vermilion was 
nearest the window, though touching the blue ; she 
came to the vermilion. 

Again, September 11, I marked a wasp. She re- 
turned to the honey over and over again with her usual 
assiduity. The following morning I put the honey on 
green paper; she came backwards and forwards all day. 
On the 13th I opened my window at 6.8, and she came 
in immediately. During an hour she made ten 
journeys. On her leaving the honey for the eleventh 
time, I placed some honey on vermilion paper where 
the green had been, and put the honey and the green 
paper about a foot off. 

She came at 7.25 to the vermilion. I then put orange 

instead of vermilion. 
„ 7.34 „ orange. I then put blue 

instead of orange. 
„ 7.40 „ blue. I then put white in- 

stead of blue. 
„ 7.47 „ white. I then put yellow in- 

stead of white. 
J, 7.55 „ yellow and then to the green. 

I transposed the colours. 
J, 8. 2 „ green. I then moved both 

colours about a foot, but so that the yellow was a little 
nearer to the old place. 

She returned at 8.9 to the yellow. 



PERCEPTION OF COLOUR. 321 . 

I then removed the yellow paper and honey, and 
placed the honey which had been on the green paper 
about a foot from it on the table. 

At 8.15 she returned and lit on the green paper, 
but immediately flew off to the honey. I then trans- 
posed the honey and the paper. 

At 8.24 she returned and again lit on the paper, but 
immediately flew off to the honey. 

Thus, therefore, though it is clear that wasps can 
distinguish colours, they appear, as might be expected 
from other considerations, to be less guided by them 
than is the case with bees. 

I have been much struck by the industry of wasps. 
They commence work early in the morning, and do not 
leave off till dusk. I have several times watched a 
wasp the whole day, and from morning to evening, if 
not disturbed, they worked without any interval for rest 
or refreshment. One of my wasps made no less than 
94 journeys from the nest to the honey in one day. 
The details of some of these observations are given in 
the Appendix, p. 405. 

Every one has heard of a ' bee-line.' It would be 
no less correct to talk of a wasp-line. On August 6 
I marked a wasp, the nest of which was round the 
corner of the house, so that her direct way home 
was not out of the window by which she entered, 
but in the opposite direction, across the i*oom to a 
window which was closed. I watched her for some 
hours, during which time she constantly went to the 



322 CONCLUSION. 

wi-ong window, and lost much time in buzzing about at 
it. August 7, I was not able to watch her. August 8 
and 9, I watched her from 6.25 a.m., when she made 
her first visit. She still constantly went to the closed 
window. August 10 and 11,1 was away from home. 
August 12, she made her first visit at 7.40, and still, 
went to the closed window. August 13, her first visit 
was at 6.15 ; she went to the closed window and remained 
buzzing about there till 7, when I caught her and put her 
out at the open one by which she always entered. 
August 15 and 16, she continued to visit the honey, 
but still, always, even after ten days' experience, con- 
tinued to go to the closed window, which was in the 
direct line home ; though on finding it closed she 
returned and went round through the open window by 
which she entered. 



APPENDICES. 



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DIVISION OF LABOUR. 



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1 



EECOGNITION OF FRIENDS. 333 



APPENDIX B. 

The following are the details referred to on p. 122: — 

On August 4, 1875, I separated one of my colonies 
of Fomnica fusca into two halves, and kept them 
entirely apart. 

On March 15 following I put in a stranger and one 
of the old companions from the other half of the nest at 
7 A.M., and watched them longer than those previously 
experimented on. The stranger was very soon attacked ; 
the friend seemed quite at home. 

June 4, 1876. — 8 a.m. Put into the nest a stranger 
and an old friend. The stranger was at once attacked, 
and dragged about by one of her antennae. 9 a.m. The 
stranger was being attacked ; the friend, though not 
attacked, kept rather away from the other ants. 
10.30 A.M. The stranger was attacked, not the friend. 
12.30 P.M. ditto, 1 P.M. ditto, 1.30 p.m. ditto, 2 p.m. 
ditto, 2.30 P.M. ditto, 4 p.m. ditto, 4.30 p.m. ditto. 5 p.m. 
The stranger was dragged out of the nest. 

June 5. — Put in a stranger and a friend at 9.30. At 
10 the stranger was being attacked, not the friend. 
10 a.m. ditto, 10.30 A.M. ditto. 

At 11 A.M. 1 put in another stranger and another old 
friend, when nearly the same thing was repeated. At 
11.30 A.M. the stranger was being dragged about by her 
antennae; the friend was not attacked. 12 a.m. The 
stranger was by herself in a corner of the nest. The 
friend was almost cleaned from the paint by which she 
was marked. I then put in another friend. At 2 p.m. 
the stranger was being dragged about by an antenna. 



334 RECOGNITION OF FKIENDS 

the friend was being cleaned. 2.30 p.m. ditto, 3 ditto. 
At 3.30 P.M. the friend was almost clean : the stranger 
was being dragged about. 6 P.M. ditto. 

June 10. — Kepeated the same observation at 10 a.m., 
but transposed the colours by which they were distin- 
guished, so that there might be no question whether 
perhaps the difference of treatment was due to the 
difference of colouring. At 11 a.m. the friend was all 
right, the stranger was being dragged about by an 
antenna. 11.30 a.m. the friend all right, the stranger 
being dragged about by one leg. 12 a.m. ditto. 
12.30 P.M. the friend all right, the stranger being 
dragged about by an antenna. 1 P.M. ditto, 2 P.M. ditto, 
3 P.M. ditto, 

July 3. — Put in a friend and a stranger at 1 1 a.m. 
At 11.30 a.m. the stranger was being dragged about, 
the friend was being cleaned. 12 a.m. ditto. 12.30 a.m. 
both were now being attacked. 1 P.M. ditto. 

This seems to show that some at least of the 
ants have forgotten their old friends. Perhaps, however, 
these were young ants. 

July 16. — Put in two friends at 7.45 a.m. At 8 a.m. 
each was being dragged about by an antenna. 8.30 a.m. 
one was being dragged about by both antennae, the 
other by both antennae and one leg. 10 a.m. both were 
still attacked, but it is curious that at the same time 
others were cleaning off the paint. 12.30 p.m. both 
still attacked. 

July 17. — Put in a friend at 8.15 a.m. At 8.30 a.m. 
they were cleaning her. At 9 a.m. she was almost clean. 
9.30 A.M. she seemed quite at home, and had only one 
spot of paint on her. 10.20 a.m. ditto. 

July 20. — Put in a friend and stranger at 9 a.m. 
At 9.30 a.m. the friend seemed all right ; the stranger 
was in a corner by herself. At 10 a.m. the friend was 
being cleaned ; the stranger had come out of her corner 
and was being fiercely attacked. At 1 1 a.m. the friend 



AFTER LONG SEPARATION. 335 

seemed quite at home and was almost cleaned ; the 
stranger was being dragged about, but was almost cleaned. 
At 12 A.M. the same thing was going on, and also at 
12.30 P.M. At 1.30 P.M. the stranger was still being 
pulled about ; but what struck me as remarkable, the 
friend also had hold of one of the ants by an antenna. 
At 2 P.M. the friend was by herself, the stranger was 
being attacked. At 4 p.m. the friend again had hold 
of an ant by an antenna ; the stranger was being 
pulled about. At 5 p.m. the friend seemed quite at 
home in the nest, the stranger was dragged out of the 
nest. The following morning I was still able to dis- 
tinguish the friend ; she seemed quite at home. 

August 5. — Put in a stranger and a friend at 8 a.m. 
At 8,30 a.m. both were attacked. 9 a.m. ditto, 9.30 
A.M. ditto, 10 A.M. ditto, 11 A.M. ditto, 12.30 a.m. ditto. 

August 6. — Kepeated the experiment at 2 a.m. 
Both ants hid themselves in comers. At 3.30 a.m. the 
stranofer was being attacked : the friend was in a corner 
by herself. At 4.30 a.m. both were attacked. 5.30 
a.m. ditto. 

August 7.— Put in a stranger and a friend at 8.30 
A.M. At 8.45 a.m. both were being attacked. 9.30 a.m. 
ditto, 10 A.M. ditto. 

August 8. — Put in a friend at 7 a.m. At 8 a.m. 
she seemed quite at home with the others. At 9 a.m. 
they had almost cleaned her. At 9.30 a.m. she seemed 
quite at home with the others. At 10 a.m. ditto. 

August 12. — Put in a friend and a stranger at 7 
.p.m. Both were immediately attacked. 7.15 a.m. they 
were being dragged about. 7.45 a.m. ditto, 8 ditto, 
8.15 A.M. ditto. 

August 13. — Put in a friend at 6.30 a.m. At 7.50 
A.M. two attacked her. At 8 a.m. she was being 
attacked by one ant, but another was cleaning her. 
8.15 a.m. ditto. 8.45 a.m. Two were attacking her, 
one dragging at her by an antenna. 9 a.m. ditto, 9.30 



33(i RECOGNITION OF FRIENDS 

A.M. ditto, 10 A.M. ditto, 10.30 a.m. ditto. Others had 
almost entirely cleaned off the paint. 

At 5 p.m. put a friend and a stranger into the other 
half of the nest. At 5.15 a.m. the friend seemed 
quite at home, and had been nearly cleaned ; the 
stranger was being attacked. 5.30 a.m. ditto, 8.15 a.m. 
ditto. 7.15 A.M. Two of the ants were dragging the 
stranger out of the nest ; the friend had been quite 
cleaned. 

August 14. — At 8.15 a.m. I put an ant from each 
half of the nest into the other. At 8.30 a.m. one was 
alone in the corner, the other was being attacked. At 
9 A.m. both were being attacked. 9.30 a.m. ditto, 10.30 
a.m. ditto ; 1 1.30 a.m. ditto, both, however, being almost 
cleaned. 

August 19. — At 8 a.m. I put into each nest one 
from the other. The one was received amicably and 
cleaned, so that after a while I lost sight of her. It was 
clear that she was received in a friendly manner, 
because -no fighting was going on. At 11 a.m. I put 
into the same nest another friend: at 11.30 a.m. she 
was all right, and, being cleaned at 12 a.m., I could no 
longer distinguish her. 

The ant put into the other nest was not so well 
received. At 9.30 a.m., 11.30 a.m., and 12.30 a.m. she 
was being dragged about, but she was also being cleaned, 
and after 12.30 a.m. I lost sight of her. As the paint, 
had been entirely removed, but no ant was being 
attacked, I have no doubt she was at length recognised 
as a friend. 

August 21. — At 10.15 a.m. I again put into each 
nest an ant from the other. One was at once cleaned, 
and I could not find her. I should, however, certainly 
have seen her if she had been attacked. 

The other was at first attacked by one of the ants ; 
but this soon ceased, and they began to clean her. By 
11.30 a.m. she was quite at her ease among the other 



AFTER LONG SEPARATION. 337 

ants, and almost clean. After 12 a.m. I could not see her 
any more. At 1.40 p.m. 1 again put into each nest an 
ant from the other, accompanied, however, in both cases 
by a stranger. The contrast was most marked, and no 
one who saw it could have doubted that the friends and 
strangers were respectively recognised as such, or that 
they themselves were fully aware of their posi- 
tion. 

In the first nest the friend at once joined the other 
ants, who began to clean her. The stranger ran about 
in evident alarm, was pursued by the others, and took 
refuge in a corner. At 2 p.m. the friend was with the 
other ants, the stranger alone in a corner. At 2.25 p.m. 
the friend was almost cleaned, and after 2.30 p.m. we 
could no longer distinguish her : the stranger was still 
alone. At 3.40 p.m. she came out of her hiding-place 
and was attacked ; after a while she escaped from the 
nest. At 5.30 p.m. she met one of the ants, and a 
battle at once began. I separated the combatants and 
put the stranger back near her own nest, which she at 
once entered, and where she was soon cleaned by her 
own friends. 

I will now describe the adventures of the other 
couple. The friend immediately joined the other ants ; 
the stranger was hunted about and soon seized. At 2 
p.m. the friend was all right, the stranger being dragged 
about. At 2.30 p.m. ditto. The stranger was soon 
afterwards dragged out of the nest. The friend, whom 
I watched at intervals till 6.30 p.m., continued on the 
best terms with the others ; it was quite clear, there- 
fore, that they did not regard her as a stranger. 
She herself was not afraid of, and did not avoid 
them. Still for some time she apparently wished to 
return to the ants with whom she had recently lived. 
She came out of the nest, and tried to find her way 
home. I put her back again, however, and by the even- 
ing she seemed to have accustomed herself to the 
16 



338 EECOGNITION OF FEIENDS 

change. I then opened the door of the nest soon after 
5 P.M. ; but she showed no wish to leave her newly re- 
jomed friends. 

Se'pteynher 1. — At 11 a.m. I again put into each half 
of the nest an ant from the other and a stranger. In 
the one nest the friend joined the other ants, and seemed 
quite at home ; the stranger, on the contrary, en- 
deavoured to conceal herself, and at length, at 4 in the 
afternoon, escaped from the nest. 

In the other division the friend also appeared quite 
at home. The stranger, on the contrary, endeavoured 
to escape, but in the course of the afternoon was 
attacked and killed. 

October 15. — At 8 a.m. I repeated the same experi- 
ment. In the first nest, up to 10 a.m., neither ant was 
attacked ; and it is curious that the stranger was licked, 
and, indeed, almost cleaned. Soon afterwards, however, 
the ants began to attack her, and at three p.m. she was 
expelled, the friend, on the contrary, being quite at 
home. Still the following day, at noon, I found her out 
of the nest (all the rest being within). This almost 
looks as if, though safe, she did not feel happy ; and 
I accordingly put her back to her old home, which 
she at once entered. 

In the other division the friend was soon nearly 
cleaned, and the stranger partly so. The friend seemed 
quite at home. At 12.30 the stranger was being 
dragged about by three ants ; but after this I lost sight 
of her. 

November 10. — At 11.30 put into one of the divi- 
sions a friend and a stranger. At 12 the friend was 
all right, the stranger was being dragged about by an 
antenna. From this time till 7 p.m. the stranger was 
continually being dragged about or held a prisoner, 
while the friend was quite at home. 

November 11. — At 10.15 I put into the other 
division a friend and a stranger. At 11 the friend was 



AFTER LONG SEPARATION. 339 

quite at home, and the coloui* with which I had marked 
her had been ahuost cleaned off. The stranger, on the 
contrary, was being dragged about by two of the ants. 
After this, however, I could not find her. JShe had, no 
doubt, escaped from the nest. 

November 12. — The following day, therefore, at 
11.30, I again put a friend and a stranger into this 
division of the nest. The friend seemed quite at 
home. One of the ants at once seized the stranger by 
an antenna and began dragging her about. I will give 
this observation in detail out of my note-book. 

At 11.45. The friend is quite at home with the 
rest; the stranger is being dragged about. 

At 12. The friend is all right. Three ants now 
have hold of the stranger by her legs and an antenna. 

At 12.15, 12.30, 12.45, and at 1 the stranger was 
thus held a prisoner. 

At 1.30 one now took hold of the friend, but soon 
seemed to find out her mistake, and left go again. 

At 1.45. The friend is all right. The stranger is 
being attacked. The friend also has been almost 
cleaned, while on the stranger the colour has been 
scarcely touched. 

At 2.15. Two ants are licking the friend, while 
another pair are holding the stranger by her legs. 

At 2.30. The friend is now almost clean ; so that 
I could only just perceive any colour. The stranger, 
on the contrary, is almost as much coloured as ever. 
She is now near the door, and, I think, would have 
come out, but two ants met and seized her. 

At 3. Two ants are attacking the stranger. The 
friend was no longer distinguishable from the rest. 

At 3.30, 3.40, and 5 the stranger was still held a 
prisoner. 

At 6.0. The stranger now escaped from the nest, 
and I put her back among her own friends. 

December 11. — At 10 a.m. I again put in a friend 



340 EECOGNITION OF FRIENDS AFTEE A 

and a stranger. The friend was not attacked, and con- 
sorted peaceably with the rest. I found her again all 
right on the following morning. The stranger, on the 
contrary, was soon attacked and expelled. 

December 22. — Eepeated the same experiment. 
The stranger was attacked and driven out of the nest. 
The friend was received quite amicably. 

December 26. — Ditto. The friend was received as 
usual. I lost sight of the stranger, who probably escaped. 

December 31. — Ditto. The stranger, after being 
dragged about some time in the nest, made her 
escape. But even outside, having met with an ant 
accidentally, she was viciously attacked. 

January 15, 1877. — Ditto. 

January 16. — I put in two friends; but thinking 
the preceding experiments sufficient, I did not on this 
occasion add a stranger. Neither of the friends was 
attacked. 

January 19. — Put in two friends at 11 a.m. 
Neither was attacked, and the following morning they 
were all right amongst the rest. 

January 22. — Put in three friends with the same 
result. 

January 24. — Put in two friends with the* same 
result. 

January 26. — Put in three friends with the same 
resiilt. 

February 1 1 . — I put in two friends from^ the other 
division at 10 a.m. I looked at 10,15, 10.30, 11, 
11.30, 12, 2, 4, and 6 p.m. They were on every occa- 
sion quite at home amongst the others. 

February 12. — Put in three from the other division 
at 12. They were quite at home. I looked at them 
at 12.30, 1, 2, 4, and 6. Only for a minute or two at 
first one appeared to be threatened. 

February 13. — Put in one friend from the other 
division. The ant was put in at 9.15 a.m., and visited 



SEPAEATION OF MOEE THAN A YEAR. 341 

at 9.30, 10, 11, 12, and 1. She was evidently quite at 
home. 

February 15. — Ditto. The ant was put in at 10.15 
A.M., and visited at 10.30, 11, 12, 1, 2, 3, and 4. She 
was not attacked. 

February 19. — Ditto. The ant was put in at 10 
A.M., and visited at 10.15, 10.30, 11, 12, 1, and 2. 
She was not attacked. 

March 11. — Ditto. Ditto at 9.30 a.m., visited at 
10.30, -12.30, 2.30, and 5.30. She was not attacked. 

March 12. — Ditto. Ditto at 10 A.M., visited at 12, 
2, and 4. She was not attacked. 

March 18. — Put in two friends at 1 p.m., visited at 
2 and 4. She was not attacked. 

April 21. — Put in one friend at 9.30 a.m. At 10 
she was all right, also at 12 and 4 p.m. She was not 
attacked. 

A'pril 22. — Put in two friends at 8.30 a.m. Visited 
them at 9 and 10, when they were almost cleaned. 
After that I could not find them ; but I looked at 2, 4, 
and 6, and must have seen if they were being attacked. 

April 23.— Put in two friends at 12.32. Visited 
them at 1,2, 3, 4, and 6 p.m. They were not attacked. 

May 13. — Put in two friends and a stranger at 7.45. 
At 9 the two friends were with the rest. The stranger 
was in a corner by herself. 1 1 ditto, 1 2 ditto. At 1 
the friends were all right ; the stranger was being 
attacked. 2, the friends all right ; the stranger had 
been dragged out of the nest. The next morning I 
looked again ; the two friends were all right. 

May 14. — Putin the remaining three friends at 10. 
Visited them at 11, 12, 1, 2, 4, and 6. They were not 
attacked, and seemed quite at home. 

This completed the experiment, which had lasted 
from August 4, 1875, till May 14, 1877, when the last 
ones were restored to their friends. In no case was a 
friend attacked. 



342 RECOGNITION OF FRIENDS AFTER A 

The difference of behaviour to friends and strangers 
was therefoi'e most marked. 

The friends were gradually licked clean, and except 
for a few moments, and that probably by mistake, 
never attacked. The strangers, on the contrary, were 
not cleaned, were at once seized, were dragged about 
for hours with only a few minutes' interval, by one, two, 
or three assailants. 

Though the above exj)eriment seemed to me con- 
clusive, I thought it would be well to repeat it with 
another nest.. 

I therefore separated a nest of Formica fusca into 
two portions on October 20, 1876. 

On February 25, 1877, at 8 a.m. I put an ant from 
the smaller lot back among her old companions. At 
8.30 she was quite comfortably established among them. 
At 9 ditto, at 12 ditto, and at 4 ditto. 

June 8. — I put two sjjecimens from the smaller lot 
back as before among their old friends. At 1 they were 
all right and among the others. At 2 ditto. After this 
I could not distinguish them amongst the rest ; but they 
were certainly not attacked. 

June 9. — Put in two more at the same hour. Up 
to 3 in the afternoon they were neither of them attacked. 
On the contrary, two strangers from different nests, 
which I introduced at the same time, were both very 
soon attacked. 

July 14. — I put in two more of the friends at 10.15. 
In a few minutes they joined the others, and seemed 
quite at home. At 11 they were among the others 
At 12 ditto, and at 1 ditto. 

July 21. — At 10.15 I put in two more of the 
old friends. At 10.30 I looked ; neither was being 
attacked. At 11 ditto, 12 ditto, 2 ditto, 4 ditto, and 
6 ditto. 

October 7. — At 9.30 I put in two, and watched 
them carefully till 1. They joined the other ants and 



SEPAKATTON OF MORE THAN A YEAR. 343 

were not attacked. I also put in a stranger from 
another nest. Her behaviour was quite different. 
She kept away from the rest, running off at once in 
evident fear, and kept wandering about, seeking to 
escape. At 10.30 she got out; I put her back, but 
she soon escaped again. I then put in another 
stranger. She was almost immediately attacked. In 
the meantime the old friends were gradually cleaned. 
At 1.30 they could scarcely be distinguished; they 
seemed quite at home, while the stranger was being 
dragged about. After 2 I could no longer distinguish 
them. They were, however, certainly not attacked. 
The stranger, on the contrary, was killed and brought 
out of the nest. 

This case, therefore, entirely confirmed the pre- 
ceding, in which strangers were always attacked ; friends 
were in mo.<t cases amicably received, even after more 
than a year of separation. But while the strangers 
were invariably attacked and expelled, the friends were 
not always recognised, at least at first. It seemed as if 
some of the ants had forgotten them, or perhaps the 
young ones did not recognise them. Even, however, 
when the friends were at first attacked, the aggressors 
soon seemed to discover their mistake, and friends were 
never ultimately driven out of the nest. This recogni- 
tion of old friends after a separation of more than a 
year seems to me very remarkable. 

The details are, I fear, tedious, but I have thought 
them worth giving, because a mere general statement, 
without particulars, would not give so clear an idea of 
the result. 



344 POWER OF COMMUNICATION. 



APPENDIX C. 

The following are the details of the observation re- 
corded on p. 161 : — 

At 9.45 I put an ant (Nl) to a raisin. 
At 9.50 she went to the nest. 
9,55 I put another (N2) to the raisin. 
10.0 she went to the nest. 
10. Nl came back. 

10.2 she went to the nest. 
10. 7 Nl came back. 

10.9 she went to the nest. 

10.11 N2 came back. 

10.13 she went to the nest. 

10.12 Nl came back. 

10.14 she went to the nest. 

10.13 put another (N3) to the raisin. 

10.18 she went to the nest. 
10.16 Nl came back. 

10.17 she went to the nest. 
10.22 N2 came back. 

10.24 she went to the nest. 

(I here overpainted N2, and she returned no more.) 

At 10.24 Nl came back. 

10.26 she went to the nest. 
10.30 Nl came back. 

10.32 she went to the nest. 
10.33 N3 came back. 

10.35 she went to the nest. 



POWER OF COMMUNICATION. 



345 



At 10.35 Nl came back. (She met with an acci- 
dent. At first she seemed a good deal hurt, but 
gradually recovered.) 

At 10.40 N3 came back. 

10.46 she went to the nest. 
10.46 a stranger came ; I bottled her. 
10.47 
10.52 Nl came back. 

10.54 she went to the nest. 
10.57 N3 came back. 

11.2 she went to the nest. 
11. 8 N3 came back. 

11.13 she went to the nest. 
11.10 a stranger came; I removed her to a 
little distance. 

At 11.11 a stranger came ; marked her N4. 



11.16 N3 


came. 


At 11.18 went 


11.23 N4 




11.25 




11.24 N3 




11.26 




11.27 N4 




11.29 




11.31 N3 




11.34 




11.32 N4 




11.35 




11.40 N3 




11.42 




11.40 N4 




55 




11.45 N3 




11.47 




„ a stranger came. 
11.48 Nl came. 


11.49 




11.49 N4 




11.50 




11.51 Nl 




11.53 




11.53 N3 




11.56 




11.54 N4 




11.56 




12. N3 




12. 2 




•;, N4 

„ Nl 
12. 5 N4 




55 
55 

12. 7 




12. 6 N3 




12. 8 




12.13 N3 




12.15 





12.15 went. 


12.20 




12.22 




12.25 




12.26 




12.28 




12.32 





346 POWER OF COMMUNICATION. 

At 12.14 N4 came. 

12.17 a stranger came 

12.19 N4 came. 

12.20 N3 „ 

12.21 Nl „ 
12.25 N4- „ 
12.27 N3 „ 
12.30 N4 „ 

„ a stranger came. 

„ N3 (was disturbed) 12.37 „ 
12.38 N4 came. 12.40 „ 

12.42 N3 „ 
12.47 N4 „ 12.49 „ 

Thus during these three hours only six strangers 
came. The raisin must have seemed almost inexhaust- 
ible, and the watched ants in passing and repassing 
went close to many of their friends ; they took no 
notice of them, however, and did not bring any out of 
the nest to co-operate with them in securing the food 
though their regular visits showed how much they 
appreciated it. 

Again (on July 16), an ant belonging to one of 
my nests of Forriiiica fusca was out hunting. At 8.8 I 
put a spoonful of honey before her. She fed till 8.24, 
when she returned to the nest. Several others were 
running about. She returned as follows : — 

9.10 to the honey, but was disturbed, ran away, and 
returned at 10.40. At 10.53 went back to the nest ; 
11.30 ,, 11.40 ,, „ 

1 2.5 but was disturbed ; she ran away again, but 
1.30 At 1.44 to the nest; 

2. „ 2.15 

3. 7 „ 3.17 
3.34 „ 3.45 „ 
4.15 „ 4.23 



POWER OF COMMUNICATION. 



347 



nee 


I at 4.52 At 5. 3 went back to the nest 




5.56 


, 6.10 




6.25 


, 6.45 




7.13 


, 7.18 




7.45 


, 8. 




8.22 , 


, 8.32 „ „ 




9.18 


, 9.30 




10.10 


, 10.20 



During the whole day she brought no friend, and 
only one other ant found the honey, evidently an inde- 
pendent discovery. 



348 POWER OF COMMUNICATION. 



APPENDIX D. 

The following are the details referred to on page 
164:— 

September 24, 1875. — I put out two sets of larvae ; 
and to one of them I placed two specimens of 
Myrinica riiginodis, which I will call 1 and 2, They 
returned as follows, carrying off a larva on each 
journey : — 

No. 1. No. 2. 

10.23 



10.28 
10.34 
10.40 
10.50 

11.40 
11.45 

12. 
12.11 



10.26 

10.32 

10.37 

10.41 bringing a friend. 

10.55 
11. 6 
11.16 



11.44 



1 1 .46 an ant came alone. 



11.56 

12. 6 bringing a friend. 





POWEE OF 


COMMUNICATION. 


Xo. 1. 


No. 2. 

12.15 




12.16 




12.17 an ant came alone. 




12.22 


12.22 




12.29 






12.34 





349 



12.36 



1. 6 

1.20 

1.42 



12.40 

12.47 
12.53 

12.59 
1. 5 



1.16 

1.21 
1.26 
1.35 



1.47 
1.54 

1.55 with 2 friends. 
1.59 

2. 2 

2. 4 
2. 9 with a friend. 

2.10 
2.16 

2.18 
2.24 

2.25 

2.34 



12.45 an ant found the second 
set of larva^. 

12.58 two ants found the 
second set of larvse. 



1 . 7 an ant found the second 
set of larvse. 



2. 3 an ant found the 
larvae. 



2.25 another ant found the 
second set of larva-. 



350 



POWER OF 


COMMUNICATION. 


No. 1. 


No. 2. 


2.36 






2.41 


2.44 






2.45 




2.50 


2.51 






2.55 




3. 


3. 1 






3. 6 


3.10 


3.10 




3.17 


3.18 






3.22 




3.27 


3.28 






3.36 


3.40 






3.47 


3.48 






3.53 


3.55 






.3.59 


4. 






4. 7 


4. 8 






4.14 


4.16 






4.20 


4.27 






4.31 


4.35 






4.39 with a friend. 


4.42 


4.42 




4.47 


4.53 


4.53 



POWEE OF COMMUNICATION. 



351 



No. 1. 

5. 5 

5.17 
5.25 
5.32 
5.40 
5.46 
5.55 

6. 5 

6.11 
6.20 



No. 2. 
4.58 
5. 3 

* 

5. 9 
5.17 



6. 8 
6.16 



They came no more up to 7.30, when we left off 
watching. The following morning at 6.5 I found No. 1 
wandering about, and evidently on the look-out. I 
put her to some larvae ; and shortly afterwards No. 2 
also found them. Their visits were as follows : — 



6.10 






6.21 






6.36 


6.42 




6.44 






6.52 






7. 1 


7. 1 
7. 8 




7.11 


7.12 

7.22 
7.29 


7.30 another ant found the 




7.35 


larvae. 



7.40 



352 



POWEK OF COMMUNICATION. 



No. 2. 

7.54 



No. 1. 
7.49 

'^. 5 
8.13 
8.25 
8.31 
8.39 
8.44 
8.48 



Thus, during this period these two ants carried off 
respectively 62 and 67 larvae ; 10 strangers found the 
larvae, half of them only coming to the set visited by 
the ants under observation. This seems to show that 
most of them, at any rate, found the larvae for them- 
selves. 

I will now pass to Lasius niger. 

September 27, 1875. — At 3.55 p.m. I put an ant of 
this species to some larvae. She returned as follows :- 



4. 3 
4.11 
4.21 
4.25 
4.28 
4.31 
4.37 
4.40 
4.44 
4.48 
4.52 
4.56 

5. 



5. 5 
5.10 
5.14 
5.18 
5.23 
5.29 
5.40 
5.43 
5.46 
5.50 
5.54 
5.59 



when she met with an accident. During this time no 
other ant came to the larvae. 

On October 1, 1875, at 6.15 a.m., I put three speci- 



POWER OF COMMUNICATION. 353 

mens of Lasius niger to some larvae. One did not 
return : the other two behaved as follows : — 



No. 1 returned to th 


.e larva 


; at 


No. 2 at 


other ants came at 


6.52 


- 




7.12 

7.22 


7.14 to lot 2. 


7.30 






7.32 




7.42 






7.42 
7.50 


7.45 to lot 3. 


7.54 






8. 




8. 1 










8. 6 with a 


friend. 


8. 6 










8. 9 




8.10 










8.17 




• 




8.19 to lot 1. 

8.23 „ 



8.25 

8.26 



8.32 




8.36 






8.38 


8.39 






8.41 


8.44 




Here I left off watching 


for half an hour. 


9.22 






9.28 


9.29 




9.35 


9.35 



8.37 



8.45 



354 POWEK OF COMMUNICATION. 

No. 1 returned to the larvaj at No. 2 at Other ants came at 

9.41 



9.47 
9.50 

9.54 with a friend. 
9.57 



10. 1 
10. 9 



10.55 

11. 

11. 3 
11. 7 



11.33 



9.45 



9.52 



10. 



10.11 



10.13 with a friend. 

10.16 10.16 

10.25 
10.30 
10.36 
10.46 
10.50 



10.58 
11. 2 



11. 8 
11.15 



11.16 

11.19 11.19 

11.23 

11.27 



9.58 to lot 1 . 



11.25 

11.29 with a friend. 
11.30 

11.35 



No. 1 returned to the larvae at 


No. 2 at 


Other ants came at 


11.37 






11.41 


11.42 




11.45 


11.48 


11.47 to lot 1. 



11.49 


11.53 


12. 


1 


12. 


4 


12. 


8 



12.11 



12.21 
12.25 

12.30 
12.35 

12.39 
12.42 

12.45 

12.48 
12.51 

12.54 



11.59 



12. 9 



12.15 12.15 

12.18 



12.14 



12.19 



12.20 



12.29 with a friend. 

12.36 

12.43 
12.47 



12.53 



12.57 12.57 

1. with friend. 1. 



12.56 



356 POWER OF COMMUNICATION. 

No. 1 returned to the larvae at No. 2 at Other ants came at 

1. 2 



1. 5 
1. 7 

1.10 

1.13 



1.30 
1.33 



1.57 

2. 1 
2. 4 

2.17 

2.21 

2.25 
2.29 



1. 9 



1.14 



1.28 



1.35 



1.36 

1.39 

1.42 1.42 

1.45 

1.48 1.48 

1.51 

1.53 

1.59 
2.15 
2.22 
2.31 



1.11 to lot 1. 



1.15 

1.18 1.18 

1.21 

1.24 

1.27 1.27 



1.46 



POWER OF COMMUNICATION. 357 

No. 1 returned to the larvae at No. 2 at Other ants came at 

2.33 



2.37 

2.40 

2.44 
2.47 

2.50 
2.54 
2.57 
3. 



3.46 

3.49 
3.54 
4. 



2.39 
2.43 

2.49 

3. 4 with a friend. 



3. 6 

3. 9 with a friend. 

3.12 

3.14 

3.16 3.16 

3.20 

3.21 
3.23 

3.26 3.26 

3.30 3.30 

3.33 3.33 

3.35 3.35 

3.37 

3.38 
3.39 
3.41 
3.43 



3.45 
3.48 



358 POWER OF COMMUNICATION. 

No. I returned to the larvae at No. 2 at Other ants came at 

4. 3 



4. 7 
4.12 
4.15 
4.20 
4.26 
4.29 
4.31 

4.34 
4.36 
4.39 

4.42 



4.56 



4. 4 



4.32 



4.40 



4.44 



4.43 



4.45 

4.49 4.49 

4.55 

4.58 



4.59 

5. 2 5. 2 

5. 6 with two friends, 
5. 7 after wliich she came no more. 

The first ant returned at 
5.10 
5.13 
5.15 
5.18 
5.21 
5.25 
5.28 
5.31 

5.33 to lot 2. 



POWER OF COMMUNICATION. 



359 



The first ant returned at 




5.35 


7.28 


5.38 


7.31 


5.41 


7.34 


5.45 


7.38 


0.51 


7.41 


5.54 


7.44 


6. 


7.47 


6. 4 


7.51 


6. 7 


1.55 


6.14 


7.59 


6.17 


8. 2 


6.20 


8. 5 


6.28 


8.12 


6.31 


8.15 


6.48 


8.18 


6.54 


8.20 


7. 


8.24 


7. 3 


8.28 


7. 6 


8.32 


7.11 


8.35 


7.14 


8.38 


7.18 


8.42 


7.21 


8.44 another 


7.24 


8*45 [ant came 


7.25 


9.44 



We continued to watch till 10.15, but she came no 
more. She had, however, in the day carried off to the 
nest no less than 187 larvse. She brought 5 friends 
with her ; less than 20 other ants came to the larvae. 

October 3. — I put a Lasius nigey' to some larvae. 
She returned as follows, viz : — 



1.42 
1.48 
1.52 
2. 



2. 4 

2. 8 

2.12 with a stranger. 

2.15 



360 



POWER OF COMMUNICATION. 



2.19 


4. 7 


2.24 


4.10 


2.27 


4.12 


2.32 


4.15 


2.36 


4.18 


2.40 


4.22 


2.44 


4.25 


2.49 


4.29 


2.57 


4.32 


3. ] 


4.35 


3. 4 


4.38 «J 


3. 7 


4.43 


3.10 


4.46 


3.13 


4.49 


3.15 


4.54 


3.18 


4.57 


3.20 


5. 


3.23 


5. 3 


3.31 


5. 6 


3.35 


5.10 


3.38 


5.14 


3.41 


5.18 


3.49 with a friend. 


5.22 


3.51 


5.26 


3.54 


5.29 


3.57 


She dropped on the floor 


4. 1 


of my room. 


4. 4 





I picked her up ; and she returned at 

6.40 7. 7 with 3 friends. 

6.50 7.11. She now fell into 
6.54 some water. 

7. 4 

In addition to the above experiments with larvae, I 
tried the following with syrup. 



POWEE OF COMMUNICATION. 361 

April 19. — I put out a little syrup on eleven slips of 
glass,which I placed on eleven inverted flower-pots on the 
lawn. At 8.35 a Lasius niger found the honey on one 
of the flower-pots. 

o r,. I she returned to the 1 r, - ^i -> . .^ 

I hoe d t }■ "• 5 went back to the nest. 

9 '>1 

9.42 
10.12 
10.35 
11. 9 

11.45 „ „ 

11.57 
12.20 
12.45 

!• 8 „ „ 

1.34 

1.57 

2.28 

2.59 

3. 9 „ „ 

3.29 ,, ,, 

o.oy ,, ,, 



return again to the honey. During the above time 
eight ants came to the same honey, and twenty-one to 
the other ten deposits. 

On July 111 put one of my specimens of Lasius 
niger to some honey at 7.10. She fed till 7.25, when 
she returned to the nest. 

At 7.32 she returned. At 7.36 another ant came, 

7.47 „ 7.50 [whom I imprisoned. 

8. „ 8.11 
8.18 

17 



9.30 


?> ?> 


9.50 


» ?) 


10.21 


>5 5? 


10.46 


?) » 


11.20 


J> 5> 


11.50 


?> ?5 


12. 2 


?> JJ 


12.30 


>? » 


12.53 


J? 5? 


1.18 


?5 J5 


1.43 


55 55 


2. 7 


55 55 


2.33 


55 55 


2.53 


55 55 


3. 2 


55 55 


3.11 


55 55 


3.30 


55 55 


4. 8 


55 55 


1 6 P.M. 


but she did 



362 POWER OF COMMUNICATION. 



At 8.36 she 


returi 


8.59 


»' 


9-17 


?> 


9.38 


>? 


9.53 


jj 


10.10 


95 


10.27 


5J 


10.44 


J» 


11. 6 
11.16 


55 


11.38 


55 


12. 
12.36 


55 
55 


12.56 


55 


1.21 


55 


1.44 


55 


2.10 


55 


2.21 
2.29 


55 
55 


2.50 
3. 5 


55 



At 12.45 another aut came, 
[whom I impri son ed . 



2.51 



After this she did not come back any more up 
to 8 P.M. 

April 25 was a beautiful day. At 9 a.m. I put some 
syrup in the same way on five inverted flower-pots, 
and at 

9.10 put an ant to one of the deposits of syrup. At 
9.34 another ant came to the same syrup. This one 
IwillcallNo2. At 

At 11 one came to the same 
honey; this one I will call 
No. 3. 

but did not come back any more. 

and at 12.47 went. 



9.40 No. 
10.45 No. 


1 returned 
2 


11. 7 No. 
12.31 No. 


1 

2 


55 
55 



POWEE OF COMMUNICATION. 363 



1.15 No. 3 


returned, 


and 


at 1.25 went. 


1.22 No. 2 




5J 


1.48 „ 


1.54 No. 3 




5J 


2. 3 „ 


2.18 No. 2 




5? 


2.30 „ 


2.35 No. 3 






2.36 „ 


2.56 No. 2 




, 


3. 1 „ 


3.24 No. 2 returned. 






4.19 No. 2 


?5 







After which I went on watching till 7, but none of 
these three returned. During the day 7 ants came to 
this honey, and 27 to the other four deposits. Here, 
therefore, it is evident that the three watched ants did 
not communicate, at any rate, any exact information to 
their friends. 

June 27, 1875. — I placed four inverted glasses 
(tumblers) on the grass, and on the top of each placed 
a little honey. I then, at 8 o'clock, put two ants, be- 
longing to F. nigra, to the honey on one of the glasses. 

At 8.25 No. 1 came back, and at 8.45 she returned 
to the nest, but did not come to the honey any more. 

At 9.5 No. 2 came out and wandered about ; I put 
her to the honey again ; she fed and at 9.22 returned 
to the nest. 

Ai n oo (she returned to the) f. ac (went back to the 
At 9.28 \ ■, •■ , F9.45 ] , 

{ honey, and at J i nest. 

10.42 „ „ 10.50 

10.58 „ „ 11.10 „ 

11.21 „ „ 11.39 

12.45 „ „ 12.59 

1.40 

I continued to watch till 7 p.m., but neither of them 
returned any more. 

A ugust 7, 1 875. — I put out four small deposits of 
honey (which I continually renewed) on slips of glass 
placed on square pieces of wood, and put an ant {L. 
niger) to one of them at 9.20. She fed and went away. 



364 POWEE OF COMMUNICATION. 

At 9.35 she returned, and fed till 9.43 

10.14 „ „ 10.17 

10.25 „ „ 10.27 

10.37 „ „ 10.40 

This time a friend came with her. 
At 10.47 she retm-ned, and fed till 10.53 

11. ,, „ 11.14 

11.35 „ „ 11.40 

11.52 „ „ 11.55 

12.13 „ „ 12.16 

1. „ „ 1. 5 

1.15 „ „ 1.18 
1.26 „ „ 1.29 
1.45 „ „ 1.48 
1.58 „ „ 2. 1 

2. 9 „ „ 2.14 

2.20 „ „ 2.21 She was dis- 

[turbed. 
2.25 „ „ 2.30 

2.37 „ • „ 2.40 

3. 2 „ „ 3. 8 

3.16 „ „ 3.20 
3.39 „ „ 3.41 
3.58 „ „ 4. 2 
4.13 „ „ 4.20 
4.29 „ „ 4.36 

At this time there was a shower of rain, so I 
removed the honey for half an hom'. 

At 5. 2 she returned, and fed till 5.10 

5.20 „ „ 5.25 

0»oo ^^ ^9 DtOt 

5.42 „ „ 5.45 

5.50 „ „ 5.52 

5.58 „ „ 6. 6 

6.15 „ „ 6.18 

6.21 „ „ 6.23 



POWER OF COMMUNICATION. 365 

At 6.25 she returned, and fed till 6.27 



6.32 
6.40 
6.49 
7.15 
7.25 
7.30 
7.36 



6.35 
6.44 
6.53 
7.20 
7.27 
7.33 
7.37 



During the whole of this time only three other ants 
came to the honey. 

On January 3, 1875, I placed some larvae in three 
small porcelain saucers in a box 7 inches square attached 
to one of my frame-nests of Lasius fiavus (PI. I. 
Fig. 2). The saucers were in a row 6 inches from the en- 
trance to the frame, and 1^ inch apart from one another. 

At 1.10 an ant came to the larvae in the cup which 

I will call No. 1, took a larva, and returned 

to the nest. 
1.24 she returned and took another. 
1.45 
2.10 she went to the further saucer. No. 3. 1 

took her up and put her to No. 1. She 

took a larva and returned. 
2.24 she returned to cup No. 3. As there were 

only two larvae in this cup, I left her alone. 

She took one and returned. 
2.31 she returned to cup No. 3 and took the 

last larva. 
2.40 she came back to cup No. 3 and searched 

diligently, went away and wandered about 

for two minutes, then returned for another 

look, and at length at 2.50 went to cup 

No. 1 and took a larva. 
3. came to cup 1 and took a larva. 



366 POWER OF COMMUNICATION 

3.15 came to cup 1 and took a larva, first-, 
however, going and examining cup 3 again. 

3.18 came to cup 3, then went to cup 2 and 
took a larva. 

3.30 came to cup 3, then went to cup 2 and 
took a larva. 

3.43 came to cup 3, then went to cup 2 and 
took a larva. 

5.53 came to cup 3, but did not climb up it, 
then went to cup 2 and took a larva, which 
she either dropped or handed over to 
another ant ; for without returning to the 
nest, at 3.55 she returned to the empty 
cup, and then to cup 2, where she took 
the last larva, so that two cups are now 
empty. 

4. 3 she came to cup 3, then to cup 2, and 

lastly to cup 1, when she took a larva. 
4.15 came to cup 1 and took a larva. 
4.22 
4.38 

5. came to cup 3, then to cup 2, and lastly to 

cup 1, when she took a larva. 

5.19 came to cup 1 and took a larva. 

5.50 „ 2, and then to cup 1 and took 

a larva. 

6.20 „ 1 and took the last larva. 

I now put about 80 larvae into cup 3. 

It is remarkable that during all this time she never 
came straight to the cups, but took a roundabout and 
apparently irresolute course. 

At 7.4 she came to cup 1 and then to cup 3, and 
then home. There were at least a dozen ants exploring 
in the box ; but she did not send any of them to the 
larvae. 

At 7,30 she returned to cup 3 and took a-larva. 



POWER OF COMMUNICATION. 367 

I now left off watching for an hour. On my return 
at 8.30 she was just carrying off a larva. 

8.40 she came back to cup 3 and took a larva. 
8.55 she came to cup l,then to cap 3 and took alarva. 

19 

9.30 „ 3 „ „ 

0'02i „ „ „ „ 

10.14 „ 1 

10.26 she went and examined cup 2, then to cup 3 
and took a larva. 

At 10.45 she came to cup 3, and I went to bed. 
At 7 o'clock the nest morning the larvae were all 
removed. In watching this ant I was much struck by 
the difficulty she seemed to experience in finding her 
way. She wandered about at times most irresolutely, 
and, instead of coming straight across from the door of 
the frame to the cups, kept along the side of the box ; 
so that in coming to cup 3 she went twice as far as she 
need have done. Again, it is remarkable that she 
should have kept on visiting the empty cups time after 
time. I watched for this ant carefully on the following 
day ; but she did not come out at all. 

During the time she was under observation, from 1 
till 10.45, though there were always ants roaming about, 
few climbed up the walls of the cup. Five found their 
way into the (empty) cup 1, and one only to cup 3. It 
is clear, therefore, that the ant under observation did 
not communicate her discovery of larvse to her friends. 

The following day I watched again, having, at 7 
A.M., put larva into one of the porcelain cups arranged 
as before. No ants found them for several hours. 

At 11.37 one came and took a larva. 
„ 11.50 she returned and took a larva. 
„ 11.59 „ ,, 

„ iJ. J „ „ 

„ 12.16 



368 POWER OF COMMUNICATION. 

At 12.21 she returned and took a larva, 
„ 12.26 

„ .12.o2 „ „ 

„ 12.37 „ ,, 
„ 12.41 
„ 12.45 

„ 12.50 „ „ 

55 12.57 „ „ 
1 'S 

55 -^* ^ 95 • 55 

55 ^'^^ 55 55 

55 1.21 „ „ 

55 1.35 „ „ 

,5 1.40 

1 44 

55 A.U- „ ,, 

95 1.<J6 „ „ 

55 ^' -• 55 5? 

55 2.10 „ „ 

2 17 

55 -— ■* 55 55 

55 2.oO „ „ 

55 2.3o ,5 „ 
9 4-^ 

55 ^.'iO „ „ 

55 2.4o 5, ,5 

55 2.54 55 „ 

,, 2.59 ,5 „ 

55 3. 3 „ „ 

55 3.10 ,5 „ 

55 3.14 „ „ 

55 3.iy „ 55 

95 3.o4 „ „ 

55 3.3J „ „ 

55 3.47 ,5 ,5 

55 3.5o „ „ 

4 7 

55 ^' ' 55 55 

,5 4.13 



CO-OPEEATION. 369 

At 4.28 she returned and took a larva. 

„ 4.0J ,, „ 

„ 4.44 ,, „ 

„ 4.50 „ „ 

„ 4.55 „ „ 

^ 1 

^ 7 

?? 5.17 ,, J, 

„ 5.26 „ 5, 

„ 5.28 „ „ 

„ 5.40 „ „ 

5, 0.45 „ „ 

„ 5.59 „ „ 

?5 ^'' " 55 )J 

„ o.lo „ „ 

„ 6.35 „ „ 

„ 6.40 

„ 6.46 „ „ 

„ 0.51 „ „ 

„ 6.58 „ „ 

« '• ^ 5? )j 

5» '• 8 „ „ 

5? 7.12 „ „ 

,^ 7.16 „ „ 

55 7.21 „ „ 

„ 7.26 

7 44 

„ 7.5o ,, J, 

„ 7.57 „ ,, 

5> 8. o ,, „ 

55 8. 8 „ „ 

55 8.I0 „ 5, 

55 8.20 „ „ 

55 8.26 

55 8.31 „ ,, 

,, 8.38 ,, ., 



370 



EXPEEIMENTS ON CO-OPERATION. 



At 8.45 she 


returned and 


„ 8.50 




„ 8.55 




„ 9. 2 




„ 9.11 




„ 9.19 




„ 9.25 




„ 9.33 




„ 9.40 




„ 9.46 




„ 9.52 




„ 10.32 




„ 10.39 




„ 10.49 




„ 10.54 




„ 11. 1 





took a larva. 



At this time I went to bed. There were still about 
twenty-five larvae in the cup, which had all been 
removed when I looked at 6.15 the next morning 
During the whole time she was under observation, only 
two other ants found their way to the cup, though 
there were some wandering about in the box all day. 
Towards evening, however, they went into the nest, and 
for some hours my ant was the only one out. It will 
be observed that she returned at shorter intervals than 
the previous ones. This was partly because she had a 
shorter distance to go, and partly because she was not 
bewildered by three cups, like the preceding. I had 
placed a bit of wood to facilitate her ascent into the 
cup. This she made use of, but instead of going the 
shortest way to the cup, she followed the side of the 
box, partly, perhaps, because the floor was covered with 
a plate of porcelain. This, however, would not account 
for the fact that at first she invariably went beyond the 
cup, and even past the second cup ; gradually, however, 
this circuit became smaller and smaller ; but to the 



EXPEEIMENTS ON CO-OPEKATION, 371 

last she went round the outside of cup 1, instead of 
going straight to the spot where I had placed the bit 
of wood. 

On January 9 again I watched her under simi- 
lar circumstances. From 9.35 to 1.40 she made 55 
journeys to and fro, carrying off a larva each time ; but 
during this period only one other ant found the larvae. 

In the afternoon of the same day I watched the 
ant which had been under observation on the 3rd Jan. 
From 3.27 to 9.30 she made forty-two visits, during 
which time only four other ants came to the larvae. 

On January 10 I watched the same ant as on the 
4th. Between 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. she made no less 
than ninety-two visits ; and during the whole time only 
one strange ant came to the larvae. 

On January 18 1 put out some more larvae in the 
small porcelain cups. Between 8 and 9 both these ants 
found them, and kept on coming all day up to 7 p.m., 
when I left off observing. There were a good many 
ants wandering about in the box ; but up to 4 o'clock 
only four came to the larva?. Two of them I impri- 
soned as usual ; but two (which came at 4.30 and 4.36) 
I marked. These went on working quietly with the 
first two till I left off observing at 7 p.m. ; and during 
this latter time only three other ants found the larvas. 

On January 31 I watched another specimen. At 
9.14 I put her into a small cup containing a number of 
larvae. She worked continuously till half-past seven in 
the evening, when I left off watching. During that 
time she had made more than ninety journeys, carrying 
each time a larva to the nest. During the whole time 
not a single other ant came to the larvae. 

Again, on February 7, I watched two ants in the 
same manner. At 7 a.m. I put some larvae in the small 
china cups. Up to 8 no ants had come to them. Soon 
after 8 I put two marked ants, neither of them being 
the same as these whose movements are above recorded. 



372 EXPERIMENTS ON CO-OPERATION. 

They were then watched until a quarter to eight in the 
evening, during, which time one of them had made 
twenty-six journeys, carrying off a larva each time ; the 
other forty-two. During this period of about eleven 
hours, two other ants had come to the cup at which 
these were working, and the same number to one of the 
other cups. 

None of these ants, therefore, though they had found 
a large number of larvae, more than they could carry in a 
whole day, summoned any other to their assistance. 

Again, February 7, 1875, I put some larvae in three 
porcelain cups in the feeding-box of a frame containing 
a nest of Lasius fiavus, about six inches from the 
entrance of the frame, and put, at 8 and 8.29 a.m. 
respectively, two ants to the larvae in the left-hand 
cup. They each carried off a larva and returned as 
follows : — 



No. 1. 


No. 2. 








At 8.35 


— returned 


again 


and 


took another. 


9. 


— 


?5 








9. 7 


59 








9.20 


?> 






9.30 


— 


?? 








9.43 


J5 






9.54 


— 


5J 







9.56 
10.20 
10.25 — 

At 10.43 another ant came to the larvae in the 
right-hand cup. I imprisoned her. 

At 11. returned again and took another. 



11. 1 

11.15 



11. 9 

11.20 
11.29 



EXPERIMENTS ON CO-OPERATION. 373 

At 11.37 — returned again and took another. 

11.40 
11.52 
At 12.2 another ant came to the larvae in the left- 
hand cup. I imprisoned her. 

At 12. 3 — returned again and took another 
12.15 

12.30 „ ,, 

12.37 — 





12.41 




12.50 




12.58 


1. 


— 




1. 7 


1.12 


— 




1.16 




1.28 


1.32 


— 




1.35 




1.44 


1.50 


— 




1.55 




2. 6 


2. 9 


— 




2.17 




2.29 


2.39 


— 




2.42 


2.49 


2.49 


3. 


— 



O. 6 ,, . 5, 

At 3.10 another ant came to the left-hand cup. I 
imprisoned her. 

At 3.14 returned again and took another. 

O.J 5 „ )j 



374 



EXPERIMENTS ON CO-OPERATION. 



At 3.31 
.3.36 



— returned again and took another. 
3.34 



At 4.10 another ant came to the middle cup. 1 
imprisoned her. 

returned again and took another. 



At 4.45 


— 1 




5.50 


6. 2 


(). 2 




6.17 




6.26 




6.46 




6.52 


7. 4 


— 




7. 7 




7.13 




7.18 


7.48 


7.48 



After this they were not watched any more. It will 
be observed that the second ant made many more visits 
than the first — namely, forty-two in about eleven hours, 
as against twenty-six in eleven hours and a half. 
During this time two ants came to the larvae in the 
cup they were visiting, and three to the other two cups. 

The following case is still more striking. On July 
11, 1875, at 1 1 A.M., I put a Lashes fiavus to some pupfe 
of the same species, but from a different nest. She made 
eighty-six journeys, each time carrying off a pupa with 
the following intervals. Commencing — 



At 11. 


At 


11.29 again 


11. 5 she returned. 




11.49 „ 


11. 9 returned again. 




11.55 „ 


11.16 again. 




12. „ 


11.20 „ 




12. 5 ., 


11.24 „ 




12.16 „ 


11.26 „ 




12.30 „ 



EXPERIMENTS ON CO-OPERATION. 



375 



At 



12.40 


again. 


12.44 




12.50 




1. 1 




1.10 




1.19 




1.27 




1.33 




1.43 




1.49 




1.52 




1.56 




2. 2 








2.10 




2.17 




2.25 




2.29 




2.32 




2.35 




2.37 




2.40 




2.43 




2.47 




2.53 




2.56 




2.59 




3. 2 




3. 7 




3.10 




3.13 




3.16 




3.20 




3.25 




3.33 




3.35 




3.38 





At 



3.40 
3.47 


again 


3.53 


"19 


3.57 


>5 


4. 
4. 3 
4. 5 
4. 8 
4.12 


55 
5» 


4.15 


?> 


4.18 


55 


4.20 


55 


4.23 


55 


4.26 
4.30 


55 

55 


4.33 
4.40 


55 

55 


4.43 


55 


4.45 


55 


4.49 


55 


4.53 
4.55 


55 
55 


4.58 
5. 3 
5. 7 
5.12 


55 

95 
99 
99 


5.19 
5.22 


59 
95 


5.25 

5.28 


59 
95 


5.32 


55 


5.35 
5.39 


55 
59 


5.50 


95 


7. 5 
7.12 


99 
55 



376 EXPERIMENTS ON 

After which she did not come again till 8, when we 
left off watching. During the whole of this time she 
did not bring a single ant to help her. Surely it would 
have been in many respects desirable to do so. It will 
be seen that some of the pupge remained lying about 
and exposed to many dangers from 11 a.m. till 7 P.m.; 
and when she left off working at that time, there were 
still a number of the pupoe unsecured ; and yet, though 
she had taken so much pains herself, she did not bring 
or send others to assist her in her efforts or to complete 
her work. 

I have given the above cases at length, though I 
fear they may appear tedious and prolix, because they 
surprised me much. 

No doubt it more frequently happens that if an ant 
or a bee discovers a store of food, others soon find their 
way to it, and I have been anxious to ascertain in what 
manner this is effected. Some have regarded the fact 
as a proof of the power of communication ; others, on 
the contrary, have denied that it indicated any such 
power. Ants, they said, being social animals, naturally 
accompany one another ; moreover, seeing a comj)anion 
coming home time after time with a larva, they would 
naturally conclude that they also would find larv« in 
the same spot. It seemed to me that it would be very 
interesting to determine whether the ants in question 
were brought to the larvae, or whether they came 
casually. I thought therefore that the following experi- 
ment might throw some light on the question, viz. : to 
place several small quantities of honey in similar 
situations, then to bring an ant to one of them, and 
subsequently to register the number of ants visiting 
each of the parcels of honey, of course imprisoning for 
the time every ant which found her way to the honey 
except the first. If, then, many more came to the 
honey which had been shown to the first ant than to 
the other parcels, this would be in favour of their 



POWER OF COMMUNICATION. 377 

possessing the power of communicating facts to one 
another, though it might be said they came by scent. 
Accordingly, on July 13, 1874, at 3 p.m., I took a piece 
of cork about 8 inches long and 4 inches wide, and stuck 
into it seventeen pins, on three of which I put pieces 
of card with a little honey. Up to 5.15 no ant had 
been up any of these pins. I then put an ant {Lasius 
niger) to the honey on one of the bits of card. She 
seemed to enjoy it, and fed for about five minutes, after 
which she went away. At 5.30 she returned, but went 
up six pins which had no honey on them. I then put 
her on to the card. In the mean time twelve other 
ants went up wrong pins and two up to the honey ; 
these I imprisoned for the afternoon. At 5.46 my first 
ant went away. From that time to 6 o'clock seven 
ants came, but the first did not return. One of the seven 
went up a ^vl•ong pin, but seemed surprised, came down, 
and immediately went up to the right one. The other 
six went straight up the right pin to the honey. Up 
to 7 o'clock twelve more ants went up pins — eight 
right, and four wrong. At 7 two more went wrong. 
Then my first ant returned, bringing three friends with 
her ; and they all went straight to the honey. At 7,11 
she went home : on her way to the nest she met and 
accosted two ants, both of which then came straight to 
the right pin and up it to the honey. Up to 7.20 
seven more ants came and climbed up pins — six right, 
and one wrong. At 7.22 my first ant came back with 
five friends ; at 7.30 she went away again, returning at 
7.45 with no less than twenty companions. During 
this experiment I imprisoned every ant that found her 
way up to the honey. Thus, while there were seven- 
teen pins, and consequently sixteen chances to one, yet 
between 5.45 and 7.45 twenty-seven ants came, not 
counting those which were brought by the original ant ; 
and out of these twenty-seven, nineteen went straight 
up the right pin. Again, on the 15th July, at 2.30, I 



378 EXPEKIMENTS ON 

put out the same piece of cork with ten pins, each with 
a piece of card and one with honej. At 4.40 I put an 
ant to the honey ; she fed comfortably, and went away 
at 4.44. 

At 4.45 she returned, and at 5. 5 went away again. 
„ 5.40 ,, ,, 5.o5 „ 

„ 6.13 „ and again at 6.25 and 6.59. 

There were a good many other ants about, which, up to 
this time, went up the pins indiscriminately. 

At 7.15 an ant came and went up the right pin, and 
another at 7.18. At 7.26 the first ant came back with 
a friend, and both went up the right pin. At 7.28 
another came straight to the honey. 

At 7.30 one went up a wrong pin. 
„ 7.31 one came to the right pin. 
„ 7.36 „ „ with the first ant. 

„ 7.oy „ „ 

„ 7.40 

55 '•4i „ 5, 

„ 7.43 

„ 7.4o „ ,, 

55 7-46 „. 55 

,5 55 wrong pin. 

55 55 55 

„ 7.47 two „ 

„ 7.48 one „ right pin. 

„ the first ant came back. 
„ 7.49 another ant came to the right pin. 
„ 7.50 ,, „ wrong „ 

55 7.51 „ „ right „ 

„ three ants „ wrong „ 

„ 7.52 one ant „ right „ 

„ 7.55 „ „ wrong,, 

right „ 
5, 7.57 ,, „ wrong,, 



POWER OF COMMUNICATION. 379 

At 7.58 one ant came to the right pin. 
„ 7.59 „ „ wrong „ 

Thus after 7 o'clock twenty-nine ants came ; and 
though there were ten pins, seventeen of them went 
straight to the right pin. 

On the 16th July I did the same again. At 6.25 I 
put an ant to the honey ; at 6.47 sh» went. 

At 6.49 an ant came to the right pin. 

„ 6.50 another „ „ 

,, 0.55 „ „ ,, 

,, 6.56 „ „ wrong pin, and then to 

the right one. 
„ 6.58 „ „ right pin. 

7 
„ 7. 5 the first ant came back, and remained at the 

honey till 7.11. 
„ 7. 5 another came to the right pin ; but she was 

with the first. 
„ 7. 6 another ant came to the right pin. 

?5 '• t) ,, ,, ,, 

7 12 
7 1 "^ 

These two ants were met by the first one, which 
crossed antennae with them, when they came straight 
to the honey. 

At 7.14 another ant came straight to the honey. 
„ 7.21 the first ant returned; at 7.26 she left. 
„ 7.24 another ant came, but went first to a wrong 
pin, and then on to the right one. 
,, an ant came to wrong pin. 



7«34 „ ,, „ 

7.35 „ ,, ,, 

7.38 the first came back, at 7.45 went away again. 



380 EXPEEIMENTS ON 

At 7.42 an ant went to a wrong pin. 

7 47 

55 '^•48 ,5 55 5) 

55 7.49 ,5 55 55 

„ 7.52 „ 55 the right pin. 

„ 7.55 the first ant returned, and at 7.56 went 

away again. 
„ 7.57 an anl went to wrong pin. 
,5 7.58 5, I'iglit „ 

5, 8. „ wrong „ 

right: „ 
,5 8. 1 „ wrong „ 

After this, for an hour no more ants came. On this 
occasion, therefore, while there were ten pins, out of 
thirty ants, sixteen came to the right one, while four- 
teen went to one or other of the nine wrong ones. 

July 18. — I put out the boards as before at 4 o'clock. 
Up to 4.25 no ant came'. I then put one (No. 1) to the 
honey ; she fed for a few minutes, and went away 
at 4.31. 

At 4.35 she came back with four friends, and went 
nearly straight to the honey. At 4.42 she went away, 
but came back almost directly, fed, and went away again. 

At 4.57 she returned, and at 5.8 went away again. 
„ 4.45 an ant came to wrong pin. 
„ 4.47 5, ,5 



4.49 


)» 


?? 


4.50 


?? 


right pin. 


4.52 


?» 


?> 


4.55 


>5 


wrong pin. 


4.56 


55 


right pin. This ant (No. 2) I 
allowed to return to the nest, 
which she did at 5.23. 


5. 6 


9? 


right pin. 


5.11 


JJ 


wrong pin. 



POWEE OF COMMUNICATION. 38] 

At 5.12 an ant came to right pin. 
I changed the pin. 
„ 5.16 an ant came to the pin which I had put in 
the same place. 
„ ,, right pin. 

„ o.iy „ „ 

„ 5.20 two ants ,, with No. 2. 

„ ant No. 1 „ and went at 5.25. 

„ 5.25 an ant „ This ant had been 

spoken to by No. 2. 
„ 5.26 another ant „ 

„ 5.35 „ „• 

„ 5.37 „ „ 

„ 5.40 „ „ 

„ 5.41 ant No. 1 „ and went at 5.49. 

„ 5.45 another ant „ 

„ 5.50 „ ,, 

„ 5.51 ant No. 1 came back, and 5.54 went. 
„ 5.58 two ants came to the right pin. 
„ 5.59 another ant „ ,, 

„ „ came to a wrong pin. 

I changed the pin again. 
„ 6.49 an ant came to the pin which I had put in 

the same place. 
„ 7. 1 another ant came to the right pin. 
» 7.20 

„ 7.00 ,, ,, 

„ 7.46 ant No. 1 returned, 7.55 went. 

Thus during this time, from 4.50 until 7.50, twenty- 
nine ants came, twenty-six went to the right pin, while 
only three went up any of the nine wrong ones. More- 
over, out of these twenty-six, only four were distinctly 
brought by the two ants which I had shown the 
honey. 

On the 19th I tried a similar experiment. The 
marked ants frequently brought friends with them ; but, 



382 EXPERIMENTS ON 

without counting these, from 3.20 to 8 o'clock, out of 
forty-five ants, twenty-nine went up the right pin, while 
sixteen went up the nine wrong ones. 
Thus on 

July 13, out of 27 ants, 19 went right and 8 wrong. 
„ 15 „ 29 „ 17 „ 12 „ 

„ 16 „ 30 „ 16 „ 14 „ 

„ 18 ., 26 ., 23 „ 3 „ 

„ 19 „ 45 „ 29 „ 16 „ 

Or adding them all together, while there were never 
less than ten pins, out* of 156 ants, 103 came up the 
right pin, and only 53 up the others. 

I was at first disposed to infer from these facts that 
the first ant must have described the route to its friends, 
but subsequent observations satisfied me that they 
might have found their way by scent. 



POWEK OF COMMUNICATION. 383 



APPENDIX E. 

The following are the details of the experiment 
referred to in p. 168 : — 

Jamiciry 24, 1875. — I put an ant, which already 
knew her way, on the larvae at 3.22. 
At 3.30 she returned. 



4.15 


)» 




At 


3.38 another ant came ; and 


4.25 


?5 








the bridge / being 


4.34 


>5 








turned towards -m,, 
she went over it to m. 


4.42 


J5 






3.50 


?> » 


4.50 


JJ 






4.35 


>> )5 


4.56 


>? 






5.15 


!? ?? 






At 5. 


5 she returned. 






5.14 


5? 








5.25 


?) 





January 25. — 6.30 a.m. put two ants, which knew 
their way, to the larvae. 





No. 1. 




No. 2 


Returned 


Q.65 






»? 


7. 7 








• 


Returned 


7.11 


?? 


7.15 










55 


7.27 


5J 


7.35 






?5 


7.46 


»♦ 


7.47 



384 




EXPERIMENTS ON 




No. 1. 




No. 2. 


Eeturned 7.49 










Ketur 


Qed 7.51 


)5 


7.53 










55 


7.57 


?5 


8. 






?> 


8. 3 






JJ 


8. 8 




( 


?5 


8.17 




< 






55 


8.18 


55 


8.21 






» 


8.25 


59 


8.25 


99 


8.29 










55 


8.30 


5) 


8.31 










55 


8.34 


55 


8.35 










55 


8.36 


55 


8.40 


55 


8.40 


55 


8.44 


•9 


8.46 


55 


8.47 






55 


8.51 


99 


8.51 


55 


8.55 


?J 


8 59 


55 


9. 3 






55 


9. 8 






59 


9.18 






J5 


9.24 






55 


9.2" 






95 


9.30 






55 

S9 


9.32 
9.34 







8.16 an ant to m. 

8.22 ., 

8.27 



8.45 



POWER OF COMMUNICATION. 385 





No. 1. 




No. 2. 




Returned 9.35 


Returned 9.37 






5? 


9.43 


55 


9.43 


5> 


9.45 


55 


9.45 


» 


9.47 






J> 


9.50 










55 


9.51 


5f 


9.55 


55 


9.55 


» 


9 58 


55 


9.58 


?5 


10. 1 


55 


1.10 


»? 


10. 7 


5? 


10. 7 


5> 


10.10 


55 


10.10 






• 55 


10.15 


?? 


10.16 










55 


10.17 


55 


10.18 






55 


10.20 


55 


10.20 


55 


10.22 


55 


10.22 


55 


10.24 






55 


10.28 










55 


10.30 


55 


10.32 










55 


10.33 


55 


10.35 


55 


10.35 


55 


10.38 










55 


10.39 


55 


10.42 


55 


10.42 


55 


10.45 










55 


10.46 


>5 


10.48 










55 


10.49 


55 


10.51 


55 


10.51 


55 


10.53 


55 


10.53 


55 


10.55 

18 







9.44 an ant to 7n 



10.11 



386 EXPERIMENTS ON 





No. 1. 




No. 2. 




Returned 


10.58 Returned 10.58 




55 


11. 


55 


11. 1 




»5 


11. 2 








55 


11. 5 








55 


11.10 








55 


11.12 






11.15 another ar 
to m. 


55 
55 


11.16 
11.21 








55 


11.23 


55 


11.24 




55 


11.26 


55 


11.26 




55 


11.30 


55 


11.30 




55 


11.35 


55 


11.35 




55 


11.36 








55 


11.40 


55 
55 


11.40 
11.43 


11.40 „ 
11.42 „ 


?5 


11.45 


55 


11.45 




35 


11.46 


55 
55 


11.50 
11.51 
11.56 




55 


11.58 


n 


11.59 




55 


12. 








55 


12. 2 


55 


12. 2 




r5 


12. 6 


55 


12. 6 




55 


12.10 


55 


12.10 




55 

5; 


12.14 
12.16 








55 


12.20 


55 


12.20 


12.20 „ 


55 


12.24 


55 


12.30 
1. 2 


dropped, 
imprisoned her. 



POWER OF COMMUNICATION. 387 

No. 1. No. 2. 

Eeturned 12.31 12.35 an ant to m. 

12.36 
12.44 
12.46 
12.50 
12.54 
12.59 
1. 1 

I then put her into a small bottle. 

I let them out again at 7.10 on the 27th. Though 
the interval was so long, they began at once to work ; 
but one unfortunately met with an accident. The other 
returned as follows, viz. at 

7.20 
7.30 
7.40 

7.48 stranger to nn. 
7.46 
7.51 
7.55 
7.59 

In these experiments, therefore, 17 unmarked ants 
came ; but at the point n they all took the wrong turn, 
and not one reached the larvae. 



388 EXPERIMENTS ON 



APPENDIX F. 

The following are the details referred to on p. 168 : — 

January 27, 1875. — At 5.30 I let out the same two 
ants as were nnder observation in the preceding experi- 
ments. 

No 1. No. 2. 

Returned at 5.40, the other not till 6.49 
6. 

6.22 an ant to m. 



6.49 6.50 
6.52 
7. 6.53 an ant to 
larvse. 

7. 6 

7.12 

7.17 

7.22 7.27ananttom. 

7.28 

7.34 





6. 8 




6.26 




6.32 




6.37 




6.41 




6.45 




6.48 




6.51 




6.54 




7. 1 




7. 5 




7. 9 




7.17 




7.25 




7.29 



I then put them into the bottle. 



POWER OF COMMUNICATION. 389 

January 28.— Let them out at 6.45. 

No. 1. No. 2. 



Back at 7. 

„ * 7. 5 
„ 7.11 

„ 7.16 
7.21 

7.27 



7. 3 
7.12 



7.31 an ant to m. 



5r — 7.32 

» — 7.42 

>? 7.45 She dropped into 

55 7.52 some water. 

„ 8. 2 

„ 8.11 

, 5, 8.20 

„ 8.26 

„ 8.30 

„ 8.36 

„ 8.40 

„ 8.44 

„ 8.48 

I then put them into the bottle. 
January 29.— I let them out at 7.35 a.m. 
No. 1 returned at 7.47, after which I saw her no 
more. I fear she must have met with an accident. 

No. 2 returned at 

7.56 



8.18 
8.28 
8.35 
8.42 
8.48 



390 EXPERIMENTS ON 



8.50 another ant came to the larvae; 
marked her No. 3. 



8.56 






9. 5 






9.19 


No. 3. 
9.20 




9.26 






9.36 






9.46 




2 ants to larvae. 




9.47 


5 ants to m. 



At 9.40 I found one of the ants which had been 
under observation on the 24th, and put her to the 
larvae. She returned as follows (No. 4) : — 



No. 2. 


No. 3. 
9.50 

9.55 


No. 4. 
9.52 


9.58 




10. 3 


10.10 


10.15 


10.12 


10.20 


10.23 


10.20 




10.26 


10.26 




10.29 






10.33 






10.36 




10.37 




10.40 


10.41 


10.41 




10.44 




10.44 


10.48 




10.51 



10.53 

10.56 



POWEE OF COMMUNICATION. 391 

No. 1. No. 2. No. 3. 

10.57 
10.59 10.59 

11. 2 11. 2 

11. 4 

11.17 

11. 9 11. 9 

11.13 

11.16 
11.17 



11.40 



11.47 



12. 



11.42 
11.46 



11. 5 an ant to larvae. 
11. 8 



12. 1 



11.10 
11.14 



11.18 
n.20 11.20 „ „ 

11-21 „ „ 

] 1.22 an ant to m 
11.23 11.23 11.23 

1 1.25 an ant to larvae. 

11.26 
11.28 

11.30 
11.33 11.33 



11.35 
11.44 



11.50 11.50 
11.54 11.54 

11.55 an ant to m. 
11.58 11.5 



12. 6 
12. 7 



392 EXPEKIMENTS ON 

No. 1. No. 2. No, 3. 

12. 8 



1.13 
1.22 

1.44 



12.13 

12.18 
12.25 



12.10 

12.15 

12.27 

12.30 
12.36 12.36 

12.40 
12.43 

12.47 
12.50 

12.53 
12.56 

12.59 



1.55 



12.14 



12.24 



12.39 



12.45 



12.52 



12.57 



1. 
1. 7 1. 7 
1.12 



1.18 

1.25 
1.33 
1.41 

1.51 

1.56 
2. 9 
2.35 



POWEE OF COMMUNICATION. 393 

I then put her into a small bottle. We kept a look- 
out for Nos. 2 and 3 till 7.30 p.m. ; but they did not 
return. 

January 30. — Let No. 4 out at 7 a.m. She 
returned at 7.45. 



No. 3 came] 




of herself at p- ^ 


No. 4. 


Returning at 8. 9 


8. 6 




8.15 another ant to larvae. 


8.20 






8.25 


„ 8.30 




8.36 




No. 3. 


No. 4. 


Returning at 8.40 






8.43 




8.51 an ant to m. 


„ 8.52 






3. 3 


9. 5 




Impris 


loned them. 


Let them out at 10. 


,55. 


Returning at 1 1 . 1 






11. 3 




11. 8 


11. 9 






11.14 another ant to m. 


And they went on coming regularly till 1, when I put 


them again into a bottle. 


January 31. — Let them out at 6.35 a.m. 


No. 3. No. 4. 




Q.55 




7.12 




7.15 




7.21 





394 




EXPERIMENTS ON 


No. 3. 




No. 4. 

7.29 




7.37 








7.42 




7.42 




7.48 




7.53 


7.55 another ant to tyi. 
8. 


8. 1 








8.12 




8.18 




8.20 






8.24 


8.27 




8.28 




8.32 






8.36 an ant to larvae. 


8.39 








8.44 








I imprisoned 


them. 




January 


31. 


— Let them out at 5.35 p.m. 


No. 3. 




No. 4. 

5.47 




6.25 








6.35 








6.48 








6.53 








7. 2 








7. 7 








7.11 








7.16 








7.20 






• 

7.23 another ant to larvse, 


7.25 






7.26 

7.27 „ m. 



POWER OF COMMUNICATION. 395 

No. 3. 

7.29 another ant to m. 
7.30 7.30 „ larvffi. 

Im prisoned her 7.31 „ m. 

February 1. — Let her out at 7.5. 
No. 3. 
She returned at 7.20 
7.30 



7.40 

7.48 
7.58 

8. 6 
8.12 



8.22 



7.38 another ant to m. 



7.59 



8.14 
8.17 



Imprisoned her and let her out again at 6.20 p.m. 
She returned at 6.35 
6.52 
7. 
7. 5 
7.15 
7.20 
7.20 
Imprisoned her. 

February 2. — Let her out at 6.30 a.m. 
She returned at 6.50 

7. 

7. 2 another ant to J/,'. 
7 7 

7.10 two otherants to m. 
7.13 



396 



EXPERIMENTS ON 



She returned at 7.17 



7.28 
7.36 

7.45 
7.50 

7.55 
8. 4 



7. 2 7 another ant to larvae. 



7.38 



7.51 



8. 6 



m. 



8.11 
8.18 
8.25 
8.30 
8.35 
8.45 
8.46 
Imprisoned her. 

In this experiment, then, the bridge over which the 
marked ant passed to the larvae was left in its place, 
the scent, however, being removed or obscured by the 
friction of my finger; on the other hand, the bridge 
had retained the scent, but was so placed as to lead 
away from the larvae ; and it will be seen that, under 
these circumstances, out of 41 ants which found their 
way towards the larvse as far as e, 14 only passed over 
the bridge / to the larvae, while 27 went over the 
bridge d to the empty glass m. 

Taking these observations as a whole, 150 ants 
came to the point e, of which 21 only went on to the 
larvse, while 95 went away to the empty glass. These 
experiments, therefore, seem to show that when an 
ant has discovered a store of food and others flock to 
it, they are guided in some cases by sight, while in 
others they track one another by scent. 



POWER OF COMMUNICATION. 397 



APPENDIX G. 

The following are the details of the experiment referred 
to on p. 172: — 

Experiment 1. — Time occupied, 1 hour. The ant 
with few larvas made 6 visits and brought no friends. 
The one with many larvae made 7, and brought 11 
friends. 

Experiment 2. — Time occupied, 2 hours. The ant 
with few larvae made 13 jomrneys, and brought 8 
friends. The one with many larvae did not come 
back. 

Experiment 3. — Time occupied, 3 hours. The ant 
with few larvae made 24 journeys, and brought 5 
friends. The one with many larvae made 38 journeys, 
and brought 22 friends. 

Experiment 4. — Time occupied, 2^ hours. The 
ant with few larvae did not come back. The one with 
many made 32 journeys, and brought 19 friends. 

Experiment 5. — Time ocupied, 1 hour. The ant 
with few larvae made 10 journeys, and brought 3 
friends. The other made 5 journeys and brought 16 
friends. 

Experiment 6. — Time occupied, 1^ hour. The ant 
with few larvae made 15 journeys, but brought no 
friends. The other made 11 journeys and brought 21 
friends. 

Experiment 7. — I now reversed the glasses. Time 
occupied 3 hours. The ant with few larvae made 23 
journeys and brought 4 friends. 



398 EXPERIMENTS ON 

Experiment 8. — Time occupied, H hour. The ant 
with few larvse made 7 journeys and brought 3 friends. 
The one with many larvae made 19 journeys and brought 
6 friends. 

Experiment 9. — Time occupied, I hour. The ant 
with few larvse made 11 journeys and brought 1 friend. 
The one with many larvae made 15 journeys and 
brought 13 friends. 

Experiment 10. — I now reversed the glasses, the 
same two ants being under observation ; so that the ant 
which in the previous observation had few larvae, now 
consequently had many, and vice versa. Time occupied 
2 hom-s. The ant with few larvae made 21 journeys 
and brought 1 friend. The one with many larvae made 
32 journeys and brought 20 friends. These two experi- 
ments are, I think, very striking. 

Experiment 11. — -Time occupied, 5 hours. The 
ant with few larvae made 19 journeys and brought 1 
friend. The one with many larvae made 26 journeys 
and brought 10 friends. 

Experiment \2. — Time occupied, 3 hours. The ant 
with few larvae made 20 journeys and brought 4 friends. 
The one with many larvae brought no friends and made 
17 journeys. 

Experiment 13. — Time occupied, 1 hour. The ant 
with few larvae made 5 journeys and brought no friends. 
The one with many made 10 journeys and brought 16 
friends. 

Experiment 14. — I now reversed the glasses. Time 
occupied, 2^ hours. The ant with few larvae made 10 
journeys and brought 2 friends. The other made 41 
journeys and brought 3 friends. 

Experiment 15. — Time occupied, 4^ hours. The 
ant with few larvae made 40 joiu-neys and brought 10 
friends. Of these, 8 came at the beginning of the ex- 
periment, and I much doubt whether they were brought ; 
during the last hour and a half she only brought 1 



POWER OF COMMUNICATION. 399 

friend. However, I think it fair to record the observa- 
tion. 

The ant with many larvae made 47 journeys and 
brought 1 friend. 

Experiment 16. — Time, 4-^ hours. The ant with 
few larvae made 20 journeys and brought 1 friend. She 
did not return after the first 2 hours. The other ant 
made 53 journeys and only brought 2 friends. This 
latter was the same one as in the previous experiment, 
when, however, she had the glass with only two or three 
larvae. 

ExperUnent 17. — Time, 1 hour. The ant with few 
larvae made 6 journeys and brought no friend. The 
one with many larvae made 11 journeys and brought 12 
friends. 

Experiment 18. — Time, l^ hom\ The ant with 
few larvae made 25 journeys and brought four friends. 
The one with many larvae made 20 jom-neys and brought 
15 friends. 

Experiment 19. — Time, 4|- hours. The ant with 
few larvae made 74 journeys and brought no less than 
27 friends. This is quite in opposition to the other 
observations ; and I cannot account for it. She was 
the ant who brought 15 friends in the previous experi- 
ment, and it certainly looks as if some ants were more 
influential than others. The ant with many larvae 
made 71 journeys and only brought 7 friends. 

Experiment 20. — Time, 2 hours. The ant with few 
larvae made 35 journeys and brought 4 friends. The 
one with many larvae made 34 journeys and brought 3 
friends. 

Experiment 21. — I now transposed the two glasses. 
Time, 1^ hour. The ant with few larvae made 15 
journeys and brought no friends. The other made 35 
journeys and brought 21 friends. 

Experiment 22.— I now transposed the glasses 
again. Time, 2 hours. The ant with many larvae made 



400 EXPERIMENTS ON POWEE OF COMMUNICATION. 

37 journeys and brought 9 friends. The ant with few 
larvse made 18 journeys and brought no friend. This, 
I think, is a very striking case. She was under observa- 
tion 5^ hours ; and the scene of her labour was the 
same throughout. The first 2 hours she had few larvae 
and brought 4 friends ; then for 1^ she had many larvse 
and brought 21 friends ; then again for 2 hours she 
had few larvae and brought no friend. 

ExperiTiient 23. — Time, 1^ hour. The ant with 
few larvae made 25 journeys and brought 3 friends. 
The other made only 9 journeys, but brought 10 friends. 

Experiment 24. — I now transposed the glasses. 
Time occupied, 2 hours. The ant which now had few 
larvae made 14 journeys, but brought no friends. The 
other made 37 journeys and brought 5 friends. 

Experiment 25. — Time 3 hours. I put an ant for an 
hour to a full glass ; she made 10 journeys and brought 
4 friends. I then left only two or three larvae : in the 
second hour she made 7 journeys and brought no 
friend. I then again filled the glass ; and during the 
third hour she made 14 journeys and brought 3 
friends. 



EXPERIMENTS ON CO-OPEEATION. 401 



APPENDIX H. 

The following are the detailed observations on bees 
alluded to in Chapter X. 

August 24.— I opened the postern door at 6.45, and 
watched some marked bees till the middle of the day. 

Bee No. 1. 

6.50 One came to the honey. She then flew to the 
window, but after buzzing about for some time 
returned to the hive. 
7.21 back to honey. 7.23 back to hive. 

7.26 back to honey. 

7.30 flew to window and then fell on the floor. I was 
afraid she would be trodden on, so at 7.45 I 
showed her the way to the hive. 
8.40 back to honey. 

8.45 back to hive. I now closed the postern dooi 
till 10.15. 
10.35 back to honey. 10.39 to hive. 

10'45 „ and then to hive. 

1^2.35 „ 12.37 to hive again. 

Bee No. 2. 

7. she came to the honey. 7. 5 she went back to hive. 

7.12 back to the honey. 7.22 

7-24 „ 7.30 ]] 

7.42 „ 7.46 

7.52 „ 7.57 



402 



COMMUNICATION AMONG BEES. 



8. 5 back to the honey. 

8.15 

8.26 „ 

8.40 

8.55 



8. 9 she went back to hive. 
8.20 „ 

8.30 ■ „ 

8.44 

9. 



I then closed the door till 10.15 ; at 9.5, however, 
she came round to the honey through an open window, 
but could not find her way back, so I had to put her 
into the hive. 

10.15 back to the honey. 
10.20 



10.30 
10.50 

11. 1 
11.17 
11.33 
11.45 

12. 
12.10 
12.24 
12.37 
12.52 



10.17 she went back to hive. 

10.23 

10.33 

10.55 

11. 6 
11.23 

11.50 

12. 3 
12.15 
12.30 
12.43 
12.56 



Bee No. 3. 



Also on August 24. 
10.16 came to honey. 
10.30 
10.55 
11. 2 
11.11 
11.24 
11.35 
11.45 
11.57 
12.13 



10.19 returned to hive. 
iO.34 
10.57 
11. 5 
11.15 
11.27 
11.37 
11.47 
? 

12.16 



COMMUNICATION AMONG BEES. 403 



12.26 came 


to honey. 


12.30 returned to hive. 


12.36 




5? 




12.42 


V 


12.56 




5? 




12.59 


?J 


The 


next day 


I timed this bee as follows : — 


7.23 came 


to honey. 


7.25 


returned to hive. 


7.35 








7.37 


5? 


7.44 








7.45 


?5 


8.10 








8.12 


55 


8.53 








8.55 


55 








(The 


door was then closed till 9.30.) 


9.35 








9.40 


to window, and at 
9.49 to hive. 


10. 








10. 5 


returned to hive. 


10.13 








10.15 




10.22 








10.26 




10.35 








10.40 




10.45 








10.48 




10.56 








? 




11. 7 








11.12 




11.18 








11.20 




11.35 








11.37 




11.47 








11.51 




12. 2 








12. 6 




12.25 








12.29 




12.51 








12.54 





During these observations scarcely any unmarked 
bees came to the honey. 

In these cases the postern, being small and on one 
side, was not very easily found. If the honey had 
been in an open place, no doubt the sight of their com- 
panions feasting would have attracted other bees ; 
but the honey was rather out of sight, being behind 
the hive entrance, and was, moreover, only accessible 
by the narrow and winding exit through the little 
postern door. 

But, however exposed the honey might be, I found 



404 COMMUNICATION AMONG BEES. 

similar results, unless the bees were visible to their 
fellows. Of this it may be well to give some detailed 
evidence. 

Thus, one morning at 

q , q r I brought a bee 1 q 04. / ^^^® returned to 

I to some honey. J " I ^•^^ hive. 

Q __ f she came back 1 inn 

\ to the honey. J * " 

10. 8 ,, 10.10 „ 
10.16 „ 10.19 „ 
10.28 „ 10.30 „ 
10.37 „ 10.40 „ 
10.50 „ 10.53 „ 

11. „ 11. 4 

11.11 „ 11.15 „ 

11.22 „ 11.27 „ 

11.34 „ 11.37 „ 

11.46 „ 11.50 

11.55 „ 12. „ 

12. 6 „ 12. 7 
12.40 „ 12.46 

12.54 „ 12.57 „. 

1. 2 „ 1. 4 

Flew about. 

1.15 ., 1.18 „ 

1.23 „ 1.27 

1.34* „ 1.41 

1.54 „ 2. 

After which she did not return. During this time no 
other bee came to the honey. 

Again on another occasion I watched several bees, 
which on my list of marked bees stood as Nos. 3, 4, 7, 
8, 10, and 11. 

9.45 bee No. 10 came. 9.50 went back to hive. 

10. „ 10 „ 10. 3 „ 

10.18 „ 10 „ 10.21 „ 

10.26 „ 11 „ 10.30 



COMMUNICATION AMONG BEES. 405 



10.30 


bee 


No. 4 


came. 


10.35 went back to hive. 


10.36 


55 


7 


55 


10.45 




10.46 


55 


4 


55 


10.52 




10.49 


55 


7 


55 


10.52 




11. 


55 


7 


55 


11. 9 




11. 5 


55 


4 


55 


11. 9 




11.11 


55 


7 


55 


11.16 




11.21 


55 


7 


55 


11.29 




11.22 


a strange b( 


3e came. 






11.26 


bee 


No. 4 


came. 


11.31 




11.30 


55 


7 


55 


11.39 




?5 


55 


10 


55 


11.36 




11.40 


55 


4 


55 


11.45 




11.45 


55 


7 


55 


11.50 




11.47 


55 


10 


55 


11.59 




55 


another strange bee 


came. 




12. 1 


bee 


No. 4 


came. 


12. 6 




12. 2 


55 


7 


55 


■ 12. 8 




12. 3 


55 


3 


55 


12. 7 




12. 4 


55 


10 


55 


12. 7 




12.14 


55 


7 


55 


12.18 




12.17 


55 


4 


55 


12.21 




12.24 


55 


7 


55 


12.31 




12.30 


55 


10 


55 


12.33 




12.36 


55 


7 


55 


12.46 




12.37 


55 


4 


55 


12.44 




12.37 


55 


10 


55 


12.40 


^j 


12.45 


55 


10 


55 


12.49 




12.50 


55 


7 


55 


12.54 




12.50 


55 


4 


55 


12.54 




12.53 


55 


10 


55 


12.56 




12.57 


55 


7 


55 


1. 




12.57 


55 


4 


55 


1. 2 




1. 


55 


10 


55 


? 




1. 2 


55 


7 


55 


1.' 6 




1. 9 


55 


4 


55 


1.12 




1.10 


55 


8 


55 


1.16 


53 



406 



COMMUNICATION AMONG BEES. 



1.10 


bee 


No. 


7 


came 


1.16 went back to hive. 


1.16 






4 




1.19 




1.17 






5 




1.21 




1.20 






7 




1.24 




1.20 






8 




1.25 




1.21 






4 




1.24 




1.23 






5 




1.27 




1.29 






4 








1.29 






7 




. 





After this I ceased recording in detail; but the 
above shows that while the marked bees came regu- 
larly, only in two cases did any unmarked bees come 
to the honey. 

In the above cases the honey was poured into 
saucers, but not weighed. In the following I used a 
wide-mouthed jar containing rather more than one 
pound of honey. 



1.44 bee No. 


5 


3ame. 


1.45 went away 


1.54 




5 




1.58 


„ • 


2. 2 




5 




2. 5 




2. 9 




5 




2.13 




2. 9 




1 




2.15 




2.18 




5 




2.20 




2.19 




1 




2.21 




2.28 




1 




2.31 




2.37 




1 




2.41 




2.32 




5 




2.40 




2.49 




5 




2.51 




2.52 




1 




2.55 




3.10 another 


came which I numbered as . 


3.11 bee No 


1 


came. 


3.13 went away 


3.19 




5 




3.22 




3.20 




1 




3.23 




3.19 




14 




3.23 




3.30 




5 




3.32 




3.31 




14 




3.33 





14. 



COMMUNICATION AMONG BEES. 



407 



3.37 


bee No. I came. 3.40 went away. 


3.38 




5 , 


, 3.42 




3.38 




14 , 


3.41 




3.47 




5 , 


3.49 




3.46 




14 , 


, 3.51 


„ 1 She was 


3.54 




14 , 


3.56 


„ J disturbed 


4. 




1 , 


4. 3 




4. 




5 , 


4. 3 




4. 5 




14 , 


4.11 




4.10 




5 , 


4.12 




4.15 




14 , 


4.20 




4.22 




1 , 


4.25 




4.24 




14 , 


4.29 




4.26 




5 , 


4.29 





Dm-ing the whole of this time only one strange bee 
came, as recorded above. 

In the following case I put out, besides one pound 
of honey, also four ounces of honey spread over two 
plates. 



12.15 


one of my marked 


12.21 she went 




bees 


came. 






12.26 


she returned. 


12.31 




12.36 


55 




12.44 




12.51 


55 




12.57 




1. 4 


55 




1.12 




1.15 


55 




1.19 




1.25 


55 




1.32 




1.38 


55 




1.44 




1.49 


55 




1.55 




2. 


55 




2. 7 




2.14 


55 




2.19 




2.25 


55 




2.33 




2.38 


55 




2.44 




2.50 


55 




2.58 




3. 5 


5> 




3.13 





3.32 she went. 


3.45 


J? 


4. 


» 


4. 9 


1^ 


4.20 


55 


4.32 


55 


4.45 


55 


4.59 


55 


5.13 


55 


5.31 


55 


5.48 


55 


6. 1 


55 



408 COMMUNICATION AMONG BEES. 

3.20 she returned. 3.32 she went. She was 

3.39 „ 3.45 „ [disturbed. 

3.52 „ 

4. 7 
4.15 
4.27 
4.43 
4.50 

5. 7 

5.25 „ 

5.42 
5.56 
6.14 

During this time no other bee came to the honey. 

I had, on August 20, introduced some bees to honey 
in my room, since which it had been much visited by 
them. On the 24th I put a bee to some honey inside 
a flower-pot five inches high and five wide at the base. 
The flower-pot was laid on its side, and the mouth 
closed, so that the bee had to come out through the 
hole in the bottom, which was about ^ an inch in dia- 
meter. To make things easier for her, I made her a 
small alighting-board of wood, the top of which was 
level with the hole. I then placed the flower-pot on 
the spot where she was accustomed to find the honey. 
She had made her first visit that morning at 6.45, re- 
turning 

At 6.55 

7. 5 

7.14 

7.23. I then arranged the flower-pot as de- 
scribed, and put her, while feeding, into 
it : she found her way out without diffi- 
culty. 
At 7.40 she returned, but did not seem able to find 



COMMUNICATION AMONG BEES. 



409 



her way ; so I put her in. The same 
thing happened again at 
7.50 

8. 6 
and 8.20 

but at 8.38 she found her way in easily, and had no 
further difficulty. She returned at 
8.53 

9. 5 
9.14 
9.25 
9.41 
9.55 

10. 6. This time a friend came with her and 
followed her in. I captured her. No. 2 
took no notice, but returned 
At 2.43 



At 10.19 
10.30 
10.44 
10.54 

11. 6 
11.20 
11.31 
11.44 
11.55 

12. 9 
12.25 
12.37 
12.50 

1. 2 
1.14 
1.25 
1.36 
1.47 
1.57 

2. 9 
2.19 
2.31 

19 



2.59 
3.23 
3.33 
3.44 
3.56 
4. 7 
4.21 
4.34 
4.44 
4.55 
5.10 
5.24 
5.35 
5.46 
5.58 

6. 9 
6.20 
6.42 

7. 
7.15 

making 59 visits. 



410 COMMUNICATION AMONG BKE8. 

After which she came no more that day. With the one 
exception above mentioned, during the whole time no 
other bee came to the honey. I might also mention 
that I had put out six similar flower-pots in a row, and 
that this seemed to puzzle the bee a good deal ; she 
frequently buzzed about before them, and flew from one 
to the other before entering. When she went in, she 
generally stood still just inside the entrance for about 
thirty second's, buzzing loudly with her wings. I 
thought at first whether this could be intended as a 
sort of gong to summon other bees to the feast ; but 
though several were flying about, at any rate none came. 
The following day (August 25) she came at 6.51, and 
had made nine journeys up to 8.41, when I left ofit" 
watching. During this time no other bee came. 

August 26. — She came at 6.32, and up to 8.43 had 
made thirteen journeys. 

August 27. — She came at 6.7, and up to 8.43 had 
made fourteen journeys. 

August 28. — She came at 6.17, and up to 7.11 had 
made five journeys. During these days no other bee 
came. 

On July 19 1 put a bee (No. 10) to a honeycomb 
containing 12 lbs. of honey 

At 12.30 she returned. At 12.36 went back to hive. 

12.50 „ 12.55 

1. 6 „ 1.12 
1.53 „ 1.57 

2. 5 „ 2 9 
2.16 „ 2.20 
2.28 „ 2.32? 

2.49 „ 2.55 „ 

3.13 „ .3.20 

3.31 ., 3.39 

3.45 „ 3.55 „ 

4. 2 ., 4. 8 



COMMUNICATION AMONG BEES. 411 



4.18 


she 


retu)-ned. 


4.24 went h 


iick to hive, 


4.31 






4.37 


>5 


4.47 






4.58 


5) 


5.10 






5.19 


?) 


5.27 






5.30 


5> 


6. 9 




.- . 


6.15 


1) 


6.23 






6.29 


»5 


7.19 






7.24 




7.35 






7.40 


55 


7.50 






7.55 


55 



and during all this time no other bee came to the comb. 
On the following morning, July 20, this bee came 
to the honeycomb 



: 6. 5 A.M. 




At 6.10 


6.37 she retm-ned. 


6.42 


7.17 






7.21 


7.41 






7.47 


8. 8 






8.12 


8.21 






8.25 


8.32 






8.54 


9. 4 






9. 9 


9.45 






9.51 


10. 4 






10.10 


10.19 






10.26 


10.40 






10.47 


10.59 






11. 4 


11.14 






11.19 


11.44 






11.52 


11.59 






12. 6 


12.15 






12.23 


12.29 






12.35 


12.41 




(was dis- 








turbed) 


12.52 


1. 2 






1. 9 


1.16 






1.30 


1.46 






1.55 



412 



COMMUNICATION AMONG BKES. 



I thee left off observing ; but during the whole of this 
time no other bee had come to the comb. 

October 9. — I took a bee (No. 11) out of the hive 
and put her to some honey: she returned and kept on 
visiting it regularly. 

October 10. — This bee came to the honey at 
7.30 A.M., and went on visiting it ; but I was not able 
to watch her continuously. During these two days no 
other bee came to this honey. 

October 11. — No. 11 came to the honey 

At 7.12 A.M., but did not alight. 

7.18 she returned. At 7.21 went back to hive. 



7.27 
7.38 
7.51 

8. 2 
8.15 
8.30 
8.41 
^.55 

9. 6 
9.20 
9.45 
9.55 

10. 7 
10.19 



7.31 

7.44 

7.56 

8. 8 

8.22 

8.35 

8.46 

8.59 

9.11 

9.25 

9.50 

10. 1 

10.11 

10.23 



10.30 a strange bee came ; I killed her. 

10.35 she returned. At 10.40 went back to hive. 

10.55 „ 10.59 „ 

11. 4 „ 11. 6 „ 

11.26 „ 11.30 „ 

11.35 „ 11.38 „ 

Another strange bee came. 

At 11.52 she returned. At 11.55 went. 
V> 7 12 l'> 



COMJVIUNICATION AMONG BEES- 



413 



12.17 


she 


returned. 


12.22 went 


12.31 




^ 


12.36 „ 


12.58 






1. 2 „ 


1. 8 






1.12 „ 


1.19 






1.23 „ 


1.30 






1.34 „ 


1.45 






1.48 „ 


2. 2 






2. 6 „ 


2.15 






2.18 „ 


2.29 






2.35 „ 


2.45 






2.47 „ 


2.50 






2.52 „ 


2.57 






3. „ 



after which she did not come any more that day. It 
was, however, a bad day, and after 1 o'clock she was 
almost the only bee which came out of the hive. The 
following morning she came to the honey at 7.58 a.m., 
but did not alight, behaving just as she had done the 
day before. 

At 8. 6 A.M. No. 11 retm-ned to honey. At 8. 9 went. 

8.14 „ „ 8.20 

8.30 „ „ 8.34 

8.42 „ „ 8.46 

8.54 „ „ 8.59 

9. 9 „ „ 9.14 

9.19 „ „ 9.24 

9.29 „ „ 9.33 

9.37 „ „ 9.44 

9.54 „ „ but was distm'bed. 

A strange bee came. At 9.59 No. 1 1 went. 

At 10. 5 she returned to the honey. At 10. 8 went. 
10.12 „ „ 10.13 

10.16 „ ., 10.20 

10.26 „ „ 10.28 

10.33 „ • „ 10.36 

10.40 „ „ 10.46 



414 COMMUNICATION AMONG BEKS. 

10.55 a strange bee came. No. 11 returned to the 
honey regularly, and \^ent on coming. 

October 13. — At 6.28 a.m. she came, but, as before, 
flew away again without alighting. 



At 6.32 she 


came 


to the honey. 


At 6.36 went away, 


6.42 


?5 




6.46 




6.51 


?5 




6.56 




7.10 


?5 




7.14. 




7.26 


?? 




7.34 




7.46 


T» 




7.50 




7.55 


?? 




8. 




8.12 


?? 




8.15 




8.20 


'5 




8.26 




8.30 


?5 




8.33 




8.37 


?5 




8.44 




8.50 


?? 




8.56 




and so on. 











OctoberlA. — She came for the first time at 8.15 a.m., 
and went on visiting the honey at the usual intervals. 
After this day 1 snw her no more ; she had probably 
met with some accident. But these facts show that 
some bees, at any rate, do not communicate with their 
sisters, even if they find an untenanted comb full of 
honey, which to them would be a perfect Eldorado. 
This is the more remarkable because these bees began 
to work in the morning before the rest, and continued 
to do so even in weather which drove all the others 
into the shelter of the hive. That the few strange 
bees which I have recorded should have found the 
honey is natural enough, because there were a good 
many bees about in the room. My room, I may add, 
is on the first floor ; if it had been on the level of the 
ground I believe that many more bees would have found 
their way to the honey. 

I will now proceed to the similar observations made 
with wasps. 



EXPERIMENTS WITH WASPS. 415 

The first one, I believe a worker of Vespa Oermanica, 
1 marked and put to some honey on September 18. 

The next morning she came for the first time 
at 7.25, and fed till 7.28, when she began flying 
abont the room, and even into the next ; so I thought 
it well to put her out of the window, and she then flew 
straight away to her nest. My room, as already 
mentioned, had windows on two sides ; and the nest 
was in the direction of a closed window, so that the 
wasp had to go out of her way in passing out through 
the open one. 

At 7.45 she came back. I had moved the glass 
containing the honey about two yards ; and though it 
stood conspicuously, the wasp seemed to have much 
difiiculty in finding it. Again she flew to the window 
in the direction of her nest, and I had as before to 
show her the way out, which I did at 8.2. 

At 8.15 she returned to the honey almost straight. 
At 8.21 she flew again to the closed window, and 
apparently could not find her way, so at 8.35 I put 
her out again. It seems obvious from this that wasps 
have a sense of direction, and do not find their way 
merely by sight. 

At 8.50 back to honey, and 8.54 again to wrong 
window ; but finding it closed, she took two or three 
turns round the room, and then flew out through the 
open window. 

At 9.24 back to the honey, and 9.27 away, first, 
however, paying a visit to the wrong window, but with- 
out alighting. 

At 9.36 back to honey ; 9.39 away, but, as before, going 
first to wrong window. She was away, there- 
fore, 9 minutes. 
9.50 back to honey ; 9.53 away.' Interval 11 minutes. 
10. „ „ 10. 7 „ „ 11 „ 

' This time straight. 



416 



COMMUNICATION. 



10.19 back to honey; 

10.35 „ 

10.47' „ 

11. 4 „ 
11.21 „ 
11.34 „ 
11.49 „ 

12. 3 „ 
12.13 „ 
12.25 „ 
12.39 „ 
12.54 „ 

1.15 „ 

1.27 „ 

Here for the first 
the honey. 

At 1.37 back to honey 
1.46 
1.54 

2. 5 
2.15 
2.27 2 
2.39 
2.50 

3. 2 
3.14 
3.26 
3.38 
3.50 

4. 7 
4.20 
4.32 



10.22 away. Interval 12 minutes. 



10.39 




13 


10.50 




9 


11. 7 




14 


11.24 




14 


11.37 




, 10 


11.52 




, 11 


12. 5 




11 


12.15i 




8 


12.28 




, 10 


12.43 




, 11 


12.57 




, 11 


1.19 




, 18 


1.30 




8 



time another specimen came to 



1.39 


away. 


1 




1.49 




Interval 7 minutes. 


1.58 




5 




2. 7 




7 




2.19 




8 




2.32 




8 




2.42 




„ 7 




2.54 




8 




3. 6 




8 




3.17 




8 




3.29 




9 




3.42 




9 




3.58 




8 




4.12 




9 




4.23 




8 




4.36 




9 





' Was rather disturbed, as I tried to mark her. 

- She very often, however, throughout the day, in going away, 
flew to the other window tirst, and then, without alighting, returned 
to and went through the open one. 



COMMUNICATION. 



417 



5. 3 , 




11 


0.17 , 




10 


5.30 , 




9 


5.44 , 




10 


5.59 , 




10 


6.11 , 




8 


6.25 , 




9 



4.46 back to honey ; 4.49 away. Interval 10 minutes 

5. „ 
5.13 „ 
5.26 „ 
5.40 „ 
5.54 „ 

6. 7 „ 
6.20 „ 

She did not come any more that day ; but, as will 
be seen, she had made forty-five visits to the honey in 
eleven hours. During the whole of this time no 
strange wasp, except the one above mentioned, came to 
this honey. 

The following day, September 20, this wasp made 
her appearance in my room at 6.55, when she flew 
straight to the honey. 

At 6.55 came to honey ; 6.59 went away. 

7. 8 
7.18 
7.30 
7.41 
7.53 „ 

8. 4 
8.15 
8.27 

8.38 „ 

8.50 „ 

9. I 
9.12 
9.22 
9.34 
9.46 

10. 1 

10.13 „ 

10.28 

10.38 



7.10 


5? 


Absent 9 minutes 


7.22 


?? 


55 


8 


95 


7.32 


?5 


55 


8 


95 


7.45 


?? 


55 


9 


59 


7.56 


5? 


55 


8 


99 


8. 7 


5? 


V 


8 


55 


8.18 


5? 


95 


8 


55 


8.30 


5? 


55 


9 


99 


8.41 


J? 


55 


8 


99 


8.53 


) 


55 


9 


99 


9. 4 


;? 


95 


8 


99 


9.15 


?? 


95 


8 


99 


9.25 


>? 


55 


7 


99 


9.36 


95 


39 


9 


99 


9.51 


55 


99 


10 


99 


10. 3 


55 


95 


10 


99 


10.18 


55 


99 


10 


99 


10.30 


55 


99 


10 


99 


10.42 


55 


55 


8 


55 



418 COMMUNICATION. 

10.53 came tohoney; 10.56 away. Absent 11 minutes. 
11. 7 „ 11.11 „ „ 11 

11.21 „ 11.25 „ „ 10 

n.32 „ 11..36 „ „ 7 

The wasp which came once yesterday returned and 
rather disturbed the first. 

At 11.49 came to honey; 11.50away. Absent 1 3 minutes. 
11.57 . „ 12. „ „ 7 „ 

12. 8 „ 12.11 „ „ 8 

Here I was away for about two hours. 

2.42 came to honey ; 2.46 away. 
2.58 „ 3. 2 „ Interval 12 minutes. 

3.15 ,, 0.17 „ „ 13 „ 

3.25 „ 3.28 „ „ 8 „ 

Here I was called away. 

4.25 came to honey; 4.28 „ 

4.41 „ 4.45 „ „ 13 

5.15 „ 5.19 „ „ 30 

5.30 „ 5.35 „ „ 11 

5.45 „ 5.50 „ „ 10 

6. 2 „ 6. 6 „ „ 12 

6.15 „ 6.17 „ „ 9 

This was the last visit that day. She made, there- 
fore, thirty-eight visits during the time she was watched, 
which was not quite eight hours. She was at work 
from 6.55 to 6.15; and assuming that she was occupied 
in the same manner during the three hours when she 
was not watched as during the rest of the time, she 
would have made over fifty visits to the honey during 
the day. 

Wishing, however, to have a complete record of a 
day's work, I watched her the following day without 
intermission. 



COMMUNICATION. 



419 



September 21. — I began watching at ten minutes 
past six. 

6.16 came to honey ; 6.19 away. 

6.29 „ 6.32 

6.41 „ 6.44 

6.55 „ 7. 
7.11 „ 7.15 
7.23 „ 7.26 
f.37 „ 7.42 

7.56 „ 8. 3 

Was disturbed, and seemed rather troubled. 
8.11 came to honey; 8.14 away. Interval 8 minutes 



8.20 
8.31 
8.40 
8.50 
8.58 
9. 8 
9.18 
9.30 
9.39 
9.50 

10. 1 
10.14 
10.25 
10.37 
10.47 

11. 
11.17 
11.34 
11.50 

12. 5 
12.20 
12.36 

1. 8 



8.24 

8.34 

8.42 

8.52 

9. 

9.11 

9.22 

9.32 

9.40 

9.54 

10. 5 

10.17 

10.28 

10.40 

10.51 

U. 6 

11.20 

11.37 

11.53 

12. 8 

12.24 

12.40 

1.11 



Interv 


al 10 minute 


?> 


9 „ 


11 


11 


5? 


11 „ 


5> 


8 „ 


55 


11 „ 


?i 


14 „ 



6 

7 

6 

8 

6 

8 

7 

8 

7 

10 

7 

9 

8 

9 

7 

9 

11 

14 

13 

12 

12 

12 

28 



420 



COMMUNICATION. 



1.26 came to honey ; 1.28 away. Interval 15 minutes 

1.40 

1.57 

2.10 

2.25 

2.45 „ 

She buzzed about at the other window for a few 
minutes, which made the interval longer than 
usual. 



1.42 „ 




12 „ 


2. 2 „ 




15 „ 


2.13 „ 




8 „ 


2.30 „ 




12 


2.56 „ 




15 „ 



3.13 came to honey ; 3.18 away. 



3.29 
3.41 
3.49 

4. 2 
4.19 
4.29 
4.40 
4.51 

5. 4 
5.16 
5.32 
5.45 



3.31 
3.45 
3.52 

4. 6 
4.22 
4.33 
4.44 
4.53 

5. 6 
5.20 
5.35 
5.50 



er 


val 17 min 




11 




10 




4 




7 




13 




7 




7 




7 




11 




10 




12 




10 



utes. 



It will be seen that the intervals of her absence 
were remarkably regular. On one occasion, indeed, 
she was only away four minutes ; but this time I think 
she had been disturbed, and had not provided herself 
with a regular supply of food. 

The number of visits was fifty-one in eleven hours 
and a half. I tried whether she would be in any way 
affected by a dead wasp, so I put one on the honey ; 
but she took no notice whatever. 

I observed with other ^\asps, that when the open 
window was not the shortest way to their nests, they 
had a great tendency to fly to that which was in the 
right direction, and to remain buzzing about there. 



INDUSTRY OF WASPS. 



421 



During the whole of this day only four or five 

strange wasps came to the honey. 

As regards the regularity of their visits, and the 

time occupied, other wasps which I observed agreed 

very closely with this one. For comparison, it may be 

worth while to give one or two other cases. I will 

commence with that of a worker, I believe V. vulgaris, 

observed on September 19. 

10 A.M. I put her to the honey ; she fed and then flew 
about the room, and at last got into my bee- 
hive. 

1 0.54. She came in again at the window. I again put 
her to the honey. She again flew all about 
the room. 

11.41. She retm-ned, and this time came to the 
honey ; but when she had fed again flew 
round and round the room, and did not seem 
able to find her way out. I therefore put her 
out. 

12.11 she returned, and the same thing happened again. 
' came back 



2.28 f Jo^ojl^g^''^ } 12.31 flew straight away. 



12.45 










12.53 


?5 


12.57 


5 




1.10 










1.26 


J5 


1.29 






1.38 


?? 


1.41 


, Interval 9 minutes 


1.50 


?? 


1.53 


„ 9 


55 


2. 3 


>J 


2. 6 , 


55 10 


55 


2.12 


5? 


2.16 
Was disturbed. 


„ 6 


55 


2.20 


?> 


2.25 


5, 4 


55 


2.40 


55 


2.43 


5, 15 


55 


2.51 


55 


2.54 


„ 8 


55 


3. 1 


55 


3. 4 


„ 7 


55 


3.13 


5» 


3.16 


,5 9 


,, 


3.25 


JJ 


3.28 


„ 9 


55 



422 



REGULARITY OF VISITS. 



3.35 

3.46 
3.58 
4.10 
4.23 
4.34 
4.46 
4.58 
5.14 



J Ciune back 1 
\ to honey ; j 



3.38 

3.50 

4. 1 
4.14 
4.25 
4.38 
4.50 

5. 4 



fflew 
\ away 



Interval 7 minutes. 



Was disturbed and flew about. 8 



She did not return any more that evening, but 
made her appearance again at half-past six the next 
morning. 

From twelve o'clock, when she had learnt her way, 
till five, she made twenty-five visits in five hours, or 
about five an hour, as in the previous cases. 

It struck me as curious that on the following day 
this wasp seemed by no means so sure of her way, but 
over and over again went to the closed window. 

Again, September 21, at 11.50 I fed a wasp. 

1 1.56 she returned to honey : 11.57 flew away 
12. 6 
1.25 



1.37 
1.57 
2.15 
2.22 
2.32 
2.50 

3. 2 
3.14 
3.28 
3.40 
3.51 

4. 4 
4.16 



12. 8 
1.27 
1.39 

2. 
2.17 
2.25 
2.36 
2.55 

3. 4 
3.18 
3.30 
3.44 
3.55 

4. 8 
4.20 









A 


DAYS 


WORK. 




4 


? 


she 


ret; 


Lirned to 


honey ; 


4.31 flew 


• away. 


4.37 














4.41 


?5 


4.46 














4.48 


5? 


4.57 














5. 


?9 


5. 9 














5.12 


?? 


5.22 














5.26 


55 


5.31 














5.36 


55 



423 



She made therefore twenty-three journeys, but did 
not bring a single friend. 

The last case of which I will give particulars is 
the following: — On September 10, 1875, I marked 
another wasp, also a worker, of, I believe, V. vulgaris. 
On the 11th she came to the honey for the first time, 

returning at 7.25, and left at 7.27 



55 


7.34 






7.37 


55 


7.41 






7.44 


55 


7.49 






7.51 


55 


7.56 






7.58 


55 


8. 3 






8. 6 


55 


8.13 






8.16 


55 


8.20 






8.23 


55 


8.30 






8.32 


55 


8.37 






8.40 


55 


8.46 






8.51 


She 


was disturbed. 




Returning 


at 9. 4, 


she 


left at 9. 5 


55 


9. 9 




55 


9.10 


55 


9.15 




55 


9.16 


She 


was disturbed. 




Returning 


at 9.30, 


she left at 9.32 


55 


9.50 




55 


9.54 


She 


was disturbed. 




ileturning ; 


at 10. 0, 


she 


left at 10. 2 


55 
55 


10.10 
10.20 




55 
55 


10.13 
10.23 



424 



A DAY'S WORK. 



Returning 


at 10.26 she left at 10.28 




10.33 


10.35 




10.41 


„ 10.43 




10.47 


10.49 




10.54 


10.56 




11. 


„ 11. 2 




11. 7 


„ 11. 9 




11.14 


„ 11.16 




11.20 


„ 11.22 




11.26 


„ 11.29 




11.33 


11.35 




11.39 


„ 11.41 




11.45 


„ 11.47 




11.53 


„ 11.54 




11.59 


„ 12. 




12. 6 


„ 12. 8 




12.14 


„ 12.16 




12.20 


„ 12.22 




12.28 


„ 12.30 




12.35 


„ 12.37 




12.42 


„ 12.44 




12.49 


„ 12.52 




12.55 


„ 12.57 




1. 


1. 3 




1. 8 


1.10 




1.14 


1.15 




1.19 


1.21 




1.25 


1.27 




1.31 


1.33 




1.37 


1.39 




1.43 


1.45 




1.51 


1.53 




1.58 


2. 




2. 4 


2. 6 




2.11 


2.13 




2.19 


2.20 




2.28 


2.30 





A DAYS 


WOEK. 




Returning 


at 2.33 1 


she left at 


2.35 




2.40 


5? 


2.42 




2.45 


J5 


2.47 




2.53 


?> 


2.56 




3. 


?5 


3. 2 




3. 4 


5? 


3. 5 




3.15 


5? 


3.11 




3.23 


5? 


3.17 




3.30 


?9 


3.25 




3.37 


V 


3.32 




3.49 


?3 


3.39 




3.52 


5? 


3.47 




3. 5 


?7 


3.54 




4. 


*? 


4. 2 




4. 6 


?9 


4. 9 




4.15 


>? 


4.17 




4.22 


?5 


4.24 




4.29 


?? 


4.31 




4.35 


?? 


4.37 




4.41 


?? 


4.43 




4.50 


?7 


4.52 




4.57 


59 


4.59 




5. 2 


>? 


5.5 




5.10 


5? 


5.12 




5.17 


?5 


5.19 




5.23 


5? 


5.25 




5.30 


95 


5.32 




5.37 


59 


5.39 




5.44 


55 


5.46 




5.50 


55 


5.52 




5.56 


95 


5.58 




6. 2 


95 


6. 4 




6. 7 


55 


6. 9 




6.13 


99 


6.15 




6.20 


59 


6.22 




6.28 


55 


6.30 


5? 


6.34 


99 


6.36 


3« 


6.41 


59 


6.43 



425 



426 A DAY'S WORK. 

This was her last visit for the evening, making no less 
than ninety-four visits in the day, during which time 
only two other wasps found the honey, though it was 
lying exposed on a table at an open window. It will 
be seen that she worked with the utmost industry and 
regularity. The following morning she came at 6.18 
and made twenty visits up to 8.18, after which I did 
not record them. During this time no stranger came. 

No doubt, however, if a wasp is put to honey in an 
exposed place, other wasps gradually find their way to 
it. In the preceding experiments some few, though 
but few, did so. I then thought I would try a simi- 
lar experiment with concealed honey. Accordingly, 
on September, 20 I marked a wasp and put her 
to some honey, which she visited assiduously. The 
following morning I opened my window at 6, and she 
made her first visit at 6.27, the temperature being 61° 
Fahr. I then placed the honey in a box communi- 
cating with the outside by an india-rubber tube 6 
inches long and ^ inch in diameter. The wasp, how- 
ever, soon got accustomed to it, and went in and out 
without much loss of time. The 22nd was finer; and 
when I opened my window at 6 in the morning, she 
was akeady waiting outside, the temperature being 61°. 
The 23rd was rather colder, and she came first at 6.20, 
the temperature being again 61°. 

I was not at home during these days ; but, as far 
as I could judge from watching in the mornings and 
evenings, no other wasp found the honey. On the 
24th I had a holiday and timed her as follows. It was 
rather colder than the preceding days, and she did not 
come till 6.40, when the temperature was 58° She 
returned as follows : — 

6.49 7.22 

6.58 7.32 

7.12 7.40 





A DAY'S 


WORK. 




7.50 






8.45 


8. 






8.52 


8. 9 






9. 2 


8.19 






9.12 


8.26 






9.45 


8.35 









427 



I had almost closed the window, so thnt she had a 
rHfficulty in finding her way, 

9.58 I 10.32 

10.10 I 10.51 

The temperature was still only 60°, and it was rain- 
ing, scarcely any other wasps about. 

11. 1 



11.11 

11.21 

11.29 

11.40 

11.46 

11.56 

12. 6 

12.14 

12.25 

12.33 

1.21 

1.32 

1.42 

1.53 

2. 

2.11 

2.26 

2.35 

2.51 



2.59 
3. 8 
3.14 
3.23 
3.32 
3.40 
3.48 
3.57 
4.12 
4.20 
4.29 
4.39 
4.47 
4.58 
5. 6 
5.17 
5.28 
5.35 
5.42 
5.52 



This was her last visit. During the whole day no 
other wasp found the honey. I also tried other wasps. 



428 DESCRIPTION OF 

concealing the honey in the same manner,' and with a 
similar result. 

I have no doubt some wasps would make even more 
journeys in a day than those recorded above. 

The following are descriptions of some new species 
referred to in the preceding pages. The first is the 
Australian honey ant. 

Camponotus I^' flatus, n. sp.' Operaria. — Long. 
15 mill. Nigra, tarsis pallidioribus ; subtiliter cori- 
acea, setis cinereo-testaceis sparsis ; antennis tibiisque 
haud pilosis ; tarsis infra hirsutis ; mandibulis punctatis, 
hirsutis, sexdentatis ; clypeo non carinato, antice in- 
tegro ; petioli squama modice incrassata, antice con- 
vexa, postice plana emarginata. Hah. Australian. 

The colour is black, the feet being somewhat paler. 
The body is sparsely covered with stiff cinereo-testa- 
ceous hairs, especially on the lower and anterior part 
of the head, the mandibles, and the posterior edge of 
the thorax. The head and thorax are finely coriaceous. 

The antennae are of moderate length, twelve- 
jointed ; the scape about one-third as long as the 
terminal portion, and somewhat bent. • At the apex of 
the scape are a few short spines^ bifurcated at the 
point. At the apex of each of the succeeding segments 
are a few much less conspicuous spines, which decrease 
in size from the basal segments outwards. The antenna 
is also thickly clothed with short hairs, and especially 
towards the ap6x with leaf-shaped sense-hairs. The 
clypeus is rounded, with a slightly developed median 
lobe and a row of stiff hairs round the anterior border ; 
it is not carinated. 

The mandibles have six teeth, those on one side 
being rather more developed and more pointed than 

' In the Linnaan Journ. v. I have given figures of this species. 



THE AUSTEALIAN HONEY ANT. 429 

those on the other. They decrease pretty regularly 
from the outside inwards. 

The maxillge are formed on the usual type. The 
maxillary palpi are six-jointed, the third segment being 
but slightly longer than the second, fom-th, or fifth ; 
while in Myrmecocystus the third and fourth are 
greatly elongated. The segments of the palpi have on 
the inner side a number of curious curved blunt hairs 
besides the usual shorter ones. 

The labial palpi are fom-jointed. The eyes are 
elHptical and of moderate size. The ocelli are not 
developed. 

The thorax is arched, broadest in front, without any 
marked incision between the meso- and meta-notum ; 
the mesonotum itself is, when seen from above, very 
broadly oval, almost circular, rather broader in front 
and somewhat flattened behind. The legs are of 
moderate length, the hinder ones somewhat the 
longest. The scale or knot is heart-shaped, flat 
behind, slightly arched in front, and with a few stiff, 
slightly diverging hairs at the upper angles. The 
length is about two-thirds of an inch. 

The following refers to a new species of mite which 
[ have found in nests of Lasius fiavus, and of which 
Mr. Michael has been good enough to draw up the 
following description. 

Uropoda formicari^, sp. nov. 

This species, although it falls strictly within the 
genus Uroxjoda., and not within Kramer's genus 
Trachynotus as defined by that writer, still in most 
respects, except the very distinctions upon which the 
genus is founded, resembles Trachynotus pyriformis 
(Kramer) more closely than it does any other recorded 
species. It is, however, decidedly different, and is 
characterised by the squareness of its abdomen, the 
thickness and roughness of its chitinous dermal skele- 



430 DESCRIPTION OF A MITE 

ton, and esppcially by the powerful chitinous ridges or 
wing-like expansions on the lateral surface between the 
second and third pair of legs. 

Length, $ and ? , about '95 millim. 
Breadth „ „ -55 „ 

The abdomen is almost square, but somewhat longer 
than broad, and slightly narrowed at its junction with 
the cephalothorax, from which it is not plainly dis- 
tinguished. The extreme edge is a strong chitinous 
ridge bordered with a thick fringe of short, stout, 
curved hairs, as in T. pyriforTnis. The dorsal surface 
of the cephalothorax is also narrowed towards the front, 
and has a curved anterior margin bent down so as to 
protect the mouth, as in that species; it bears a few 
of the same kind of hairs as the abdomen, and has a 
chitinous thickening at each side. The abdomen rises 
almost perpendicularly from the marginal ridge. There 
is a central depression occupying the posterior half, or 
rather more than half of the abdomen; and at the bottom 
of this depression are transverse ridges, the hinder ones 
nearly straight, and the anterior ones bent in the 
middle, the central point being forward ; at the sides of, 
but not in, this depression, are two chitinous blocks 
which seem to form a starting-point for the ridges. 
Anterior to this depression the central portion of the 
creature, i.e. its longitudinal dorsal axis, is higher in 
level than in parts nearer the margin, and forms an 
irregular triangle of rough chitine. A broad chitinous 
plate or ridge projects on each side above the second 
leg, and between that and the third, evidently for their 
protection ; it is probably flexible at the wdll of the 
creature, as in the genus Oribates. 

The sternal surface has strongly marked depressions 
for the reception of the legs. The coxse of the first 
pair of legs are largely developed, flattened, almost 
toi;ch in the median line, and nearly conceal the mouth. 



PARASITIC ON ANTS. 431 

as in the typical Uropodas. The genital opening of 
the male is rather large, round, and placed centrally 
between the coxae of the second pair of legs. The 
female appears only to be distinguished from the male 
by being more strongly chitinised, and by the con- 
spicuous valval plate which occupies the whole space 
between the coxae of the second and third pairs of legs 
and extends beyond both. 

The nymph is less square in the abdomen than the 
adult, and the border of hairs is absent ; the margin is 
somewhat undulated, the concave undulations being so 
placed as to give free action to the legs when raised ; 
the central depression of the abdomen is far less 
marked than in the adult; a slight ridge runs all 
round the dorsal surface a little within the margin ; 
four ridges, two anterior and two posterior, run from 
the circumscribing ridge to a raised ellipse in the centre ; 
there are not any plates for the protection of the legs, 
and the coxae of the first pair are not flattened as in the 
adult. 

This mite lives in the nests of Formica flava. 



Descriftion of a New Genus and Species of Phoridce 
parasitic on Ants. By Gr. H.VERRALL,Esq., Memb. 
Entom. Soc. 

Sir John Lubbock has kindly forwarded for my exa- 
mination and determination certain specimens of dip- 
terous insects said to have been found parasitic on species 
of ants, which latter he has been studying with care as 
to their habits. Having given considerable attention to 
the family Phoridae, I was agreeably surprised to find 
the parasitic specimens to be forms new to science. 
One of these is a new species of the genus Phora ; the 
other I regard as possessing characters sui generis, and 
hence define it under the generic title Flatyphora, at 



432 DESCKIPTION OF TWO NEW 

the same time bestowing on the species the name of 
the discoverer, who worthily pm^sues entomological re- 
searches, spite of many pressing public engagements. 

The subjoined descriptions embrace the diagnostic 
peculiarities of the insects in qtlfestion. 

Phora fobmicarum, n. sp. — Nigro-cinerea, fronte 
setosa, caniculata ; an tennis mediocribus, cinereis; palpis 
magnis, flavis ; halteribus flavidis ; pedibus totis pallide 
flavis, inermibus, tibiis intermediis unicalcaratis, posticis 
modice dilatatis ; alis subhyalinis, nervo secundo sim- 
plici, nervulis vix undulatis. Long, vix ^ lin. 

Frons broad, grey, bristly, two large bristles being 
close to the eye-margin ; down the centre is a deep 
impressed channel, which at its lower end joins a 
channel above the antennae, and at its upper end a 
channel round the raised vertical triangle ; the space 
between these two latter channels (comprising the true 
frons) is about once and a half broader than deep ; 
on the vertical triangle are two bristles ; the third 
joint of the antennae is moderately large, ovate, grey ; 
the arista short, somewhat yellowish, almost naked ; 
the palpi conspicuous, all pale yellow, with a few short 
black bristles at the tip; on the cheeks are some short 
black bristles. 

The thorax is grey or brownish grey, broad, not much 
arched, the disk being nearly flat, and on the hinder 
part absolutely concave ; on the disk there are no long 
bristles, but a dense clothing of rather short black 
bristles ; along the side of the thorax between the 
humeri, the base of the wing, and the scutellum are 
some long black bristles, and two on the thorax just 
before the scutellum; on each side of the scutellum 
are two long bristles ; halteres dirty pale yellow ; 
abdomen bare, dull black, with slightly yellowish 
incisures ; ovipositor polished black, long, slightly 
incurved and grooved. 



FLIES PARASITIC ON ANTS. 433 

Legs pale yellow, including the coxae, clothed with 
minute black bristles ; all the coxae with two or three 
black bristles at the tips, the legs otherwise bare 
excepting the spurs ; femora flattened and widened, 
especially the hind pair, the hind tibiae also slightly 
flattened and widened on the apical half ; middle tibiae 
with a long spur inside at the tip, and hind tibiae with 
a small one inside and a very minute one outside; tarsi 
longer than the tibiae, joints gradually diminishing in 
length. 

Wings very slightly smoky, broad ; second thick 
vein not extending half the length of the wing, thick- 
ened, but not forked at its tip ; first veinlet with a 
steady curve ; second very slightly curved at base, 
otherwise straight; third very slightly undulated; 
fourth hardly visible at base, evident towards tip, very 
slightly undulated ; costa bristly up to end of second 
thick vein. 

This species is readily distinguished by its simple 
second thick vein, channelled frons, small size, and by 
the absence of bristles on the tibiae. 

It is parasitic on Lasius niger. 



Platyphora, n. gen. 

Lata, planx, tota absque setis. Frons latissima. 
Thorax transversus. Abdomen parvus. Alarum vena 
cubitalis simplex, subacostali parallela ; venulae undu- 
latae ; costa ad basin subciliata. 

Distinguished from all the existing genera of 
Phoridae by its flat and broad shape, which resembles 
that of the small species of Sphcerocera. The absence 
of strong bristles on the frons, thorax, and legs also 
distinguishes it from all the genera except Gymnophora, 
which, however, is of the usual arched PAo7'a- shape, 
and has the cubital vein forked, costa bare, &c. 
20 



434 PLATYPHORA LUBBOCKII. 

Platyphora LuBBOCKii. — Nigra, nitida ; abdomine 
triangulari, segmento tertio parvo ; femoribus posticis 
basi flavidis ; alis apice latis, flavido-hyalinis, costa ad 
basin subciliata, vena cubitali ad medium costse extensa 
subeostali parallela, venulis undulatis. Long. | lin. 

Broad, flat, shining ; frons very broad, the eyes 
scarcely occupying each one-sixth the Avidth of the 
head ; it is moderately shining, gently arched, and 
pretty densely clothed with minute bristles ; the 
three ocelli visible slightly luteous ; antennae with the 
third joint rather large, somewhat rounded ; thorax 
broad, flat, rather broader than the head, angles 
tolerably rounded, disk shining (in appearance sug- 
gesting a small Sphcerocera), beset with very minute 
bristles, which become rather scarcer towards the 
hinder part; scutellum rather, dull, margined, nearly 
four times as broad as long : abdomen black, narrower 
and shorter than the thorax (again suggestive of 
Sphcerocera) ; each segment after the second success- 
ively narrower, the last one being almost trian- 
gular ; the third segment is very short, contracted 
under the second ; the hind margins form a curved 
convex towards the thorax, the first segment being 
slightly emarginate in the middle ; the sixth (last) is 
much the longest. Legs stoutish, blackish, basal two- 
thirds of hind femora yellowish ; middle tibiae with 
two small spines at the tip. Wings considerably over- 
lapping the abdomen, yellowish hyaline, darker about 
the basal half of the costa, blunt at the tip, cubital 
vein extending about half the length of the wing, and 
the costa slightly ciliate up to its end, subcostal vein 
running parallel to it and ending just before it ; both 
veins a little thickened at their ends ; first veinlet 
curved 8-like, considerably at its base, slightly at its 
end, vanishing distinctly before the tip of the wing ; 
second veinlet also S-like, diverging at its end from 
the first, and ending distinctly below the tip of the 



PLATYPHORA LUBBOCKII. 435 

wing ; third veinlet slightly undulated, ending very 
wide from the second ; fourth faint, not reaching the 
end of the wing. 

This description having been made from a specimen 
gummed down on card, though in very good condi- 
tion, 1 am unable to decide on the sex, or to examine 
the face, palpi, base of antennae, or coxae. 



INDEX. 



ABD 

ABDOMEN of ant described, 10, 
13 ; of the Mexican honey 

ant, 19, 47 
Acacia with hollow thorns in- 
habited by ants, 57 
Affection less powerful than 

hatred among ants, 106 ; absence 

of, among bees, 286 
Agricultural ants, 61, 92 
Aldrovandus quoted as to ants, 61 
Amazon ants, see Polijergus ru- 

fescens 
Amber, an intermediate form of 

ant preserved in, 68 
Analogies between ant societies 

and human, 91 
Andre quoted as to Platyarthrug, 

75 ; as to the slaves of F. san- 

gninta, 80 
Aner gates, 85 ; no workers among 

them, 86 ; degraded condition 

of, 89 
Animal food, queens hatched in 

an artificial nest supplied with, 

40 
A'tgrwcum, sesqvijjcdale, length of 

flowers of, 52 
Anumma arcens, the Driver ant, 

described, 20, 63 ; their blind- 
ness, 65 
Ants, three families of, 1 ; four 

periods cf life in, 6 ; duration of 

life among, 8, 38, 40 ; structure 



APH 

of, 10 ; different classes of indi- 
viduals among, 18 ; communities 
of, 24; games of, 28; their rela- 
tion to plants, 50; often insecti- 
vorous, 59 ; their relations to 
other animals generally hostile, 
63 ; their enemies, 26, 67 ; their 
domestic animals, 67-78 ; pro- 
gress among, 90 ; their beha- 
viour towards each other, 94, 
&c. ; mental powers of, 181 ; 
their sense of vision, 11, 182- 
220, 258 ; of smell, 127, 238, 
258 ; of hearing, 221, 226 ; stri- 
dulating apparatus among, 230 ; 
their intelligence, 236 

' Ant eggs,' 7 

'Ant-rice,' 61 

Antenna of ant described, 10 ; 
sense organ in terminal portion 
of, illustrated, 227 

Antennte as means of communica 
tion among ants, 153 ; as organs 
of hearing, 221, 226 ; of smell, 
94, 234 

Antiri'Mnum fertilised by humble 
bees, 54 

AjjJiidcs made use of by ants, 25, 
67 ; different species of, utilised 
by different ants, 68 ; their 
honey, 69 ; their eggs tended by 
ants, 70 ; not domesticated by 
F.fii.n'a,^! 



438 



INDEX. 



ARI 

Aristida flligautha, 'ant-rice,' 61 
Artificial nests for ants, 3, 164 
Ateuchits pihtlarius, anecdote of, 

154 
Atrophy of the imaginal discs of 
tlie ant-workers, 12; of the 
sting in Formica, 1 5 ; of the 
eyes of Platyarthms and BecMa, 
75 
Atta harbara, the eye in, 11 ; 
variety of workers among, 19 

— structor, its treatment of col- 
lected grain, 61 

— testaceo-jnhsa, experiment with, 
as to power of communication, 
177 

Attachment among ants, 94 
Auditory organs, structures in ant- 
antennfe probably serve as, 226 
Australian honey ant, 49 ; de- 
scribed, 428 



BATES, Mr., quoted as to the 
five kinds of workers in 
Saiiba, 22 ; as to ant-play, 29 ; 
as to the use made by ants of 
leaves, 57 ; as to the armies of 
Eciton, 65 ; as to leaf -cutting 
by Saiiba, 237 
BatHsus, rarely more ' than one 
specimen of, found in an ants' 
nest, 78 
BecMa, one of the ant-guests, 74 
Bees, occasional fertility of 
workers among, 36 ; means of 
recognition among, 126 ; their 
sense of hearing, 221, 290 ; ob- 
servations with, 274 ; difficulty 
in finding their way, 278 ; their 
behaviour in a strange hive, 281; 
their recklessness, 285 ; their 
want of mutual affection, 286 ; 
their influence on the develop- 
ment of flowers, 51, 291 ; their 
colour sense, 291 ; their prefer- 
ence for blue, 294-310 ; experi- 
ments on communication among 
them, 276, 401 



CAR 

Beetles kejit in ants' nests, 74, 76, 
90 

Belt, Mr. Thomas, quoted as to 
floral defences against ants, 51 ;■ 
as to defence against leaf-cut- 
ting ants, 57 ; on the raids of 
Eciton, 66 ; on an ant-like 
spider, 66 

Bert, Prof. Paul, as to the limits 
of vision, 219 

Bichromate of potash, experiments 
with, 211 

Bisulphide of carbon, experiments 
with, 208 ; 

Blanchard, M., quoted as to the 
origin of nests, 30 

Blindness of Anom'ma and Eciton, 
65 ; of Platyarthrus and BecMa, 
75 

Blue, the favourite colour of bees, 
294, 304, 310 ; flowers, their late 
origin, 308 

Bonnet, M., on aphis eggs, 70 

Bonnier, M., on indifference to 
colour among bees, 302 

Bothriomijrmex meridionalis, the 
eye in, 1 1 

Brazil, blind hunting ants of, 65 ; 
use made by the Indians in, of 
the tenacity of an ant-bite, 96 

Biicldce dacty hides, seed of, col- 
lected by ants, 61 

Biichner, Dr., as to Texan harvest- 
ing ants, 62 

Bui'meister, on the power of recog- 
nition among insects, 126 

Butterfly, ants seen licking the 
larva of, 68 



riAjSIPONOTUS in flatus, de- 
^ scribed, 428 
— ligniperdus, the eye in, 11 ; 

communication among 158 
Captivity, mode of keeping ants 

in, 2, 3 ; a wasp in, 315 
Caterpillars killed by ants, 59, 65 
Caryophxjllacece, correlation of 

form and colour in, 309 



INDEX. 



439 



CHE 

Chenniuni, rarely more than one 
specimen of, in an ants' nest, 78 

Christ, M., on the length of life of 
queen ants, 9 ; on ant roads, 25 

Chrome alum, experiments as to 
ant vision with, 217 

Chromium chloride, experiments 
with, 217 

Claparede, M, as to insect-vision, 
183 

Clark, Rev. Hamlet, as to an ant- 
tunnel in S. America, 25 

Claviger, a blind beetle, a guest 
in ants' nests, 75, 76 ; experi- 
ments with, by M. Lespes, 90 

Cleanliness of ants, 29 

Coccidcp, their use to ants, 68 

Cocoons spun by some larvje of 
anis, 7 

Colohopsis trnncata and Cfmipes, 
two forms of the same species, 
20 

Colour-sense of ants, 186, &c. ; of 
bees, 291, &c. ; of wasps, 316 ; 
less developed among wasps 
than bees, 321 

Colours of flowers, evolution of, 
308 

Communication, power of, among 
ants, 153, kc. ; among bees, 
156; experiments as to, with 
ants, 160, 344,376; with bees, 
276, 401 ; with wasps. 311, 415 

Communities of ants, 24 ; power 
of mutual recognition among 
members of, 119, 333 

Compassion among ants, instances 
of, 106, 108 ; absence of, among 
bees, 286 

Co-operation, experiments as to, 
among ants, 365-376 

Correlation of form of knot with 
stinging power in ants, 13; of 
colour in flowers with specialisa- 
tion of form, 308 

Courage of an's, 27; of wasps, 
314 

Crematoga&tcr lineolata, adoption 
of a queen by, 34 



Crematbg aster scutellaris, their 
neglect of friends in trouble, 
98 ; experiments as to percep- 
tion of colour among, 192 

— sordidtda, threatening attitude 
of, 16 

Cross-fertilisation effected by in- 
sects, 50 



T\APHNIA, limits of vision in, 
-J-^ 219 

Darkness, education of joung 
ants conducted in, 5 ; effect of, 
on the eyes of Platyarthrxis and 
Beckia, 75 

Darwin, on the sound produced 
by Mutilla, 229 

— Francis, on the use of the leaf- 
cups of teazle, 52 

Dead, treatment of the, among 
bees, 287 

Defences of flowers against un- 
bidden guests, 52-7 

Degradation of Strongylogriatlms^ 
85 ; caused by slaveholding, 89 

Dewitz, Dr., on the non-develop- 
ment of the sti-ng in the For- 
micida3, 14 ; on eggs laid by 
fertile workers, 36, 40 

Dinarda dentata in ants' nests, 
76,77 

Dipmcus sylvestris, leaf-cups of, 52 

Direction, sense of, among ants, 
260 ; guided by the position of 
the light, 268 ; sense of, among 
bees, 278; among wasps, 321, 
420 

Discs, atrophy of imaginal, in 
worker ants, 12 ; cleared by 
harvesting ants, 61 ; experi- 
ments as to sense of direction 
with rotating, 261, &c. 

Division of labour among* ants, 
23, 44 ; tabular view of experi- 
ments on, 324 

Domestic animals of ants, 68-78 

Driver ants, see Anomma arccns 

Dujardin, M., as to the power of 



440 



INDEX. 



EBR 

communication among bees, 156. 
813 



EBliARD, M., his observations 
as to the origin of ants' nests, 

Eciton, the eye in, 11 

— dTepanopliora, their order in 
marching, 21 

— erratica, soldiers among, 21 ; 
their covered galleries, 65 

— legionis at play, 29 

— vastator, soldiers among, 21 ; 
their covered galleries, 65 

Economy of labour among ants, 
experiments as to, 240, kc. 

Eggs of ants described, 6 ; laid 
occasionally by worker ants, 35 
by worker bees and wasps, 36 
these always produce males, 37 
as to difference of sex in, 40 
of aphis, tended by ants, 69 
and hatched in captivity, 71 

Electric light, experiments on ants 
with, 200 

Emery "s observations on Colohopsis, 
20 

Enemies of ants, 26, 67 

Evolution of colour in tiowers, 308 

Experiments, as to theadoption of 
a queen by ants, 32 ; as to di- 
vision of labour among ants, 23, 
44, 324 ; as to their care of 
aphis- eggs, 70 ; on Claviger, 90 ; 
as to the treatment by ants of 
injured companions, 94, 107 ; 
with chloroformed ants, 98, 
108-111 ; with drowned ants, 
99; with buried ants, 102; as 
to treatment of stranger ants, 
104, 119, 124, 333 ; as to mode 
of recognition, 108 ; with in- 
toxicated ants, 111-118; as to 
power of recognition among 
ants, 119, 333 ; and among bees, 
126; with ant-pupsB removed 
from nest, 129-147 ; on sister- 
ants brought up separately, 147- 



KOO 

152; as to power of communi- 
cation among ants, 160-181, 
344-376 ; among bees, 274, 401 ; 
.among wasps, 311, 415; as to 
perception of colour, 186 ; with 
coloured solutions, 194 ; with 
spectrum, 198 ; with the electric 
light, 201 ; as to ultra-violet 
rays, 200-220 ; with magnesium 
spark, 207 ; as to sense of hear- 
itig among ants, 222 ; among 
bues, 290 ; as to sense of smell 
among ants, 233, 258 ; among 
bees, 288 ; as to ant intelligence, 
237 ; as to economy of labour, 
241 ; as to ingenuity among 
ants, 243-6 ; as to their power 
of landing their way, 250 ; as 
to means of tracking, 168, 383, 
387 ; as to sense of direction 
among ants, 260 ; among bees, 
278 ; and among wasps, 321 ; as 
to guidance of ants by sight, 
266 ; as to the behaviour of 
bees in a strange hive, 281 ; as 
to their compassion, 286 ; as to 
their colour sense, 291 ; and 
their preference of certain 
colours, 302 ; as to colour sense 
among wasps, 316 
Expulsion of ant from nest, 98 
Eyes of two kinds in ants, 10 ; 
compound, 182 ; various de- 
velopments of, 183 



FACETS of the eye in ants, 
number of, 11 ; described, 182 

Feeding, loss of instinct of, 76, 83, 
87 

Fertilisation of plants by insects, 
50, 291 

Fighting among ants, different 
modes of, 17 

Flowers, their defences against 
unprofitable insects, 51-55 ; in- 
Hiaence of bees on their develop- 
ment, 291 ; paucity of blue, 308 

Food of ants, 25, 63 ; its eifcct in 



INDEX, 



441 



FOR 

determining the sex in ants and 
bees, 40 ; individual ants in 
certain species serve as recep- 
tacles of, 47 

Foragers, certain ants of a nest 
told off as, 45, 47 

Forel, Dr., referred to as to the 
emergence of pupae of ants, 8 ; 
as to their compound eyes, 10; 
as to the position of spiracles, 
14 ; as to the offices of young 
ants, 23 ; as to F. ritfa, 27 ; as 
to ant-games, 28, 29 ; as to 
origin of nests, 31 ; as to eggs 
laid by workers, 35 ; on the 
honey ant, 40 ; on the germina- 
tion of grain in ant-stores, 61 ; 
as to beetles in ant nests, 78 ; 
as to the slaves of F. sajiguinea, 
80 ; as to the slave-making of 
Strongylognathus, 85 ; on Aner- 
gates, 86 ; on the behaviour of 
ants to each other, 94 ; on re- 
cognition among ants, 120; as 
to power of communication 
among ants, 158 ; as to their 
insensibibility to sound, 221 ; as 
to special organs in their an- 
tenna, 227 

Formica bisjnnosa, its nest, 24 

— cinerea, 16 ; character of, 27 ; 
eygs laid by workers among, 37, 
39 ; duration of life of, 42 ' 

— conqcfeiis, Thiaso])Mla in nests 
of, 77 

— exseeta, mode of attack of, 17 ; 
extent of nest of, 24 ; Thiaso- 
pliila in nests of, 77 

— flava, Uropoda in nests of, 431 
— fusca. occasionally spins a 

cocoon, 7; its timidity, 27 ; in- 
troduction of a queen among, 
34 ; eggs laid by ' workers 
among, 38, 39 ; queens produced 
in captivity, 40; longevity of, 
42 ; division of labour among, 
45 ; occasionally found in the 
nests of F. ritfa, 79 ; enslaved 
by F. sanguinea, 80 ; Pkifij- 



FOR 

aHhrus received in nests of, 90 ; 
their condition analogous to 
that of the hunting races of 
men, 91 ; their neglect of friends 
in trouble, 96 ; expulsion of a 
member from the nest, 98 ; mite 
attached to the head of a queen 
of, 98 ; their neglect of im- 
prisoned companions, 103 ; hos- 
tility towards imprisoned 
strangers, 104 ; instances of 
their kindness to crippled com- 
panions, 106; experiments as 
to recognition among, 122, 130, 
134, 233; on' power of commu- 
nication among, 161, 180; as to 
perception of colour among, 188, 
193, 201 
Formica gagates enslaved by F. 
sangmnea, 80 

— ligniperda, experiments as to 
sense of hearing among, 223 ; as 
to sense of smell among, 234 

— nigra, experiment as to power 
of communication among, 363 

— pratensi-i, eye of, 10, 184 ; at- 
tacked by F. exseeta, 18 ; its 
treatment of slain enemies, 27 ; 
Stenamma in nests of, 78 ; large 
communities of, 119 

— ri/fa, its power of ejecting poi- 
son, 15; its mode of attack, 17, 
27 ; nests of, 23 ; large number 
of insects kept in nests of, 74, 
75 ; Stenamma in nests of, 78 

— rufibarbis perhaps a variety of 
F. fusca, 80 

— sanguinea, its mode of attack, 
17 ; duration of life of, 41, 42 ; 
Dinarda in nests of, 77 ; their 
periodical attack on neighbour- 
ing nests, 79 ; slaves made by, 
80 ; not yet degraded by slave 
holding, 88 ; they apparently 
understand the signals of Pra- 
tensis, 159 

Formicidtf, one of the three fami- 
lies of ants, 1 ; power of sting- 
ing absent in them, 13 



442 



INDEX. 



Fit A 

Franklin, Dr., as to power of com- 
munication among ants, 155 

Friends, behaviour of ants to, 97, 
101 ; recognition of, 119, 333 

GALLERIES, covered, made by 
Eciton, 65 

Galton, Mr. Francis, on domestic 
animals kept as pets, 77 

Games among ants, 28 

Gelieu, M., on means of recogni- 
tion among bees, 12(? 

Gentians, colours of, 310 

Glasses, experiments on ants with 
coloured, 186, &c. 

Gould, Mr., on the emergence of 
the imago, 8 ; on ant-games, 
28 ; on the egjis of aphides, 69 

Goureau, M., on the sound pro- 
duced by Mntilla, 229 

Graber, Dr. von, on the sense 
organs in the legs of Gryllns, 
231 

Grain collected and stored by ants, 
26, 60 ; germination of , prevented 
by ants, 61 

Gredler, Dr., anecdote of ant-intel- 
ligence told by, 237 

Grimm's observations on Dinarda, 
76 

Grote, Mr., quoted as to the ne- 
cessity of morality in societies, 
93 

Growth of insects takes place 
during the larval stage, 8 

Guests of ants, 74 

Gryllus,sense organs in tibite of, 231 

HABITATIONS of ants, 24 
Hagens, von, quoted as to 

myrmecophilous beetles, 77 ; 

on the slave-making of Strongy- 

lognathiis, 85 ; on Anergates, 86 ; 

his suggestions as to Strongy- 

lognathus, 87 
Hairs of plants as defences against 

insects, 55 
Harvesting ants, .'^9, 92 ; in the 

South of Europe and Texas, CI 



Hatred a stronger passion with 
ants than affection, 106 

Head of ant described, 10 ; large 
size of, in workers of certain 
species, 20, 22 

Hearing, sense of, among insects, 
221 ; possibly present in ants, 
226 ; among bees, 290 ; among 
wasps, 313 

Hetcerius scsquicornis, in ants' 
nests, 77 

Hicks, Dr. J. Braxton, on the 
antenniB of insects, 227 

Hildebrand on the variations of 
blue flowers, 310 

Honey, love of ants for, 51 ; of 
aphis, 69 ; experiments on ants 
entangled in, 98 

Honey ants, 19, 47 ; independently 
originated in Mexico and Texas, 
49 ; of Australia described, 428 

Hope, Mr., quoted as to harvest- 
ing ants, 60 

Horse ant, see F. rufa 

Huber, as to ants playing, 28 ; as 
to the formation of a nest, 30 ; 
on the care taken by ants of 
aphis eggs, 70 ; as to slavery 
among ants, 81 ; as to their re- 
cognition of friends, 120; as to 
their deafness, 221 

Hunting anis, 59, 63, 91 

Hydnophytuni formicarwm, its as- 
sociation with ants, 58 

Hymenoptera, common origin of 
the sting in the, 15 ; the social, 
means of communication be- 
tween, 153 

INDIVIDUAL differences be- 

-L tween ants, 95, 101 ; between 
bees, 279 

Industry of ants, 27; of wasps, 
321, 421 

Insects, their metamorphoses, 8 ; 
their agency in fertilisation of 
flowers, 50, 291 ; mimicking ants, 
66 ; kept by ants, 73 ; recogni- 
tion among, 126 ; their vision, 



INDEX. 



443 



INS 

182 ; their hearing, 221 ; pos- 
sibly possess senses inconceiva- 
ble to ourselves, 225 

Insensible ants, experiments with, 
99-108 

Intelligence among ants, 181,236; 
experiments as to, 2iO 

Intoxicated ants, experiments on, 
111 ; tabular view of experi- 
ments, 118; experiments re- 
ferred to, 128 

KEENER on floral defences, 52 ; 
on the uses of nectaries, 56 
Knot in ants, specific characters 

offered by form of, 13 
Kirby and Spence, Messrs., as to 
power of communication among 
ants, 156 ; on the power of sound 
in Mutilla, 229 

IABOUR, division of, among 
i ants, 23, 44 ; experiments as 
to economising, 240 ; tabular 
view of experiments on, 324-332 

Landois, on the sound emitted by 
Mutilla, 229; on stridulating ap- 
paratus in ants, 230 

Langstroth, Dr., as to recognition 
by smell among bees, 281 ; on 
their recklessness, 285 

Larvte of ants described, 6 ; of 
stranger nests carefully tended, 
129 

LasiitshrmineiispTeievs the aphides 
of the bark of trees, 68 

— flavns, period of larval life in, 
7 ; the eye in, 11 ; will not 
adopt a strange queen, 32 ; mites 
in tlie nest of, 67; keeps flocks 
of the root-feeding aphis, 68 ; 
keeps four or five species of 
aphis in iis nests, 73 ; Plattj- 
a/rthrvs a guest of, 75, 90 ; they 
have arrived at the ' pastoral 
stage' of progress, 91 ; their 
behaviour to a dead queen, 108 ; 
to chloroformed friends and 
strangers, 108-111; to intoxi- 



cated friends and strangers, 111 ; 
their treatment of strangers, 
123 ; perception of colour among, 
190, 193, 195 ; experiments as 
to sense of hearing among, 223 ; 
stridulating apparatus in, 231 ; 
structure in tibia of, 232 ; want 
of ingenuity among, 248 ; earth- 
works constructed by, 249 ; ex- 
periments with, as to power of 
communication, 365 ; as to co- 
operation, 372; new species of 
mite found in nests of, 429 
Lasius niger, workers among, 19 ; 
fed by aphides, 25 ; eggs laid 
by workers among, 37 ; longe- 
vity of, 42 ; typical nest of, illus- 
trated, 42 ; and described, 44 ; 
tliey carry seeds of violet into 
their nests, 59 ; their choice 
among aphides, 68 ; Platy- 
arthrus a guest of, 75 ; Heta;rius 
found in nests of, 77 ; experi- 
ment s as to Claviger in nests of, 
90 ; observations on a wounded 
worker among, 95 ; experiments 
with buried individuals of, 102 ; 
with pupjB as to recognition 
among, 131 ; as to power of 
communication among, 160, 163, 
172, 175, 356-362, 377; as to 
perception of colour among, 191, 
201 ; as to their intelligence, 
240 ; their want of ingenuity, 
242, 246; as to scent, 258; as 
to sense of direction among, 
260; Plwra formicarum para- 
sitic on, 433 

— fuliginosus, the eye in, 11 ; 
stridulating apparatus in, 230 

Latreille quoted as to compassion 
shown by ants, 94 

Leaf-cutting ants, 57 

Legs of ants described, 12 

Leptothorax acervornm, Platy- 
arthrus a guest of, 75 ; Tomo- 
gnathus in nests of, 87 note 

— muscornm, Tomognathvs in 
nests of, 87 note 



444 



INDEX. 



LES 

Lespes, M., on eggs laid by work- 
ers, 35 ; on grain stored by ants, 
61 ; on the feeding of Lnme- 
chusa by ants, 76 ; on the 
domestic arimals of ants, 90 

Leuckart, his experiments on ant- 
intelligence, 238 

Life, duration of, among ants, 8 

Light, dislike of ants to, 2, 186 ; 
as aid to sense of direction 
among ants, 268 ; bees attracted 
by, 28-1 

Ligurian queen bee, introduction 
of a, 287 

Limits of vision with ants, experi- 
ments as to, 199-206; in Daph- 
nia, 219 

Lincecum, Dr., as to Texan 1 ar- 
vesting ants, 62 

LinniEus quoted as to aphides, 67 

Locust, ants apparently deceived 

. by a leaf-like, 66 

Lomeehusa, fed by ants, 76 

Long, Col., as to the sense of 
hearing among certain ants, 226 

Longevity of workers of Lasivs 
nif/er, 38, 42; of queen ants, 9, 40 

Lowne, Mr., quoted as to the func- 
tions of ocelli, 183 

Lund, M., quoted as to the intel- 
ligence of ants, 236 

Lyccena i)senclarQiolus, ants seen 
licking the larva of, 68 

MCCOOK, Mr., quoted as to 
the adoption of a queen by 
Crematog aster, 34 ; as to honey- 
ants, 48 ; as to the grain-fields 
of the Texan harvesting ant, 62 ; 
as to ants licking the larva of a 
bulterfly, 68 ; on recognition by 
smell among ants, 127 

Miirkel quoted as to insects kept 
by F. TV fa, 74 

Maimonides as to the ownership of 
ant-stores of grain, 59 

Males only produced by eggs laid 
by workers among bees, wasps, 
and ants, 36, 37 ; of Anergates 



MYR 

wingless, 86 ; of Tomognathus 
wingless, 87 note 

Mandibles of ants, 11 ; pointed in 
Polyergus. 18 ; but toothless, 
82 ; sabre-like in S. Huhcri, 84 

Marking ants, bees, and wasps, 
methods of, 5 

Meer Hassan Ali, as to harvesting 
ants, 60 

Mental powers of ants differ from 
those of men in degree rather 
than in kind, 181 

Metamorphoses undergone by in- 
sects, 8 

' Metamorphoses of Insects,' 
quoted, 30 

Mexico, honey-pot ants in, 19, 47 

Michael, Mr., description of U70- 
poda by, 429 

Microphone, experiment with, 225 

Mimicry, protective, instances of, 
66 

Mischna, rules in, respecting ant- 
hoards of grain, 59 

Mites, ants infested by, 26, 98; 
new species in nests of Lasivs 
flavus, 429 

Mocquerys, M., on the tenacity of 
the bite of the ant, 96 

Moggridge, Mr., on harvesting 
ants, 61 

Morality among ants, question as 
to, 93 ; among bees, 285 

Mosaic theory of the vision of com- 
pound eyes, 1 84 

Moseley, Mr. H. N., quoted as to 
the connection between ants 
and certain epiphytes, 58 

Mouth of ant described, 11 

Miiller, his observations on Cla- 
riger, 76 ; on tlie mosaic theory 
of vision, 184 ; on the colour 
sense in bees, 307 ; on blue 
flowers, 310 

Mushrooms grown by ants, 57 

Myrmecina Latreillii, the eye in, 
11 ; their mode of defence, 16 ; 
said to be phlegmatic in dispo-si- 
tioii, 27 



INDEX. 



445 



MYR 

Myrmeeoeystiis mexicamis, honey- 
holding individuals among, 19 ; 
foragers bring supplies of honey- 
to them, 47 

Myrmecodia armata, its associa- 
tion with ants, 58 

Mj'rmecophilous insects, 68-78 

Myrmiea rvyinodis, period of lar- 
val life in, 7 ; length of life of 
males of, 9 ; origin of a nest of, 
32 ; observations on a wounded 
specimen of, 96 ; experiments as 
to recognition among, 121 ; as 
to communication among. 164, 
348 ; illustration of terminal 
portion of antenna of, 227 ; 
sense-organ in tibia of, 233 ; 
their unwillingness to face a fall, 
245 

— scdhnnodis, cowardly nature 
of, 27 ; Platyarthriis a guest of, 
75 

Myrmicidce, one of the three fa- 
milies of ants, 1 ; correlation of 
form of knot with power of 
sting ing in the, 1 3 

NECTARIES, uses of, 56 
Nests for ants, artificial, de- 
scribed, 3, 164 ; of ants classified 
and described, 23, &c. ; three 
modes of formation of, sug- 
gested, 30 ; of Lasius niyer de- 
scribed and illustrated, 42 

Neuters among ants, production 
of different forms of, 22 

Nermann, M. de, honey ants 
brought from Mexico by, 47 



f^CELLUS, or simple eye in 
^-^ ants, 10 ; absent in the work- 
ers of some species, 11; origin 
of, 182 
QScodoma ceplialotes, the Saiiba 
ant, five kinds of individuals 
among, 21 ; extent of nest of, 
24 ; leaf- cutting among, 237 ; 
intelligence of, 239 



roa 

(Ecojikylla, sting in, 13 

Organ of sense in antenna of ant, 

226 ; in tibia of Gnjllus, 231 ; 

in tibia of ant, 232 
Ormerod, Mr., as to the sense of 

hearing among wasps, 221 
Ova of aphis described, 71 note 



PARASITES of ants, 26, 67, 74, 
431, 433 ; of bees, 26 . 

Pass-word, experiments as to, 
among ants, 108 ; supposed use 
of, among bees and ants, 126 ; 
experiments as to, with pupas, 
129; existence of, apparently 
disproved, 147 

Pets, domestic animals kept as, by 
savages, 77 

Phases of life among men and 
ants, analogy between, 91 

Pheidole megacephala, pugnacity 
of small workers of, 20 ; experi- 
ment as to power of communi- 
cation among, 180 ; sense-organ 
in tibia of, 233 

— pallid Ilia, the eye in, 11 ; com- 
munication among, 158 

-- providens, its storage of grass 
seeds, 60 

Phora formicarum, its attacks 
on ants, 26, 74 ; described, 432 

Phoridse parasitic on ants, 67, 74 ; 
new genus and species of, 431 

Pigs kept as pets by savages, 77 

Plagiolejris pi/gm(pa, the eye in, 11 

Plants, relation of ants to, 50 ; 
their diilerent modes of defence 
against unprofitable insects, 51; 
benefited by the action of in- 
sectivorous ants, 59 

Plato, epigram by, quoted, 185 

Platya7'thrusIJoffmanseggii,ag\xest 
of the ants, 75 ; experiments 
with, 90 

PlatyphoralAibbockii,G7;described 
431 

Pogonoviyrmex harhatus, stores 
'ant-rice,' 61 



446 



INDEX. 



Poison ejected by Formica rufa, 15 

Polistes, robbery among, 286 ; P. 
gallica, a specimen of, kept for 
nine months, 315 

Polyergiis rufescens, the eye in, 11 ; 
its mode of combat, 18; indi- 
vidual courage of, 27 ; males 
produced from eggs laid by 
workers among, 39, 45 ; greatly 
dependent on its slaves, 80, 83 ; 
slave-making expedition of, de- 
scribed, 81 ; degrading effect of 
slave-holding on, 89 ; imprisoned 
friends and strangers equally 
neglected, 105 ; power of com- 
munication among, 158, 180 

Polygomtm ampMhium, glandular 
hairs absent from specimens 
growing in watfer, 56 

Ponera contracta, the eye in, 11 

PoiwrideB, one of the three families 
of ants, 1 ; form of knot in, 13 ; 
stridulating apparatus in, 230 

Primulacece, evolution of colour 
in, 309 

Protective mimicry, 66 

Pup» of ants, 7 ; experimented on 
as to power of recognition 
among ants, 129 

Python said to have been de- 
stroyed by the Driver ants, 64 



UEEN ants, longevity of, 9, 
41 ; their wings, 12 ; several 
in a nest, 19; reluctance of ants 
to adopt a new, 32 ; never pro- 
duced from workers' eggs, 36 ; 
seldom produced in captivity, 
40 ; treatment of a dead, 108 
Queen bees, limited nature of de- 
votion of subjects to, 287 



TyANUNCULACEM, correla- 
-*^ tion of colour with speciali- 
sation of form in, 308 
Kecognition of friends by ants, 
experiments on, 108, &c., 119, 



SIE 

&c. ; after long separation, 123, 
233, 333 ; means of, 125 ; among 
bees, 126 ; experiments as to, 
with pupae, 129-147 ; as to sister 
ants brought up separately, 147 ; 
proved to be communal, not per- 
sonal, 152 

Relations, behaviour of ants to, 93 

Retrogression of organs : of sting, 
14 ; of wings, 15 ; of eyes, 75 

Roads made by ants, 25 

Robbery among bees, 285 

Rufescent ants on a slave-making 
expedition, 81 



OT. FARGEAU, Lepeletier de, 

O on the origin of ants' nests, 
31 ; on the benevolence of ants, 
94 ; as to hearing among insects, 
221 

Saiiba ant, see OEcodoma cephalotes 

Sauvages, Abbe Boisier de, on the 
connection between ants and 
aphides, 68 

Savage, Rev. T. S., ' On the Habits 
of Driver Ants,' quoted, 20, 63, 
64 

Scavengers, some ant-guests may 
serve as, 75 

Scent, power among ants of track- 
ing by, 124, 171; experiments 
with different kinds of, 233 ; 
importance of, to ants, 258 

Schenk, Anergates discovered by, 
86 

Secretion of aphis retained till re- 
quired b}' ants, 69 ; of Claviger 
and Dinar da as food for ants, 
75, 76 

Seeds of violet collected by ants, 
26 ; stored by ants, 60 ; and 
prevented from sprouting, 61 

Senses of ants, 1 82 ; organs of, 
226, 232 

Sentinels among bees, 288 

Sex of eggs determined by treat- 
ment, 40, 41 

Siebold, von, on sense-organs in 



INDEX. 



447 



Grtfllus, 231 ; on robbery among 
Foiisfes, 286 

Si^ht, how far ants are guided by, 
251, 258, 266, 270 

Signals given by ants, 158 

Slave-holding, structural changes 
induced by, 82; degradation 
caused by, 89 

Slave-making ants, 18 ; expedition 
of, 81 

Slavery among ants, origin of, 79 ; 
degrading tendency of, 82-89 

Smell of Myrmecina possibly pro- 
tective, 17 ; on recognition 
among ants by, 127 ; sense of, 
among ants, 233 ; the probable 
means of recognition among 
bees, 281 ; sense of, keen among 
bees, 288 

Snake killed by Driver ants, 64 

Soldiers among ants, 20 ; those of 
Saiiba do not fight, 22 ; their 
origin, 22 

Solenopsis fitgax, the eye in, 11; 
the enemy of its hosts, 78 

Solomon on the foresight of the 
ant, 59, 60 

Sound, apparent insensibility of 
ants to, 222 ; possible existence 
of, beyond human auditory 
range, 223, 233 ; how produced 
by Mutilla, 229 ; apjjarent in- 
sensibility of bees to, 290 

Specialisation of form in flowers 
correlated with colour, 308 

Spectrum, experiments as to per- 
ception of, by ants, 198 

Spiders, tbeir intelligence in es- 
caping the Ecitons, 66 ; mimick- 
ing ants, 66 

Spiracles of ant, position of, 12, 14 

Stenamma Woodwardii, the eye in, 
1 1 ; found exclusively in nests 
^ of Formica, 78 

Stethoscope like organs in antenna 
of ant, 228 

Sting in ants, possible correlation 
of, with form of knot, 13 ; pro- 
bable common origin of, in ants. 



bees, and wasps, 14 ; atrophied 
condition of, in i'br»^^crt, 15; the 
loss of, fatal to bees, 283 

Strangers, behaviour of ants to- 
wards, 104, 109, 119, 333 

Stridulating apparatus in Mutilla, 
229 ; in ants, 230 

Strongyhgnathus Huberi, its mode 
of slave-making, 84 

— testacens, the eye in, 11; slave- 
holders in spite of their feeble- 
ness, 84 ; their degradation, 87, 
89 

Sulphate of quinine, experiment 
with, as to ant vision, 216 

Surgical use of ant heads in Bra- 
zil, 96 

Sykes, Mr., quoted as to seed- 
collecting ants, 60 



rpAME wasp, behaviour of a, 315 
JL Tapiiwma, length of period of 

larval life in, 7 
— erratieuin, the eye in, 11 ; their 

agility, 24; Heteerius in nests 

of, 77 
Teazle, possible uses of leaf-cup 

in, 52 
Tetramoriuni ccpsjntmn, the eye in, 

11 ; feigns death as a defence, 

17; alleged greediness of, 27; 

enslaved by Strong ylognathus, 

84 ; entire dependence of Ajier- 

gates upon, 85 
Texas, harvesting ants in, 61 
Thiasnjjlnla angiilata in ants' nests, 

77 
Thorax of ant described, 12 
Tibia of Gryllus, sense organ in, 

231; of Lasins, 232 ; of Locus- 
tides, 233 
Tomognatlius sublesvis , only 

workers of, known, 87 note 
Tracks of ante illustrated, 251-257 
Tuning-forks, experiments with, 

222 
Tunnels formed by ants, 25 
Tyndall, Professor, experiment 



448 



INDEX. 



TYP 

with sensitive flames, 225 ; as to 
sense organs in antennaj, 228 
Typklopone, absence of eyes in, 11 



ULTRA-RED rays, ants not sen- 
sitive to, 206 
Ultra-violet raj'S, sensitiveness of 

ants to, 201-220 
Uropodaformicaria described, 429 



^7'ARIETIBS produced in beetles 
frequenting nests of various 

ants, 77 
Verrall, G. H., Esq.,descriptio7Ti of 

a new genus of Phoridw, 2fi, 131 
Vespa germanica, experiment 

with, as to communication, 415 
— vulgaris, experiment as to 

colour with, 316 
Vibrations producing sensations 

of sound and colour, 225 
Violet light, avoidance of, by ants, 

189 
Violets, colours of, 309 ; seeds of, 

carried into nests by Lasiv.t, 26, 

69 
Viscidity of plants, a deTence 

against insects, 55, 56 
Vision among ants, 182 ; of the 



ocelli, 183; of compound eyes, 
184 ; limits of, 199, 206, 219 



WALKER, Mr., honey ant sent 
from Australia by, 48 

Wasps, occasional fertility of 
workers among, 36 ; sense of 
hearing among, 221 ; experi- 
ments with, 311, 415; more 
clever than bees in finding their 
wa}', 313; their courage, 314; 
account of a tame one, 315 ; 
their colour sense, 316; their 
industry, 421 

Water, ants' visits prevented by, 
52 

Wesmael, M., describes Myrmeco- 
cystus, 47 

Westwood, Mr., on the production 
of neuters, 22 ; on the sound 
produced of Mutilla, 229 

Wings of ants, atrophy of, among 
the workers, 12 ; pulled off after 
flight by the queen ants, 12, 19 

Winter, aphis eggs tended by ants 
through the, 70 

Workers among ants alwaA s wing- 
less, 12 ; varieties of form 
among, 19-22 ; occasional fer- 
tility of, 35 ; longevity of, 87, 88 



Plate 1. 




Fio| 1. Xiousius jTLiger' ^ 

2 „ „ flotvus „ 

3 . Porjaica- fiiscoc „ 



4. MyrxaicoL' ragniodis ^ 
5 . Pobfergus i^ufescens 
6. Formica saiiquin.ea. „ 

West NeiTOK^i « C'c-lirom. U< 

"New York: D. Apj^lclon. S-AT" 



Plate 




1. Atta hai'hara.^ ina^ox.' S.Plieidoie uiegaceph-ola <^ moijor. 

2. - „ _ „ ,. minor. 4. __ „ „ „. jmmor. 

5. Forynicct rufa . 



PlcLte 3- 




1. GLcodovna. cepkoiotds ^ moyor. 3. Sten,cxjriim.a Westwoodii § 

2, „ „ „ minor 4^. Sole nop sis fagotx „ 

New Yurk: D Apple to:.,. 6^C" 



PlcLte 4-. 







i. Ccunponotus infiatus ^ 3. Strongylogjiocihus testctceus ^. 
2. Tetromoriuni cisspituni „. 4.Anergates oOroitulus $. 

West Ncvwi-iHXM. & C? ch.wo*yu} U^ 

New York: Applrtcn (^ C"^ 



Plate 5 





5 

X / 




1. LosiiLs fiowus $ 5 Beckioc albinos 

2 „ __ _.. „ „ <jf 6. Aphis 

3. „ „_ Loyf?va/. 7. PloUyou'thrus Hoffino(insego|ii. 

4r. „_ — „- Pupoc/. 8. Clo/Viger foveolaXus . 



; C" cJt>-om«. hcO,. 



New York-: D. Applelon. ^C? 



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