Day Twelve

February 24, 2010

Is this a Happy Ant Habitat?

As noted in the last post, and as you can plainly see, not a lot of new tunneling is taking place.

The ants seem less infused with purpose.  Listless, even.   I am worrying about them.

Worry #1:  Ant Death

I have done several head counts and it seems that there are now only 10 living ants – one more loss today.   Sure, the first few deaths are easily attributed to shipping trauma, but after 12 days, I am starting to take it personally.  The AWM does indicate that the ants they ship are at various stages of their life cycle, so I suppose I can assume that this one is from old age…but at this rate, I am questioning whether there will be any ants at all at the 2-3 month mark.

Worry #2:  Ant Ennui

Sure, these 16 ants were doomed from the start.  They’ve got no queen, no manner to reproduce themselves, and no escape (and even escape would not change the basic futility of their situation).  Do they mind boredom?  Are they able to adequately entertain themselves?  There is quite a bit more grooming going on nowadays, so maybe they are.  It just seems unnatural, though – ants are meant to be busy.

Worry #3:  Humidity

I haven’t added any drops of water to the habitat in a few days now, and yet there is moisture condensation throughout the tunnel area.  The AWM says to stop watering for a few days when this happens, but in the mean time, I can’t help but think that the humidity is not a sign of a well-functioning ant ecosystem.

While I can’t stop the aging process, I do have one idea to make their little ant lives a bit more exciting.  I have a plan for Worry #2.  More tomorrow.

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