Did you know that ants can commit suicide? Well they can actually! So what drives the ants to actually ‘kill’ themselves? Continue your reading to know about it more!
Actually, the act of committing suicide is not done by all types of ant. This ‘Ant Death Spiral’ phenomenon is usually done by the army ant. These insects have the tendency to commit mass suicide and the reason of they doing that is because they are following their leader.
This phenomenon where the ants circle round and round until they die of exhaustion is called ‘ant mill.’ However it is more known as ‘ant death spiral.’
So what is the reason of these ants keep going in circle? The reason is because army ants, unlike other ant species – are blind. Besides that they also lack permanent nesting sites. What they do is instead of staying at one place, they are constantly moving in search for food.
While looking for food, the first ant in line will leaves behind a pheromone trail that other ants sniff out and follow. When this system works well, it allows foraging parties lead larger groups back to food. When it doesn’t work, the ants follow these pheromone trails as they flow back into each other, ending up in an endless loop that they follow to their doom. If the circle isn’t broken for some reason, they will probably never escape.
When that trap also traps them in a death spiral, it’s the end of the line.