Do ants ever sleep?



  1. 0 Votes

    Yes. Queen fire ants sleep for about 9 hours a day while worker ants take large amounts of power naps and subsequently have a much shorter lifespan. They do this so they’re constantly ready to serve and defend the colony.

  2. 0 Votes

    Fire ants, at least, are known to sleep, but for varying amounts of time, depending on the ant’s job. Worker ants take many short naps throughout the day, averaging about 250 naps of a minute in length. This ensures that about 80% of worker ants are awake at any given time. Queens, on the other hand, sleep at more regular intervals for about 6 minutes at a time, 90 times per day. Ant sleep patterns have nothing to do with day/night cycles and may explain why queens live so much longer than worker ants.

  3. 0 Votes

    Sleep in mammals is complicated. Brain functions, hormones, and nueron inhibitors have to work together to achieve it, including one that effectively paralyzes all voluntary muscle movement. Then there’s REM sleep, and all the different stages. 

    In insects the process is more simple, called “torpor.”  They become slow to respond to stimuli, but generally just sit, and expend as little energy as possible.  This can last for minutes, hours, or even months.  I wrote a fun blog on this subject (more on insects then just ants) which you can read here.

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