The lack of lighting
for daytime ants signals them that the days have become shorter, so they have to wait this time in the nest. For example, for representatives of the genus Cataglyphis
(runner ant), the light in the arena must be compulsory, and preferably that the lamp installed there should not only shine, but also heat.
The peak activity of these ants in nature occurs at noon, when there is extreme heat, forcing competitors to sit in underground shelters, and potential food dies so that it can be harvested as sun-dried carcasses of various arthropods. Without heat and light, they will be forced to limit their activity, because they think that night or bad weather has come to the arena, and in this case it is not worth leaving the anthill. Such pathological diapause, which occurs spontaneously in the middle of the warm season and lasts forever, results from the lack of lighting and heat guaranteed by the lamp.
This also applies to the species Formica, Lasius, Tapinoma
and some others that feed during the day. But Camponotus
, which do not go out to dine until dusk in the summer, will not suffer from a lack of light. Lack of protein in the diet.
For European ants, whose activity is clearly seasonal, the abundance of live food marks the beginning of the breeding season. In the fall, when insects are scarce, these ants completely switch to carbohydrate feeding to prepare for wintering. If the protein feed is not enough, the ants change their behavior in such a way that their activity decreases - they go into diapause.