We recognize ants as social insects that live in regular colonies.
Well, the new findings of ants Matabele (Megaponera analyst) from Africa strengthen the social character of this animal.
Researchers from Europe in 2017 had been made curious about the behavior of ants who help their wounded and bring back to the nest.
Now, they managed to show what’s going on inside the nest. Just like a human being in a hospital or health clinic, the ants Matabele also took care of his injured partner by licking him.
Black-eyed ants have a large size and are ants of termite-eating troops.
As a termite hunter, every second is always filled with hunting and survival.
How not, they fight against termites that have very strong jaws. Life and body parts broken when fighting is the stakes.
Despite falling, a friend of ants fight will not leave. They volunteered to carry the injured ants into the nest.
When the ants are injured or injured, they will secrete pheromone chemicals to signal need help. As soon as the signal is tracked, a strong ant will immediately come to take it back to the hive.
This phenomenon was first reported by Erik Frank of the University of Würzburg, Germany, in 2017.
Since then research on ants matabele continue to continue. Now, Frank and colleagues from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, have known what the ants do to their injured colleagues in the nest and publish them in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Through a brief documentation in the ant’s nest, Frank and his colleagues showed how the ants treated the ants by licking the wound clean.
Frank said the healthy ants spent a few minutes treating their colleagues to safety.
Without that treatment, 80 percent of ants losing limbs can die within hours.
Meanwhile, when the injured ant is given treatment, it is likely that 90 percent will survive.
“We do not yet know if the ants just clean the wound and remove the dirt, as we did when injured so as not to get infected, or whether they also use antimicrobial substances with their saliva,” said Frank quoted from New Scientist on Wednesday (14/2/2018 ).
Frank said, even though the ants in the state of injury or two legs have been lost, they can still recover and can fight back like healthy ants.
It may also be that underlying healthy ants do selection when rescuing his partner.
“The ants are selective when carrying a wounded companion, they will not help the badly injured ant or have lost 5 feet,” Frank continued.
Conversely, ants that lose only a foot or two will be carried in groups.
The ant phenomenon of caring for its species is the first to be found in the animal world.
Frank suspects this behavior is not based on compassion. Rather for mutual benefit.
Ants live in small colonies with low birth rates. Only about 1,000 to 1,500 ants in a colony with a birth rate of 10-15 individuals per day.
As termite hunter ants, colony life is always at stake every day and only ants are able to recover and fight back that will be saved. This indicates the ants are very valuable in their colonies.