Nest decoration behaviour

One of the most amazing creatures I have seen on the forest floor are Ants. Ants are social animals and live in colonies. There are many “types” of Ants, of the same species. On the forest floor, you see them work tirelessly carrying food or construction material. However, one particular behavior of the Jumping Ants truly is fascinating.

We were walking in the forests of Chorla Ghats (2009) when there was a very small patch of clearing in the top soil. In the middle of that clearing, was a hole. And around the hole, there was a bunch of small leaves, petals and twigs.

Nest decoration by Jumping Ants.
Image Credit: Ashwin Mohan

We had stumbled upon the nest of Jumping ants, which are known to decorate the entrance of their nests!!! I had never seen this before nor was I aware of this peculiar behavior.
Reasons for this behaviour are unclear but it is speculated that it may help the ants locate their nest more easily. Jumping Ants have decent vision owing to their large compound eyes. Quite the decorator, I must say!

Acknowledgements: Devadatta Naik

To know more:
Karthikeyan, S. (2017). Ant homes: A piece of Art. Karthik’s Journal Website.

Karthikeyan, S. (2011). The flaunting jumper. Karthik’s Journal Website.

Kadur, S. (2015). The extraordinary jumping ant. JLR Explore website.
Wiki Page for Jumping Ants

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My name is Adithi Muralidhar. I am a nature enthusiast based in Mumbai, India.

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