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Nature & Environment

Ants change colour based on what they eat

By T.K. Randall
August 8, 2011 · Comment icon 11 comments

Image Credit: Magnus Manske CC-BY-SA
Mohamed Babu took a set of extraordinary photographs showing ants turn the same colour as their food.
He conducted the experiment to placing different coloured sugar drops on the ground, as the ants feasted on the drops their stomachs were clearly visible as they changed colour to match what they'd been eating. "The idea for the photograph came to me after my wife showed me some ants that turned white sipping the spilled milk drops on our kitchen counter," says Mr Babu.
Father of three Mohamed Babu set up the photographs after his wife, Shameem, showed him some ants had turned white after drinking spilt milk. He gave the creatures the brightly coloured sugar drops and watched as their transparent stomachs matched the food they were eating.

Source: Daily Mail | Comments (11)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by Robbie333 11 years ago
Groovy, phycodelic Ants. Pretty cool. Play them some Hendrix, LOL
Comment icon #3 Posted by bulveye 11 years ago
they used to taste like honey, now they taste like Lucky Charms!
Comment icon #4 Posted by Blues Girl 11 years ago
That is so cool! What an interesting idea to use food colouring. I wonder why the ants have partially see-through abdomens?
Comment icon #5 Posted by xCrimsonx 11 years ago
That's wickedly cool! Introduce them to Lady GaGa! lol
Comment icon #6 Posted by JGirl 11 years ago
cool! skittle ants
Comment icon #7 Posted by Ryu 11 years ago
That is really cool. It's like they have little gems for bodies. The photography is excellent. I applaud the man for his diligence and patience.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Coffey 11 years ago
cool! skittle ants Taste the rainbow! Maybe not....
Comment icon #9 Posted by Rhino666 11 years ago
so do I if it's a late night kebab!
Comment icon #10 Posted by Taut 11 years ago
I'm with Blues Girl, most things in nature serve a purpose. Wonder why they have see through abd's? Maybe so they can see what the other ants have been eating - If the abdomen is clear, I must be going the wrong way. Nice photography. Way kewl!
Comment icon #11 Posted by Khaleid 11 years ago
That is so cool! What an interesting idea to use food colouring. I wonder why the ants have partially see-through abdomens? Those really are a couple of sweet pictures... I did some quick looking around on the net and apparently only ghost ants have transparency (which is why they're called that way). Their transparent legs and abdomens make them look smaller and harder to spot (so after these pictures were taken they were probably easy pickings ). I do wonder why they'd go for the yellow and green first though? To me the red would seem brighter than the green... but then again, I'm not an ant... [More]

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