Rainbow Ants!

Our kiddos’ world is basically made up of rainbows and unicorns (at least, that’s all they draw!) and although I’m sorely lacking in the unicorn department, I can deliver rainbows. This next “experiment” was kind of on a whim. We’re having work done on our backyard right now and that has increased ants in our house by a lot. This is unfortunate as I cannot live with ants everywhere. So I woke up this morning to a trail of ants to a leftover plate with some peanut butter on it, I decided it was over and I put a drop of sugary liquid ant killer in the middle of the (disposable) plate. They flocked to it and loved it.

And then I got an idea.

I had seen pictures before of a photographer who had set up sugar water with food coloring and the ants who drank it up had turned colors in their clear abdomen (abdomens?). I think he had some massive ants at his disposal (he is in South India) but I only had tiny little American house ants and no macro lens, save a macro lens adapter for my phone’s camera. So I took these pics with an iPhone. Ta da! Rainbow ants (eating rainbow ant killer — sorry, guys!)

The green drop drinkers turned green:


The blue drop drinkers turned blue:


The orange drop ones turned orange… sorry for the craptastic pic, every time I touched the plate they would freak out and scatter.



And there were some defectors. Here is a green drinker gone over to the orange:


And here he is again!ants1


What we learned: 

  • I learned that killing ants can be done in an interesting way.
  • K-Kiddo learned that ants store their food in their abdomen(s?) and then we talked about how they go back to the nest and pretty much spread the food around… and I let her know we probably won’t be seeing them much again.

Today I used:

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