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How to dye ants Answered

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I ran across this today and thought it was worth sharing. I hope I can find ants with transparent stomachs to try this with this summer. It would take a lot of ant wrangling, but getting them lined up as a color wheel would be the coolest thing ever (I'm fighting the urge to just photoshop it.)
Short story is that a scientist fed ants different color syrup and you can see it through their abdomens, pretty sweet...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2022765/The-ants-multi-coloured-abdomens-exactly-theyve-eating.html

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murphybedhq (author)2013-11-06

Thats so funny! Thanks for sharing :)

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kelseymh (author)2013-02-21

I presume the actual purpose of this is to provide a better method for tracking ants' travels. Current methods involve painting dots on their bodies.

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Tomdf (author)kelseymh2013-02-21

You know, from the article I got the impression that the guy was just goofing around.

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kelseymh (author)Tomdf2013-02-21

Him, or the Daily Mail reporter? The latter aren't known for their incisive intellectual skills :-) I do see your point from the quotes, though.

It would be interesting to know some of the details, though. Dr. Babu implies that the abdomens stay colored at least over night (presumably, the time required for digestion and excretion). That would allow some tracking time, but not long-term study.

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steveastrouk (author)kelseymh2013-02-21

I was once asked to design an ink jet printer for ants.

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kelseymh (author)steveastrouk2013-02-21

That's awesome, Steve! Was it successful? And were you able to print tiny little advertising logos?

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steveastrouk (author)kelseymh2013-02-21

Didn't take it beyond concept. They wanted me to design it, build it, and then open source it. I need to eat.

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