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about of an inch above the strips of paper along which the ants were passing, in the experiments above recorded. Under these circumstances, while some of the ants passed on without taking any notice, others stopped when they came close to the pencil, and, evidently perceiving the smell, turned back.
Soon, however, they returned and passed the scented pencil. After doing this two or three times, they generally took no further notice of the scent. This experiment left no doubt on my mind; still, to make the matter even more clear, I experimented with ants placed on an isolated strip of paper. Over the paper, and at such a distance as almost, but not quite, to touch any ant which passed under it, I again suspended a camel’s-hair brush, dipped in assafoetida, lavender-water, peppermint-water, essence of cloves, and other scents. In this experiment the results were very marked ; and no one who watched the behaviour of the ants under these circumstances could have the slightest, doubt as to their power of smell.
I then took a large female of F. ligniperda and tethered her on a board by a thread as before. When she was quite quiet I tried her with the tuning-forks; but they did not disturb her in the least. I then approached the feather of a pen very quietly, so as almost to touch first one and then the other of the antennæ, which, however, did not move. I then dipped the pen in essence of musk and did the same; the antenna was slowly retracted and drawn quite back. I then
repeated the same with the other antenna. If I touched the antenna, the ant started away, apparently smarting. I repeated the same with essence of lavender, and with a second ant. The result was the same. Many of my other experiments—for instance, some
— of those recorded in the next chapter--point to the fame conclusion; and, in fact, there can be no doubt whatever that in ants the sense of smell is highly developed.
GENERAL INTELLIGENCE, AND POWER OF FINDING
A NUMBER of interesting anecdotes are on record as to the ingenuity displayed by ants under certain circumstances.
M. Lund, for instance, tells the following story as bearing on the intelligence of ants:
Passant un jour près d'un arbre presque isolé, je fus surpris d'entendre, par un temps calme, des feuilles qui tombaient comme de la pluie. Ce qui augmenta mon étonnement, c'est que les feuilles détachées avaient leur couleur naturelle, et que l'arbre semblait jouir de toute sa vigueur. Je m'approchai pour trouver l'explication de ce phénomène, et je vis qu'à peu près sur chaque pétiole était postée une fourmi qui travaillait de toute sa force; le pétiole était bientôt coupé et la feuille tombait par terre. Une autre scène se passait au pied de l'arbre: la terre était couverte de fourmis occupées à découper les feuilles à mesure qu'elles tombaient, et les morceaux étaient sur le champ transportés dans le nid. En moins d'une heure le grand @uvre
1 Ann. des Soi. Nat. 1831, p. 112.
s'accomplit sous mes yeux, et l'arbre resta entièrement dépouillé.'
Bates' gives an apparently similar, but really very different account. The Saüba ants,' he says, 'mount the tree in multitudes, the individuals being all worker-minors. Each one places itself on the surface of a leaf, and cuts with its sharp scissor-like jaws a nearly semicircular incision on the upper side; it then takes the edge between its jaws, and by a sharp jerk detaches the piece. Sometimes they let the leaf drop to the ground, where a little heap accumulates, until carried off by another relay of workers ; but, generally, each marches off with the piece it has operated upon.'
Dr. Kerner recounts? the following story communicated to him by Dr. Gredler of Botzen :
• One of his colleagues at Innsbrück, says that gentleman, had for months been in the habit of sprinkling pounded sugar on the sill of his window, for a train of ants, which passed in constant procession from the garden to the window. One day, he took it into his head to put the pounded sugar into a vessel, which he fastened with a string to the transom of the window; and, in order that his long-petted insects might have information of the supply suspended above, a number of the same set of ants were placed with the sugar in the vessel. These husy creatures forthwith
1 Naturalist on the Amazons, vol. i. p. 26.
? Flowers and their Unbidden Guests, Dr. A. Kerner. Trans. by W. Ogle, 1878, p. 21.
seized on the particles of sugar, and soon discovering the only way open to them, viz. up the string, over the transom and down the window-frame, rejoined their fellows on the sill, whence they could resume the old route down the steep wall into the garden. Before long the route over the new track from the sill to the sugar, by the window-frame, transom, and string was completely established; and so passed a day or two without anything new. Then one morning it was noticed that the ants were stopping at their old place, that is, the window-sill, and getting sugar there. Not a single individual any longer traversed the path that led thence to the
above. This was not because the store above had been exhausted; but because some dozen little fellows were working away vigorously and incessantly up aloft in the vessel, dragging the sugar crumbs to its edge, and throwing them down to their comrades below on the sill, a sill which with their limited range of vision they could not possibly
Leuckart also made a similar experiment. Round a tree which was frequented by ants, he spread a band soaked in tobacco water. The ants above the band after awhile let themselves drop to the ground, but the ascending ants were long baffled. At length he saw them coming back, each with a pellet of earth in its mouth, and thus they constructed a road for themselves, over which they streamed up the tree.