Ant That a Shame

I’ve recently come to see ants as more than picnic pests, and maybe not so pesky at that. Let’s face it: if we leave sticky peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and cookies out for hours, it becomes fair game. (Don’t do this in bear country.) Ants are organized creatures, and I’ve done some research to back that up. According to some sources, they communicate about lots of issues, including foraging for sustenance, making war, and sex–not unlike some other beings I know.

Ant Image

What I haven’t been able to make sense of, though, is the formation I see most mornings lately in our house. I find a nickel-sized circle of them, so uniform it looks from a distance like a gray/black dot. The circle doesn’t move. They are pointed this way and that, so it’s not exactly like they’re getting ready for a round of “hokey pokey.” I am, however trying to figure out what it’s all about, so I went online. It’s definitely not the death spiral circle of madly racing and confused ants that results in suicide, a dreadful video of which I came across in my search.

No, this is a group that is clearly communicating. That’s the interesting part, in addition to the crop circle factor.

Will someone please tell me what it is that’s going on here? My husband suggested that DARPA is fielding robotic spy ants. Anyone have a better idea?


About Tricia Pimental

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Tricia Pimental's second memoir, A Movable Marriage, has received 5 Star reviews from both Epic Book Quest and Readers' Favorite. It's available on Amazon in both Kindle ( and print ( versions. She is also the author of two Royal Palm Literary Award Competition-honored books: Rabbit Trail: How a Former Playboy Bunny Found Her Way, and Slippery Slopes. Other work has appeared in International Living Magazine; A Janela, the quarterly magazine of International Women in Portugal; and anthologies compiled by the Florida Writers Association and the National League of American Pen Women. A member of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and a former Toastmaster, Ms. Pimental resides in Portugal. She can be reached at and on Twitter @Tricialafille.
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4 Responses to Ant That a Shame

  1. Ninette Bravo says:

    Shangri-La has such a diverse and immense amount of them. They have “intelligence” for sure and can “sense” us and danger. I apologize when we need to put ant killers out due to the overwhelming invasion that sometimes happens.

  2. That’s me, saying “I’m sorry!” to them on occasion…

  3. M. T. says:

    i shall refer you to two informative docudramas: “Ants” and “It’s a Bug’s Life”. these heady provocative films have edified me on many occasions when watched with my grandsons. but i warn you… you’ll never feel right about insect extermination again! my take-away? I’d never heard of DARPA, so thanks for that. 🙂

  4. I almost titled this post “It’s a Bug’s Life” but since I was at such a loss to explain this particular behavior, I opted for the other. I already don’t feel right about insect extermination, so I’ve taken to scooping up the lot of them into a very fine plastic bag and tossing them into the backyard. When I go back, it’s empty. (I know, it’s crazy.)

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