Ants are equipped with a full array of senses that could, in theory, give them clues about imminent rainfall.
Ant antennae are sensitive detectors capable of picking up minute chemical traces.
One species, the Florida carpenter ant (Camponotus floridanus), has more than 400 genes for detecting odours – the largest number of any known insect species.
Ant antennae can also detect tiny changes in temperature, which might allow them to sense and react to the drop in temperature that usually accompanies a rain storm.
Given the diversity of ant species and their well-developed sensory systems, it’s possible that some ant species have evolved a way to detect rain before it falls. But observational or experimental data showing that ants actually alter their behaviour in anticipation of rain is currently lacking.
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