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Do insects sleep?

  1. Jun 13, 2007 #1

    Danger

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    Yeah, I know that it's a weird question, but it's been bugging me (pardon the expression) all day. I've never actually seen one in the act. While I know that many tend to be inactive at night and during the winter, I've never heard or read anything to indicate that they're asleep rather than just kicking back waiting for something to happen.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 13, 2007 #2
    I know that ants don't sleep. I'm not sure about other insects.
     
  4. Jun 13, 2007 #3

    Danger

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    By coincidence, it was specifically ants that I had in mind. The curiosity was prompted by an ad for the new Raid foaming ant killer. Thanks for the prompt response. Dare I ask how you happen to know this? Ant farm as a kid?
     
  5. Jun 13, 2007 #4

    baywax

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    I found this semi-reliable source on the subject:

    http://www.askipedia.com/index.php?action=article&cat_id=015001&id=732

    Here's an entomological site answering the question.

    http://www.entm.purdue.edu/Entomology/ext/Outreach/onSixLegs/OSL_files/html/2004/2004-12-23.htm
     
  6. Jun 14, 2007 #5
    I guess it really depends on what you consider sleep. I'd consider sleep a state in which you are unaware of your surroundings, but still capable of conscious thought.
     
  7. Jun 14, 2007 #6

    Danger

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    Hmmm... I differ from you on the definition. To me, sleep means unconscousness without the capacity for higher brain functions. I doubt that it matters much in this case, though, because insects don't have any higher brain functions that I'm aware of.
    Thanks for the additional info, Baywax. I'll get on those links as soon as I finish mucking about in PF.
     
  8. Jun 14, 2007 #7
    I only partially agree. An ants quiet period reminds me of a person who is zoned out. They are aware of they're surroundings, yet I don't believe that their brains are functioning at a normal rate.
     
  9. Jun 15, 2007 #8

    baywax

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    You're welcome Danger. By the way my thread on Awareness goes into some depth with some links about the Neurophysiology of Bees. There appears to be some higher brain function going on with Bees even though they don't officially have a "brain".:eek:
     
  10. Jun 15, 2007 #9

    Moonbear

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    But that would not be sleep. When asleep, one does not have awareness of their surroundings. A person who is "zoned out" is still awake, just not paying much attention to things.
     
  11. Jun 15, 2007 #10
    That is exactly my point. I don't think that ants "sleep" they are in an altered state of consciouness.
     
  12. Jun 19, 2007 #11

    baywax

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    Yes, its like what goes on when you smoke the wasps or a bee keeper smokes his bees to calm them into submission. Or, when the weather gets cold there's a similar effect. Its a form of hibernation. There's a tendency in insects to attain a calm state of rest. But, can you imagine trying to close a compound eye?!
     
  13. Jun 19, 2007 #12

    jim mcnamara

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    Baby bug: Ow, Mom, help! I bent a bunch of ommatidia in my left eye.

    Mamma bug: Well, now maybe you'll stop trying to wink.
     
  14. Jun 21, 2007 #13
    ahahahhahahhahah!
     
  15. Jun 21, 2007 #14

    Moonbear

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    Okay, I misunderstood you then. I thought you were trying to argue they did sleep.
     
  16. Jun 25, 2007 #15

    Ouabache

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    :rofl: stop trying to wink :rofl:
     
  17. Jun 25, 2007 #16

    DaveC426913

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    This is not true.
    If it were, creatures would only wake when their internal clocks told them to.

    In fact, sleeping creatures are quite aware of their surroundings, and will rouse with changes in light, smells, sounds etc.
     
  18. Jun 27, 2007 #17

    Danger

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    But that's not a conscious awareness. You cannot, for instance, respond to what someone says to you while you're asleep (unless it's a warning of some sort), nor remember it upon waking.
     
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