As part of a series of questions that I've been doing about microscopic humanoids ...

In my world, there are a race of microscopic humanoid organisms (0.3 mm - 0.33 mm). They live in a variety of biomes, such as leaf litter, stone and on plants and trees. In terms of technological advancement, they are near the bronze age and merely need to find/discover metal. They have domesticated pseudoscorpions, aphids, spider mites and white flies. Being in number 60,000 strong, can mass produce "spider" silk, and have spears (for poking, not throwing), stone "swords". They have silk armor, chariots (sleds) pulled by pseudoscorpions and they can produce vinegar, formaldehyde, atropine and nicotine, although not in extremely great quantities. Most importantly, they can produce and conduct static electricity.

My question is:

What would they need to do to successfully raid an ant mound?

  • $\begingroup$ Suggested reading: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slave-making_ant $\endgroup$ – cobaltduck Mar 9 '16 at 14:44
  • $\begingroup$ Your humans can use camouflage, like the Torjan Horse, but instead it's an ant not a horse, they can learn that from other insects that do the Ant mimicry, they can take what they came for and then escape. $\endgroup$ – Javert Mar 9 '16 at 14:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Javert Or better yet , a trojan crumb! $\endgroup$ – user15036 Mar 9 '16 at 14:50
  • $\begingroup$ @Javert Add a "s" at the end , I have no idea why there are so many obscene pictures there , bread crumbs , cookie crumbs , those things $\endgroup$ – user15036 Mar 9 '16 at 14:57
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    $\begingroup$ @Yes they can hide inside a bread crumb, then the ant will carry it inside the mound, that's brilliant. $\endgroup$ – Javert Mar 9 '16 at 14:58

Well considering that the smallest ants are about 2mm or almost 7 times larger than the humans and the largest are over 1" it will partly depend on what ants you are raiding. Larger ants would likely ignore you like we mostly ignore bugs in the window of our house.

The smallest ants might or might not ignore you depending on if they think you might be tasty.

So what you really need to raid an ant mound (and I'm not sure what you would be raiding at that size, a single egg?) would be plenty of supplies (food and light source) for a week long excursion into the 'depths'. At .3mm an ant hill is a small mountain traveling though VERY rough terrain. Since SAND particles tend to start at twice the size of your humans .6mm on up.

I suspect that the effort needed to 'raid' an ant mound exceeds anything you will be able to transport back out of it.

  • $\begingroup$ The irony is that everyone flocks to my least important questions , but my most important one - like this one - get little attention or they get closed . $\endgroup$ – user15036 Mar 9 '16 at 17:06
  • $\begingroup$ @TheoclesofSaturn Well what's important to you, doesn't always make for interesting questions to others. I have plenty of examples of that. $\endgroup$ – bowlturner Mar 9 '16 at 17:16

Ants are very large, guard ants are huge
Relatively low numbers of troops, there could be 1million ants in a nest

Humanoids are very small
Individual intelligence

Tunnel your way in! The humanoid tunnels will be far too small for the ants to counter attack back up them. You can approach your target area, assuming you have some intelligence from inside the nest, without troubling the guards who will themselves be larger than the average ant. Once you've hit your target you can retreat quickly to the safety of your own tunnels without risk of counter attack.

I'll leave the logistics of building the tunnel to your own engineers.


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