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In ASL, the sign BUG is often used to mean "ant."   For example, you might spell the word "A-N-T" at the beginning of the conversation, and immediately show the sign "BUG" and from then on in that specific conversation you would just sign "BUG" to mean "ant."  Also, you might notice that some Deaf choose to mouth the word "ant" while signing bug. Some do. Some don't. Personally, I just spell the concept A-N-T and then use  "wriggling bent-5 handshapes" to show how the colony moves as a whole, or a closed-G handshape to show the movement of a single ant.


Here is an "English-type" sign that can be used to specify "ant."  I wouldn't do this sign on an "ASL test" though.
Both hands move together.

(Wiggle the fingers of the bottom hand as you move it--as if showing a crawling insect. Don't wiggle the top hand.)

In a message dated 11/2/2005 12:05:56 AM Pacific Standard Time, a mother writes:
Dr. Bill:
My son Nicholas, 2 1/2 doesn't speak (apraxia?) but is learning to sign.  He knows the sign for "bug," which he can't really do very well, but seems to want a different sign for ANT or ANTS since they are so tiny.  He knows the sign for "butterfly" too, so I suspect he realizes different bugs have more specific names.  ...
Most adult Deaf tend to either sign "bug" to mean "ant" or they spell the word "ant," or both. There is a signed English version of "ant" that places an "A" handshape on top of a down turned "claw" handshape. Then you move the sign forward while wiggling the fingers of the bottom hand as if they were insect legs moving forward.

See:  BUG

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