ants

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Category archives for ants

Time to Play: Identify the Blurry Ant

An Indonesian Zooillogix reader, Harianto Talim, grossly overestimated our entomological abilities and asked us to help him identify an Indonesian ant that he has never seen before. In this blurry series of photos, you can see that the ant is bright orange and green and may or may not smoke cigarettes. It should be noted…

Welcome Our New Ant Overlords!

A new study in one of our favorite bathroom reading publications, Insectes Sociaux, has revealed that ants are indeed taking over the world and our role as ants’ masters will soon be upended. The group looked at a species of Argentinian ant, Linepithema humile, that has hitchhiked to other continents in the last century or…

It seems like we’ve been covering zombie bugs a lot lately. The newest story comes from Texas, where researchers are trying out a new form of pest control on invasive fire ants: using parasitic flies to lay eggs in the ants brains, zombify them, and then explode their heads with emerging larvae. Seems reasonable. We’re…

Our New Meat Ant Overlords…

In the 1930s, Australian ecologists shortsightedly introduced the Cane Toad, a species indigenous to South America, to their isolated continent to eat agricultural pests. This famously proved to be a complete disaster with the toxic toads running rampant and native species poisoning themselves when they tried to make snacks of the delicious, dimwitted amphibians. Now…

Subterranean…blind…predatory…smokin’ hot AILF! These are all adjectives that you could use to describe a newly discovered ant from the Amazon rainforest. Dubbed the Martialis heureka or “Ant from Mars” (not kidding), the sightless creature lives inside the soil and presumably hunts prey with massive mandibles. The Ant from Mars also represents a new subfamily of…

Ants Versus Termites

A particularly close-up and violent ant versus termite video.

Parasites Turn Ants into Berries

Just when Andrew and I decided once and for all that ants couldn’t get any more delicious looking, along comes a new parasitic roundworm that turns our whole world on its head! The newly discovered nematode enters the ants when they eat bird droppings and causes their abdomens to resemble ripe, tasty berries. This in…

Late last month the Genesis II Pathfinder spacecraft was delivered into orbit and along with it went a bold group of unwitting arthropods. Bigelow Aerospace was founded in 1999 with the vision of creating orbital hotels for “space tourists.” In an equally lucrative move, this Space Camp for bugs was conceived by Robert Bigelow, the…

Birds Rely on Army-Ants for Dinner

Army-ants storm through the jungles of Panama a million strong devouring any and every living creature in their path. Some clever birds have found a way to capitalize on the mayhem: Stay close to the ants and eat the leaping, running, and scampering insects that attempt to escape. Who would want to escape from this…

Spectacular Ant Nest Molds

Researchers in Florida poured a liquid plaster-metal mixture into the nests of the Florida harvester ant. The resulting casts display astonishing intricacy and depth. One interesting discovery was that the top heavy nature of the chambers reflects age distribution within the any colony and not necessarily earlier digging. Younger ants tend to dig within the…