ants

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Tag archives for ants

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…

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…

Why do some creatures forgo their own reproduction to help their relatives survive and reproduce? While we all might like to believe that naked mole rats really do care and are thus willing to sacrifice their creepy little lives for the good of the colony, the true answer probably has more to do with gene…