Expired News - Newfound species of ants explodes itself to protect its kind - The Weather Network
Your weather when it really mattersTM

Country

Please choose your default site

Americas

Asia - Pacific

Europe

News

SCIENCE | Exploding ants

Newfound species of ants explodes itself to protect its kind


Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Tuesday, May 1, 2018, 4:47 AM - Experts say they've discovered a new species of 'exploding ant' in remote pockets of the rainforest in Borneo, Thailand and Malaysia.

When their colony is threatened, worker ants can tear their bodies apart, releasing toxins that will kill or deter the intruder.

The ant, Colobopis explodens, sacrifices its life to protect the colony.

(RELATED: WHEN WARM WEATHER HITS, WATCH OUT FOR CARPENTER ANTS)

The species had previously been nicknamed "yellow goo" due to its glad secretions.

Exploding ants were first discovered in 1916, but a new species hasn't been recorded since 1935.

Colobopis explodens was discovered in 2014 by Dr. Alice Laciny of the Natural History Museum Vienna in Austria and her team. Their findings were published this month in a paper in Zookeys.

According to Dr. Laciny, the creatures are "particularly prone to self-sacrifice when threatened by enemy arthropods, as well as intruding scientists."

“While minor workers of Colobopsis explodens exhibit the ability to ‘explode,’ the other castes have specialties of their own,” reads a statement by the study's authors.

“For example, major workers — also called ‘doorkeepers’ — have big, plug-shaped heads used to physically barricade the nest entrances against intruders.”

The complete paper can be found online.

VIDEO: MAN SURVIVES SCORCHING TEMPERATURES BY EATING ANTS



Default saved
Close

Search Location

Close

Sign In

Please sign in to use this feature.