Kamikaze Ant

Scientists have discovered a species of kamikaze ant in the jungle of Borneo that blows itself up in a suicide attack in order to save the colony:

Several south-east Asian species of ant in the Camponotus cylindricus group (i.e. carpenter ants) have enlarged mandibular glands that extend into their gaster (the bulbous posterior portion found in bees, wasps and ants). When disturbed, the ants rupture the membrane of the gaster, causing a burst of secretions containing chemicals – the largest gland reservoirs yet known in ants – that immobilize small insect attackers and kills the ant.

Or, as the folks at Newscientist.com put it, “The ants of Borneo go out with a bang, thanks to a body built to blow up during a suicidal death grip.”

In other words, the six-legged blast-ended ant grabs onto the invading enemy and squeezes itself to death, literally blowing itself up and shpritzing a deadly sticky yellow goo everywhere, killing both intruder and ant.

And these little suicide bombers operate on a hair-trigger; their abdomen walls ruptured even when researchers lightly touched them!

Link - via Cliff Pickover's Reality Carnival


Newest 2
Newest 2 Comments

Commenting is closed.





Email This Post to a Friend
"Kamikaze Ant"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.

 

Success! Your email has been sent!

close window