Today: Wednesday, 29 May 2024 year

Science: New species of ‘exploding ants’ discovered in Southeast Asia

Science: New species of ‘exploding ants’ discovered in Southeast Asia

Alice Laciny, a scientist from the Natural History Museum in Vienna, has discovered a new ant species that inclines to the self-sacrifice to save other members of the colony, and the entomologists tagged Colobopsis a ‘T-ant-T’.

The reddish ‘exploding’ ant is not the only one in nature, the researchers have surveyed other species of similar species for decades. Alas, the deficit of new evidence since 1935 prompted a multi-disciplinary team of Viennese scientists to explore Southeast Asia. This region is just a paradise for the entomologists, say the scientists.

The so-called ‘T-ant-T’ was discovered living in the treetops of Borneo by the researcher team from Vienna, in publication in journal Zookeys, Austrian entomologists described how Colobopsis ants would detonate themselves to save the colony and how smart these creatures are. According to the study, the ants easily create bridges or life rafts with their bodies, transport other wounded ants, and even providing “medical care” in some instances.

Regarding the act of self-sacrifice, it is most commonly carried out among so-called minor workers, the survey detailed. In some instances, the ants blew themselves when the researchers got too close. In fact, the similar suicidal tendency is common to that of a bee delivering a sting when threatened, is called autothysis.

Being faced with an enemy that will not back down, the ant explodes will latch onto the insect and bite down on it, angle their backsides directly at their attacker and then flex their abdomens so hard they tear their own bodies apart, releasing the fatal yellow substance stored inside. According to the senior researcher Laciny, the bright goo as having “a distinct and not unpleasant smell that’s strangely reminiscent of curry”.