New 'exploding ant' species puts on a gory, goo-filled show

CNET | 4/20/2018 | Amanda Kooser
Kota79Kota79 (Posted by) Level 4
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A minor worker ant raises its rear in a defensive position.

Nature has invented some wonky defense mechanisms, but ants that explode raise the concept to a new level of horror. A type of tree-dwelling ant found in Borneo has a class of workers that sacrifice themselves to protect their colonies. An international team of researchers has now discovered a new species of these exploding ants.

Species - Name - Colobopsis - Explodens - Worker

The new species bears the evocative name "Colobopsis explodens." When threatened, the minor worker ant ruptures its own body, which researchers say "releases sticky, toxic liquid from their enlarged glands." The process kills the ant, but it can also kill or hamper an invading insect. Scientists nicknamed the secretion "yellow goo."

Wait ... spiders pig out on how much each year?!

Behavior - Ants - Insects - Decades - Species

While the behavior of exploding ants has been known since at least 1916, the insects have remained largely mysterious over the decades, with no new species formally described since 1935.

Members of the research team, which consists of entomologists, microbiologists, chemists and botanists, went to Borneo to study the ants. They have since identified...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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