Thursday, 2 October 2014

Nature collides with James Bond: Newly discovered ant species hides in plain sight

Date:
October 1, 2014

Source:
George Washington University

Summary:
A new species of ant has been discovered that uses social parasitism to access host ant species' food sources and foraging trails: Cephalotes specularis, commonly known as the mirror turtle ant. Mirror turtle ants are the first-known ant species to use visual mimicry to parasitize another ant species. They have mastered the movements of C. ampla and are careful to dodge the host ants to avoid them detecting C. specularis' scent. By mimicking C. ampla, the mirror turtle ants can access their food and follow their foraging trails to food sources. In spy terms, this new form of social parasitism allows ants to steal food from an enemy


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