Discovered a new kind of “exploding ants”

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The new species was named Colobopsis explodens.

When “exploding ants” appear before the “enemy”… they do exactly what their name says, – “explode”. The researchers decided to study these unusual insects in more detail: the result was found a variety of species, including one new, previously unknown to science.

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Some ants are known to possess the amazing abilities to build towers with their bodies, to carry away the wounded from the battlefield and even to provide “medical assistance”… But then there are those ants that kill themselves to save the colony in case of danger.We are talking about the so-called “exploding ants” that live in Southeast Asia. Faced predatory insects, worker ant can drastically reduce the muscles of the abdomen, thereby breaking it and releasing sticky and toxic fluid that can stop or kill the “enemy”; the ant then dies, but maybe he could protect the colony.

About “exploding ants” scientists know for more than a century. Some species of these insects have been documented in the first half of the twentieth century; they even created a special species group Colobopsis cylindrica. However, oddly enough, since 1935, has not been described any new species of these ants – which, however, has changed thanks to a new study.

An international group of scientists undertook an expedition to the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia (the island is divided between three countries – Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei). The study, published in the journal ZooKeys, had been identified 15 different types of “exploding ants”, including one completely new, previously unknown to science. Briefly about the study reports the portal Gizmodo.

The new species was named Colobopsis explodens, and, in addition, the experts decided to choose it as model of reference, that is, it will continue to be studied in more detail. Worker ants of this species killed themselves in case of risk of tearing the body, and spraying a secret.

The researchers note that this behavior is peculiar only to worker ants; scientists managed to detect other unusual caste – for example, “gatekeepers”, who with the help of large, similar to the tube head can block the nest entrance.

According to the authors, these unusual “exploding ants” to explore in the future. In particular, professionals need to study in detail the behavior of these insects, their chemical profile, Microbiology, anatomy and evolution.

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