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Jocelyn Holt, Ph.D.

Jocelyn Holt, Ph.D.

“While aspirating insects can be fun, it can take a while to aspirate tawny crazy ants (Nylanderia fulva),” says Jocelyn Holt, Ph.D. “When tawny crazy ants are agitated, they produce formic acid, which initially produces a sour taste in the back of your throat and then a slight burning sensation as the amount of acid increases. Needless to say, I aspirated smaller numbers of ants at a time to reduce their agitation and get the thousands of ants I needed for my experiment. In the background you can see lots of plastic bins coated with a slick insect barrier that was used to prevent ants from escaping the experiment.”

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