Study Finds Sweeteners Lead Fire Ants to a Bitter End

red imported fire ant headshot

By Josh Lancette Researchers from China have discovered that some sweeteners can be lethal to the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta), a devastating pest found South America, the United States, Australia, Asia, and on many Caribbean islands. In a test, ants that were fed erythritol, aspartame, and saccharin had a mortality rate higher than […]

Kiss and Tell: How Ants Communicate Mouth-to-Mouth

Ants may do more than exchange food via trophallaxis.

Children are often admonished to not talk with food in their mouths. Ants, on the other hand, may be doing it regularly. Mouth-to-mouth food sharing, known as trophallaxis, is common among social insects like ants. A new study from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, suggests ants also “talk” and influence colony development via trophallaxis by […]

Entomologist Discusses Her Work in STEM Career Podcast

Cephalotes varians

A podcast aimed at educating young people about careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) recently featured an entomologist, Dr. Corrie Moreau of Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History. The STEMxm podcast focuses on the opportunities available through STEM careers, with a particular focus on women in STEM fields. Most episodes feature individuals working […]

A New Species of Ant Found in Cambodia

A new species of ant has been discovered in Cambodia by researchers from Japan. Its name is Crematogaster indosinensis, and it is described in Annals of the Entomological Society of America. During the researchers’ field surveys, they collected one colony that contained four worker ants of the new species. The new species was described based […]

Ant and Termite Fossils Indicate Advanced Sociality 100 Million Years Ago

Insects that are “eusocial” live in colonies with closely related nestmates and display social behavior, including a division of labor. The best-known examples are honey bees, termites, and ants. All eusocial insects display the following three traits: 1) They cooperate while caring for their young, 2) there is a division of labor among different castes […]