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

Crematogaster-indosinensis

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

Krishnatermes-yoddha

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 […]

Ant Fossils from Europe Resemble Modern Asian Ants

Cephalotes-ants

Professor Evan Economo of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University and his team have compared a database of modern ants with a database of fossil ants. The analysis has shown in which locations fossilized ants are more related to the ants now living in the same area of the world. Interestingly, ants […]

Six New Ant Species Found in Madagascar

Prionopelta-talos

First it was 10 new species of spiders, and now it’s six new species of ants found in Madagascar. Two researchers from the California Academy of Sciences, Rick Overson and Brian Fisher, have described six new species of strange subterranean ants from the genus Prionopelta found in Madagascar and Seychelles. The descriptions appear in the […]

The Cliff-Diving Ant of Madagascar Heroically Protects its Nest

Malagidris_sofina

In 2014, researchers at the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) added 221 new plant and animal species to the family tree, enriching our understanding of Earth’s complex web of life. One of the new species is the “Hero Ant” — Malagidris sofina — which was found on the island nation of Madagascar by CAS entomologist […]

Ant Larvae Cannibalize Eggs in their own Colonies

formica-ant

To the casual observer, the colonies of social insects like bees and ants appear to be harmonious societies where individuals work together for the common good, but appearances can be deceiving. A new study published in The American Naturalist by Eva Schultner and colleagues from the Universities of Helsinki, St. Andrews, and Oxford reveals that […]

Newly Discovered Ant Supports Alternate Theory of Species Formation

Mycocepurus-castrator

A newly-discovered species of ant supports a controversial theory of species formation. The ant, only found in a single patch of eucalyptus trees on the São Paulo State University campus in Brazil, branched off from its original species while living in the same colony, something thought rare in current models of evolutionary development. “Most new […]

Rookies use Cookies in Science Alliance to Track Ants’ Advance

school-ants-feat

In November, 2013 we posted an article about Andrea Lucky, an entomologist at the University of Florida who’s using citizen science to encourage non-scientists to contribute to her research through a project called School of Ants. “We think our School of Ants project serves as a good model for how citizen science can be used […]