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 […]

Ant Fossils from Europe Resemble Modern Asian 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

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

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

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 […]