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 […]

Exotic Fruit Flies Found for First Time in Los Angeles

A group of researchers from the U.S. and Australia have announced the completely unexpected discovery of two exotic fruit flies in urban Los Angeles in a paper appearing in the journal PLOS ONE. The species were not previously known to exist in the U.S. “I was as surprised as anyone when such unusual flies were […]

52-million-year-old Beetle Fossil is Oldest Known Practitioner of Myrmecophily

Scientists have uncovered the fossil of a 52-million-year old beetle that was probably able to live alongside ants by preying on their eggs and usurping resources within the comfort of their own nest. The fossil, encased in a piece of amber from India, is the oldest-known example of this kind of social parasitism, known as […]

100-Million-Year-Old Assassin Fly Found in Ancient Amber

Torsten Dikow, a research scientist at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, has discovered a new species of assassin fly in amber that is 100 million years old. The new fly, Burmapogon bruckschi, is described in an article in the journal American Museum Novitates. “The transparency of these amber fossils gives researchers a […]