Beetle Fossil Nearly Doubles the Age of Known Parasites of Social Insects

Mesosymbion compactus

When ancient insects first evolved eusocial behavior and began forming colonies, it didn’t take long, paleontologically speaking, for parasites of those resource-rich colonies to evolve, as well. A newly discovered ancient species of beetle found preserved in amber dates this apparent parasitic behavior to at least 98.8 million years ago. In a paper published in […]

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 […]

New Beetle Genus Discovered in London Museum

A visit to the Natural History Museum in London yielded an unexpected surprise for Dr. Joseph Parker, a UK biologist based in New York at Columbia University and the American Museum of Natural History. Among the 22,000 drawers of specimens in the beetle collection was a new rove beetle genus collected during the 1990s in […]