‘Headhunter’ ants might keep enemy skulls for scent camouflage – Science Magazine

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According to (This article and its images were originally posted on “science” – Google News November 28, 2018 at 06:37PM.)

Formica archboldi, a small, red ant native to the southeastern United States, has long stumped entomologists with its macabre habit of decorating its nests with the severed heads of larger, predatory trap-jaw ants. Researchers have now discovered that F. archboldi ants subdue aggressive trap-jaw ants with quick sprays of toxic acid, allowing them to harvest the heads and body parts, National Geographic reports. Insects rely heavily on scent cues to distinguish between friend and foe. The F. archboldi ants might, therefore, use the heads to cloak themselves in trap-jaw perfume so they can sneak up on trap-jaws or hide from another predatory species known as kidnapper ants, the scientists hypothesized this week in Insectes Sociaux.

 

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This article and images were originally posted on [“science” – Google News] November 28, 2018 at 06:37PM. Credit to the original author and “science” – Google News | ESIST.T>G>S Recommended Articles Of The Day.

 

 

 

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