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New Ant Species Hides in Plain Sight Like a Spy

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New Ant Species Hides in Plain Sight Like a Spy

Post by Dragon on Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:30 pm

Mirror turtle ant is the first known ant species to practice visual mimicry to live off the fruits of another ant species.

Ants know a thing or two about espionage and tradecraft, at least if you consider the ant(ics) of a new species found in Brazil that has mastered the art of visually blending in behind enemy lines, a first for ants.

Cephalotes specularis, or the mirror turtle ant, was discovered by Scott Powell, assistant professor of biology at George Washington University. Powell was researching turtle ants in Brazil's savannah region when he came across a species of ant somehow able to infiltrate the turf of another type of ant -- all without getting attacked for being the spy and food leech it was.

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Re: New Ant Species Hides in Plain Sight Like a Spy

Post by Dragon on Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:32 pm



Mirror turtle ant workers feeding on baited tree bark, with raised, shiny rear ends like their hosts Crematogaster ampla.

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Re: New Ant Species Hides in Plain Sight Like a Spy

Post by Dragon on Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:34 pm



Large workers of turtle ants have dish-like heads that help them protect their colony by acting as living doorways.

 
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