Innes NP, SA

Ant nest beetles have the amazing ability to trick ants into accepting them into

their nest where they are well looked after by their unknowing hosts. For thanks,

the beetle consumes the eggs, larvae or adult ants. The beetle does not visually

appear anything like an ant, instead it uses chemical, vibrational and auditory

(via stridulatory apparatus) signalling that fools the ants into allowing it in

- the real Trojan Horse of the beetle world. These beetles also have bombardier

abilities whereby they can create a rapid explosive expulsion of hot searing

chemical for defence (see photos).


W. Moore and J.A. Robertson. 2014. Explosive adaptive radiation and extreme phenotypic diversity within ant nest beetles. Current Biology 24: 2435-2439. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.09.022. Highlighted in Nature 514:142.

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