viernes, 29 de marzo de 2013

Meet the Turtle Ant

April 17, 2010

Turtle ant (Cephalotes varians); the head of the soldier has a disc format that serves to close the entrance to the nest, only leting their nestmates pass. Photo: Alex Wild
Cephalotes varians ants live in pre-existing cavities in trees and branches, so one class of their workers has developed a most unusual adaptation.

Turtle ants aren't fighters. Rather, they're all about defense. If a colony gets hold of an old beetle burrow, the heavily armored majors will plug the entrance with their head shield and sit tight, budging only to let their nestmates pass. They are literally living doors.

Found at Myrmecos. Elsewhere in the blog you can read about "formicophilia" (a newly named paraphilia).

Gallery: Alex Wild

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