Tagged With insect behavior

When confronted by an enemy, Southeast Asian "exploding ants" do exactly what their name implies: they explode. Ignored for decades, researchers have completed a detailed survey of these enigmatic ants, discovering over a dozen species that fit into this group, including one that's completely new to science.

Sub-Saharan Matabele ants are ruthless killers, raiding termite mounds two to four times each day. But every once in a while, an ant gets hurt and is hauled back home to recuperate - an astonishing insectoid behaviour unto itself. New research suggests there's even more to it than that - these ants also administer medical care to those wounded in battle.

In a behaviour never seen before in an insect species, predatory ants were observed to retrieve wounded comrades on the battlefield and then bring them back to the nest for recovery. Sounds noble, but these ants -- who spend their days attacking termites -- are simply being pragmatic.