Study Uncovers Unseen Details and Images of Ant Development

A good Biology Class Book Report

Entomology Today

Obrunneus trap-jaw ant first instar larvae head A study published in Myrmecological News reveals new details about the larval stages of three species of trap-jaw ants. The 292 scanning electron microscopy images collected in the study, such as the one above showing the head and mouthparts of a first-instar Odontomachus brunneus, are freely available online. (Photo credit: Eduardo Fox, Daniel Solis, Adrian Smith, Joshua Gibson, CC BY 4.0)

By Adrian Smith, Ph.D.

Trap-jaw ants, with their spring-loaded jaws and powerful stings, are among the fiercest insect predators, but they begin their lives as spiny, hairy, fleshy blobs hanging from the ceiling and walls of an underground nest.

New research provides the first detailed descriptions of the larval developmental stages of three species of Odontomachus trap-jaw ants. This work was done by scientists at North Carolina State University & the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science, South China Agricultural University, Sao Paulo State University, and University…

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