Scientists have described how ants hunt for the heads of enemies

Scientists have described how ants hunt for the heads of enemies

They decorate the “spoils” their nests.


Biologists first approached the solution of the “bounty hunters” among the ants.

Formica archboldi is a small red ants, which first opened in 1944 in Florida. It’s been known to adorn their nests with the heads of enemies — ants of the genus Odontomachus.

For 60 years, scientists have known that one species of small, rust-colored ant known as Formica archboldi likes to decorate its nests with skulls, or head cases, of several kinds of trap-jaw ants.

Jolly Ann (@ThoughtsofStorm) 28 Nov 2018

This behavior has long remained a mystery to scientists. Besides, the ants Odontomachus are usually able to fend for themselves — they have a powerful sting and long claw-mandibles, instantly closing as the traps.

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Publication from ANTSTORE World of Ants (@antstore_world_of_ants) Oct 26, 2018 at 8:30 PDT

During the download an error has occurred.The Ant Odontomachus

Adrian Smith, a biologist from the University of North Carolina, offered his answer to this question in the scientific journal Insectes Sociaux.

Smith showed that the “bounty hunters” in the face of the enemy, a spray of toxic acid. In addition, the researcher compared the smells Formica archboldi and Odontomachus, and they were almost identical.

According to the scientist, the ants Odontomachus in the process of evolution have learned to mimic the smell of rivals to lure them closer, not causing trouble.