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Army Ants and impostor

Started by Herp-art, 12/12/2008 05:12AM
Posted 12/12/2008 05:12AM | Edited 12/12/2008 08:32AM Opening Post
I photographed these army ants in the Peruvian Amazon. The workers are carrying the pupa. They have no home nest and are always on the move, setting up temporary encampments ("bivouacs") over night. When I showed this photo to an ant expert, he pointed out the rove beetle walking with the ants. These beetles live among the ants and disguise themselves with pheromones that mimic those of the ants. I guess the ants don't care what you look like as long as you smell good. It turns out that this may be the only photo of this rove beetle taken in the wild.
--I looked up some information on rove beetles, and it turns out that some of those who live with ants actually beg food from them. They act like young ants and give the correct chemical or behavioral clues that stimulate the ants to feed them. I'm not positive about this particular species, but it's a good guess that it does the same thing. Clever little free loaders, eh?

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Posted 12/12/2008 09:08AM #1
Heck of a way to make a living! wink Nice shot.

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