Florida ant species collects skulls, uses chemical weapons to kill prey
“It’s really unusual for an ant species to display this much variation in chemical signature,” researcher Adrian Smith said.
By Brooks Hays
Florida is filled with strange creatures, but skull-collecting ants are near the top of the creepy list.
“In 1958, shortly after this ant was described as a species, scientists reported something weird about it,” Adrian Smith, an entomologist at North Carolina State University, said in a news release.
Researchers found dozens of decapitated heads of trap-jaw ants in the nests of the newly discovered ant species, Formica archboldi. Scientists theorized the species either uses the abandoned nests of trap-jaw ants or is specially equipped to hunt their ant relatives.
Until now, however, scientists haven’t studied the behavior of skull-collecting ants in detail.