Trap Ant facts and info. Know Trap Ant weight loss program, habitat, behaviour taxonomy, and many others See attention-grabbing facts of Trap Ant in our animal facts archive.

Scientific title: Allomerus decemarticulatus
Scientific classification:
Phylum: Arthropoda, Class: Insecta, Order: Hymenoptera, Family: Formicidae, Subfamily: Myearmicinae

What does it appear like? The lure ant is a small species. Adult employees are round 2 mm lengthy. They are a golden amber shade with a big head and highly effective mandibles. The eyes are comparatively small.

Where does it dwell? These ants are native to the rain forests of South America. It is probably going that they're discovered all through the Amazon basin, however they've solely been recorded from the east coast of South America. They are an arboreal species, spending all of their time of their host bushes.

Characteristics

The lure ant of South America is a small, unassuming insect, staying out of sight a lot of the time among the many branches of a tree that they've developed a really shut relationship with. For a lot of the time, these tiny animals are busy of their little nest pouches beneath the leaves of their host tree. Catching prey is troublesome in case you are an ant. Most animals that you desire to to get your mandibles into are too huge to subdue alone and can also have wings or different technique of evading your snapping jaws.

These Challenges are magnified for tree-dwelling ants. Even if some prey animal comes inside vary, all it has to do is leap from the trunk or department to be carried away from the ant and the ant’s nest mates. The lure ant has advanced an intriguing approach of fixing this Challenge of securing prey. Beneath the branches of its host tree, the lure ant employees assemble small galleries, which appear like pock-marked areas of dense gray webbing.

More intriguing nonetheless is the best way they really construct these galleries. Using hairs stripped from the floor of their host tree to act as a type of fibrous matting and saliva and a specifically cultivated fungus as resin, the ants assemble what is basically the insect equal of fi berglass. These galleries have been identified about for a very long time, but it surely was thought that they have been merely a refuge for the ants whereas they have been away from the nest foraging for food.

As it seems, the actual goal of these galleries is way more macabre. The employee ants mass in these galleries with their little heads simply contained in the holes, their highly effective serrated jaws agape. Here they wait in ambush, and earlier than lengthy, a big, plump cricket ambles in to view, exploring the department tentatively with its lengthy limbs and delicate antennae. The hairs that dress the tree’s outer floor are a deterrent to strolling bugs. The easy floor of the gallery, then again, will appear to be a fine place to relaxation or have a snack. Sensing nothing out of the strange in regards to the ant webbing, the cricket walks straight on to it.

Two or three of its clawed ft could probe the holes for buy, and it's then that the ready ants strike. They seize the ends of the cricket’s legs and heave, pinning the cricket to the floor of the gallery. Other employees rush out and start dragging the remaining limbs and antennae into the holes till the prey is properly and really snared. Other employees then swarm all around the prey and sting it.

With the prey immobilized and at demise’s door, the ants can start their gory work. Using their tenacious jaws, they start butchering the carcass of the cricket, chopping out chunks of flesh to carry again to the nest pouches the place the creating younger will be discovered. The prey is a wealthy supply of protein for the creating ant grubs. The superb trapping technique employed by these ants ensures that the nest has ample protein in an arboreal setting the place it might in any other case be missing in the sort of nourishment.

Key Facts

  • There are a number of species of Allomerus within the tropics. They are principally small ants and all of them are specialist tree dwellers.
  • Allomerus decemarticulatus is the one identified species of ant that collectively constructs a lure to snare prey.
  • When attacking their prey and delivering a sting, they need to go for the tender elements of the physique, comparable to the skinny membrane between the physique and limb segments. This arthrodial membrane as it's identified will be simply penetrated by the little stinger of these ants.
  • Not solely have these ants advanced a novel approach of catching animals a lot bigger than a person within the colony, however the entire setup is the product of a symbiotic relationship between the ant, its host tree (Hirtella physophora), and the fungus. The ant has a protected place to nest within the leaf pouches of the tree, a favor repaid by ridding the tree of herbivorous bugs that may’t wait to get their mandibles into the succulent leaves of the Hirtella tree. The fungus is used as an adhesive within the development of the traps, however in being so used, it's cultivated by the ants and unfold to areas the place it won't attain by itself.
  • There are just a few spider species that construct large collective webs during which to snare prey. Should an insect turn out to be entangled within the silken threads, the small spiders run from all around the internet to ship bites to the unlucky prey. Individually, one among these spiders would stand no hope of subduing such prey, however a mess of fangs can rapidly ship a demise blow to an insect massively bigger than a single spider.