Take a second and look at the photographs above. Do you notice something particularly off or strange about this ant? Well if you fail to notice what is off with this ant, don’t be too sad, entomologist almost missed it too. In fact entomologist looking at this picture had to analyze it several times due to a pondering question of “why does this ant have two abdomens?” In fact scientist are now happy to announce that they have found a new species of beetle named: Nymphista Kronaeuri.
Found on the small Latin American Country of Coasta Rica, in the rainforest they found this new species of beetle attached to and riding along an army ant. Interestingly enough this beetle has extremely strong pinches to latch up on the ant and a remarkable color which helps it camouflage against predators and even in fact the army ant that it is attached to.
These army ants in Coasta Rica, live in huge colonies that can range from hundreds to thousands of these arthropods. However sometimes they can migrate in a nomadic sort of manner usually during the Queen Ant’s breeding season, where they travel up to 3 weeks and gather a mass amount of food in the process when the colony moves. Along with them this new species of beetles hitchhike on usually medium size worker ants that are towards the end of the colony. When the ants sleep, they usually are quite close around as well. Interestingly enough scientist aren’t exactly sure why they do this.
However what they do know is that they aren’t the only insects to do this, but seemingly they are the one and only or are few to have evolved and hide from their chauffeurs. Discoveries like this show us how much we still don’t know.