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A. Laciny et al., ZooKeys, 10.3897/zookeys.751.22661

Exploding ants sacrifice themselves to save their colony

To protect their nest from invaders, some worker ants make the ultimate act of self-sacrifice: They explode, releasing a toxic fluid from their abdomens to kill the intruder and, in the process, themselves. Now, scientists have described a new species of exploding ant found in Brunei, The New York Times reports. The researchers studied a nest of ants they found outside their field center, comprehensively examining each caste of the colony and sequencing the ants’ DNA, making it the first new species of exploding ant to be officially described since the 1930s. The researchers had previously referred to the species with the nickname “yellow goo,” they write in the journal ZooKeys, but have now been able to give it an official name: Colobopsis explodens

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