Folklore says we might be able to predict the coming of rain by observing the behaviour of ants.
Ants have many tricks to deal with rain – like holding their breath, blocking nest entrances or drinking excess water and releasing it elsewhere by 'communal peeing.' But can they see rain coming?
New study shows parasitic Escovopsis fungus attacks the bacteria leafcutter ants use to protect themselves.
Ant colonies direct traffic flows of millions of individuals along the best routes – army ants even manage inbound and outbound lanes – but how?
Insects aren't known for having big brains, and slime moulds and fungi don't have any. So how do they solve challenges that test the ingenuity of human transport engineers?
How much an ant can see depends on its size.
In an ant's world, the smaller you get the less you can see. So how does that affect an ant's ability to avoid hitting any obstacle as it walks about?
Ants have an incredible instinct to help their comrades.
A giant ant carries a dead fellow in the name of cleanliness.
Ants produce their own antimicrobial chemicals to fight bacteria.
How do they each know what to do?
Researchers identified simple behavioral rules that allow these tiny creatures to collaboratively build elaborate structures, with no one in charge.
Here they come …
The things they'll do for love ...
Fire ants were first detected in Brisbane in 2001.
AAP Image/Queensland Department of Primary Industries
Improvements in knowledge and control methods mean eradicating the Australian invasion is challenging, but still potentially feasible.
Insects developed technology long before we did, so perhaps they can show us how to use it without damaging the planet.
Azteca ants, unsung heroes of coffee pest control.
Azteca ants are self-appointed protectors of coffee plants on Mexican plantations. But they have a lot to contend with from other insects.
Fischer et al
Scientists have discovered two new types of ants in the rainforests of New Guinea thanks to an advanced X-ray imaging technique.
Myrmecia croslandi ant carrying its prey backwards.
The navigation tactics of certain Australian ants could point the way to helping driverless cars find their way around.
They might be eating your home, but termites play a vital role in ecosystems.
Termite image from www.shutterstock.com
Termite damage costs Australian homes at least a billion dollars each year – but they are absolutely vital for ecosystems.
The common grey silverfish, Ctenolepisma longicaudata, in Sydney.
Silverfish have disappeared from our homes as book-bindings - their favourite food - have improved.
Some of the most common painful stingers in the Australian bush are bulldog ants of the genus
Bees, wasps and ants – a group known as Hymenoptera – can claim the title of deadliest insects. How did they evolve to be so painful?
Insects are key to holding the food chain together. Without them, much of what we eat today won’t exist.
Without insects the food chain would diminish and we would have very little fruit and vegetables to eat.
Sometimes less can be more. Carnivorous pitcher plants from the tropical island of Borneo (Brunei) demonstrate this quite impressively. These plants use funnel-shaped pitfall traps, or pitchers, with slippery…
If you don’t finish it the ants will.
New York is one of many cities whose mythical allure claims that the streets are paved with gold. Sadly, you are more likely to be treading on – or at least wading through – the remains of burgers, hot…
All spiders are predators, but most of them are small and have rudimentary defences against larger animals that in turn prey on them. Spiders have thus evolved a range of predatory behaviours that, at…