Beetles raise their young in trash dumps left behind by army ants

Beetles raise their young in trash dumps left behind by army ants

Army ants leave piles of prey scraps that feed other insects

Daniel Kronauer

Army ants infamously visit destruction upon thousands of unlucky insects, but new findings highlight one of the ways the insects bolster biodiversity as well. The hodgepodge collections of food waste left behind by raiding army ants serve as nurseries for numerous beetle species.

Army ants (many of which are in the Eciton genus) forage in mass raids, where a tsunami of clattering pincers pours along the ground. Insects and other arthropods caught up in the tide are killed and …

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