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Phorid fly

Description:

This is a typr of army ant worker belonging to the genus: Dorylus These tiny female phorid flies (size: 1mm approx) have developed a bizarre reproductive strategy: They hover over ants, then inject their eggs into the ants with a needle-like appendage. As phorids fly hovers above ants looking for victims, the ants respond by hiding, piling on top of one another, retreating into the nest, and posturing in various odd ways as seen in the image.This fly harassment disrupts the economy of provisioning the nest with food and protecting home and territory. Native ant species can then take advantage of this distraction and reclaim lost territory. This more indirect and subtle effect has been identified as the bio-control mechanism by which phorids might reduce the impact of non-native ant : http://web.biosci.utexas.edu/fireant/FAQ... The egg grows and the resulting larva generally migrates to the ant's head. The larva lives there for weeks--slurping up the brain and turning the ant into a "zombie," in some cases compelling the ant to march 55 yards (50 meters) away from its colony to avoid attack by other fire ants. Finally, the baby fly decapitates its host and hatches, exiting through the ant's head Requesting the ant ID: Size: 0.8cm approx

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3 Comments

vipin.baliga
vipin.baliga 11 years ago

Thanks guys. :-)
Hsrd to focus on just one. Maybe that is the strategy these ants are using to avoid being victimized.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 11 years ago

Amazing story Vipin. Thanks for that. As for any species it's hard to focus on just one :)

John La Salle
John La Salle 11 years ago

very cool picture - this is indeed a bizarre biology

vipin.baliga
Spotted by
vipin.baliga

Karnataka, India

Spotted on May 28, 2013
Submitted on May 31, 2013

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