Fredrick Larabee: Myrmoteras

Steve Shattuck
August 30, 2017
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close up of trapjaw ant
Steve Shattuck

A photo of a Myrmoteras ant. While at least four different groups of ants have independently evolved systems involving a latch, spring and trigger to power their fast-moving mandibles, the researchers have discovered that Myromoteras ants’ jaws work differently than those of any other known ant. In the Aug. 30 issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology, scientists at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History provide the first mechanical description of the jaws of a little-known group of trap-jaw ants called Myromoteras. (Photo by Steve Shattuck)