Bug Blog

This Is Not Bram Stoker’s Dracula Ant

An extremely weird ant has been found in Madagascar, of course, and this particular species do not share many characteristics with their more common counterparts.  These ants, unlike any other, have been found to have a taste for the blood of their offspring.

The term given to this type of bizarre bloodsucking habit is “nondestructive cannibalism”–that does not sound so bad.  Researchers have known about these bugs for a while, but they just cannot seem to figure them out. But what is strange about these ants is their size.  For instance a queen can sometimes be smaller than a worker.  And sometimes workers will go on to become queen ants.

The genus of these dracula ants can have three different modes of reproduction, making these ants officially the most difficult bugs to study.  This may be true, but why do they suck on their kid’s blood?

Do you know of any other insects that cannibalize their offspring?