3 weird insect behaviours

There are many different insects across the world that have many different behaviours. In this article I will outline 3 insect behaviours that are out of the ordinary.

Trap building

Allomerus Decemarticulatus is a species of ant that lives in the Amazon jungle, like many other species of ant that call the Amazon jungle their home. Unlike most ants which are foragers and pick up food wherever they can find it, the Allomerus genus lets their prey come to them. They are trap builders that build traps in the stems of trees, then wait for their prey to come to them. When an insect stumbles over one of the trapdoors, the ants lunge out and grab one of its legs. They then wedge themselves allowing it to hold and trap prey 13 000 times larger than themselves. At the same time as holding onto the prey, it sends out pheromones to attract other ants to help tackle the prey.



Shield-backed katydids or Mormon Crickets are found in USA and every few years population explosions lead to massive swarms that sweep across cities, towns and farms. These swarms are enormous and can contain millions of crickets. As they are so big, the can devour all the food in an area incredibly fast, leaving many of the swarm starving. Driven crazy from hunger, the crickets look for nearest source of food which often is the other crickets in their swarm.


Fungus grooming

Agriculture is one of the things that humans tend to claim as their own. However, in the 1970’s several species of leafcutter ants were found to be maintaining mushroom farms. The fungus is cultivated in carefully managed crops and the ants have evolved to manged the crops in order to reap the benefits of the fungus growing. Leafcutter ants are known to trim leaves and take them back to their colonies. However, the leaves are not food, they are fertiliser – they will be dropped on the thinnest section of the gardens to boost fungus growth in those areas. They then chew off weaker fungus growths, holding on to several enzymes that come from the fungus.

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