Berry Butt Ants


The first known example of parasite induced fruit mimicry: Scientists report (in the April issue of American Naturalist) the discovery of a parasitic worm that infects ants and turns their butts bright red — so they resemble berries. The parasite also changes their behavior, causing them to wave their butt around in the air. A bird spies the “berry”, eats it up and is infected. Bird poop is fed upon by the ants, completing the parasitic cycle.

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