Environmental Science

Beaded Lacewings Can Take Down Six Termites with a Single Fart

Beaded Lacewings Can Take Down Six Termites with a Single Fart

In the New York Times bestseller, “Does it boil? A Field Guide to the Definition of Animal Flatulence,” authors Nick Caruso and Dani Rabaiotti reveal parking possibilities for everything from herringbones (big yes) to dinosaurs (also yes).

One of the most endangered species in the book, described as “one of the few real deadly farms known to science”, is the beaded lacewing, Lomamyia latipennis.To the untrained eye, these insects look like an innocent, icy insect but the lacewings of this particular species retain foul-smelling privacy. L. latipennis is a devoted follower of the lakes, which are found on all continents like this eusocial insect (which is present in every continent except Antarctica). An adult beaded lacewing easily lays its eggs at the distance of the hinge of an egg nest which the larval form of L. latipennis shakes after hatching.

You might think that no legless larva couple can stand a much better chance against the army, but L. latipennis has evolved to practice a unique and highly effective way of attacking. When a larva comes across some distance, it raises its hind edge up to the height of the head of the horizon and releases a vapor-phase toxin called an allomone which scatters them and the larvae feed on their frozen bodies. In short, it leads to their death.

A study has shown that larvae can actually land multiple termites with a single puff, depending on how many unlucky dooms can be brought down when the poisonous tot fire starts to burn. A deadly yield that is especially impressive when you realize the average L. latipennis, termites weighs about 1/35th. This is some serious # gain for one step.

Studies have shown that strong emissions are also significantly more specific, and have no effect on other insects found in the corridors of an animal’s nest, including flies, seeds, and buckles. As if these were not fairly frightening, the termites do not die from initial exposure but become paralyzed which means they still survive when the larvae start eating. Even those who do not eat eventually die from exposure. So, you go there. You know it now.

The original study, published in Nature in 1971, yielded some impressive results, did not identify the exact evidence of the deadly evidence of lacewing fart, and a report from wired states that no one was able to repeat the original experiments. So, for now, it remains a mystery.