IUCN threat status:

Critically Endangered (CR)

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Description

The recently discovered Dracula ant is a highly unusual species, so named because of its grisly feeding habits of drinking the blood of its young (2) (3). First described in 1994, these ants did not attract much scientific attention until the discovery of an entire colony in 2001 (4). The Dracula ant has since attracted widespread interest not only because of this curious behaviour, but also because of its seemingly ancestral morphology (5) (6). Unlike most ants, these orange coloured ants have abdomens that closely resemble those of wasps, from which ants are believed to have descended some 70 to 80 million years ago (2) (3). Thus, they have been described as a possible 'missing link' in ant evolution (5). Winged males are a darker orange than the workers, the queen is yellow and the larvae are white (3) (4).

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Source: ARKive

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