Talk about being embedded in enemy territory. A newly described species of silverfish (Malayatelura ponerophila)—a 6-millimeter-long
golden-brown insect with spikes on its tail—spends its entire life among a colony of army ants (Leptogenys distinguenda). So how does it
avoid be spotted? By rubbing against baby ants to pick up their scent, researchers
report online this month in BMC Ecology. The ants rely mostly on chemical cues to identify their nest mates, and as long as the odor doesn't
fade away, the silverfish gets free food and shelter. The silverfish can't get too lazy, however. If it doesn't continually replenish the scent, the
ants grow wise and attack their uninvited guest.
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