Trivia

Hard

Lemon Ants Are Notable For Their Use Of?

Hallucinogenics
Aphid Farms
Primitive Tools
Herbicide

Answer: Herbicide

Deep within the Amazon rain forest, a region of Earth known for its intense biodiversity, you’ll sometimes stumble across large stands of trees that are, curiously, populated almost entirely by a single tree species, Duroia hirsuta. The stands look so out of place that the locals refer to them as “devil’s gardens” because of an old myth that the peculiar areas are the home of an evil forest demon named Chullachaki (and also known as Chuyachaqui).

Today, however, we know that the strange single-species stands aren’t the result of a demon setting up a home, but the result of a rather unique species of ants: Myrmelachista schumanni , or lemon ants—named such because the acids in their chemical defense system, released when the ants are crushed or attacked, give off a citrus smell.

The lemon ants build their colonies in Duroia hirsuta trees and cannot expand their colony without more trees. To facilitate growth of the colony, they systematically inject the leaves of surrounding trees and vegetation with formic acid, killing off any plants that compete with their host trees. While formic acid is a common toxin produced by a variety of ant species around the world, lemon ants are the only known species to have adapted the compound for use as an herbicide.

Although there is a limit to the size of a colony based on how effectively the ants can defend against intruders, devil’s gardens can grow quite expansive in size. The largest observed devil’s garden is over 1,300 square meters (roughly 14,000 square feet), encompasses 328 Duroia hirsuta trees, and is believed to be around 800 years old.

Trivia

Hard

The Yin And Yang Symbol First Appeared Not In China But In?

Trivia

Hard

Prior to 1976, London Cab Drivers Could Be Fined For Not Keeping What In Their Cab?

Trivia

Very Hard

The Search Engine Equivalent Of The 555 Telephone Numbers Seen In Television And Film Is?

Trivia

Hard

In The Film Inside Out What Vegetable Was Swapped With Broccoli For Japanese Audiences?

Trivia

Hard

Dungeons & Dragons Was Originally Known By What Name?

Trivia

Hard

The Bland Flavor Of Modern Tomatoes Is A Side Effect Of Breeding Them To Produce?

Trivia

Hard

What Electronic Device Needs To Be Factory-Calibrated To The Earth’s Magnetosphere?

Trivia

Hard

The 1999 Ig Nobel Prize For Literature Was Awarded To A 5,000 Word Treatise On The Topic Of?

Trivia

Easy

Which Of These Tools Brought File Sharing Widespread Public Attention?

Trivia

Very Hard

The Highest Grossing James Bond Film, Adjusted For Inflation, Is?