OCT 05, 2016 09:11 AM PDT

Inside of a Frog's Vomit, Scientists Found a New Ant Species

Scientists seem to always be finding new species out there, but sometimes we find them in the most unlikely of places.
 
While simply examining the diet of tropical frogs from Ecuador, South America by inducing them to puke and then studying their vomit, scientists are then able to study the vomit to find out what it is that they eat and then release the frogs back into the wild. This process doesn’t harm the animals and protected endangered species from survival issues.
 
While doing this with a small devil frog to learn more about them and their diets, it seems biologist Christian Rabeling and his colleagues found something they weren’t expecting: a new species of ant was inside of the frog’s stomach just before it was puked up.
 

The new ant species that was found in a frog's puke.

 Image Credit: C. Rabeling & J. Sosa-Calvo

The scientists are giving the new ant species the name Lenomyrmex hoelldobleri, and their findings have been published in the journal ZooKeys.
 
In all of the unlikely places that it was found, the frog’s stomach is probably one of the least suspecting places scientists thought they were going to find a new species, especially while simply trying to learn more about their diets.
 
“Sometimes people think that our world is very well explored,” the lead author Christian Rabeling from the University of Rochester told National Geographic in a statement. Nothing could be farther from the truth.”
 
Unfortunately, we don’t have any other specimens of this ant species; this is the only one we have, and it came from a frog’s stomach. We don’t know anything about where the frog found it, or where we can find more of them.
 
From the specimen we do have, the researchers can only study what they have, and interestingly, the body of this ant exhibits oddly-shaped mandibles, which according to Rabeling, resemble forceps and might be used for prying its prey out of tight places.
 
Although we’re unlikely to learn more about this ant species until scientists are able to find more of them in the wild, you can bet they’ll probably be cranking up the frog stomach studying to try and find more of them.
 
Source: National Geographic

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
AUG 15, 2018
Neuroscience
AUG 15, 2018
Bees Know What Zero Means
There is much concern over the dwindling population of honey bees. They are needed for pollination and for ecosystems to stay in balance, but soon research...
AUG 26, 2018
Plants & Animals
AUG 26, 2018
These Are the Most Extreme Babies in the Animal Kingdom
Think you had it hard as a baby? Ha! Think again. Human babies have it easy compared to some of the animal kingdom’s most extreme. Barnacle goose hat...
OCT 22, 2018
Plants & Animals
OCT 22, 2018
Gough Island Seabird Populations Are Being Threatened by Oversized Mice
According to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), a bevy of different seabirds native to Gough Island now face the imminent threat of exti...
OCT 31, 2018
Plants & Animals
OCT 31, 2018
Study Suggests Extinct Elephant Birds Were Nocturnal and Nearly Blind
Elephant birds were massive birds that went extinct a long time ago. Some estimates suggest the last of the species perished some 500 to 1,000 years ago, b...
NOV 09, 2018
Earth & The Environment
NOV 09, 2018
Can Amazon trees keep up?
New research from the University of Leeds and the collaboration of 30 global Institutions suggest that the Amazon tree diversity will not be sufficient to...
NOV 12, 2018
Plants & Animals
NOV 12, 2018
Steaks Aren't the Only Things We Get From Cows
It’s no secret that cows are routinely slaughtered for beef, but what if we told you that only about 60% of the cow gets harvested for food? Fret not...
Loading Comments...