The Beetle That Eavesdrops on an Ant’s Secret Language

Before noon in the Soconusco region of southern Chiapas, down by the border where Mexico meets Guatemala, the lush, green terrain is rife with bodies in motion. It is an area abutting the Pacific, a vast collection of plantations, most of them growing coffee. Hsun-Yi Hsieh, a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan, has spent every summer here for the last four years, studying the relationships between four insects that survive by any means necessary among the coffee berry bushes. At the center of the story is a species of ant that has long used a kind of code to secretly communicate with each other. But a crafty beetle has recently evolved the ability to intercept the ant’s messages, giving it a big survival advantage and changing the balance of power in this fascinating pocket of the natural world.

Hsieh and a team of around six scientists make their annual trek to Finca Irlanda, a

Stai leggendo un'anteprima, registrati per continuare a leggere.

Altro da Nautilus

Nautilus5 min letti
What if Another Crisis Strikes During This Pandemic?: A warning from history about simultaneous disasters.
Parts of the world might have shut down, but nature never does. Even while people stay at home and learn about physical distancing, weather, tectonic shifts, meteorites, and solar storms do not pause. With many international borders closed and an inc
Nautilus8 min lettiScience
Can a Battery of New COVID Tests Stem the US Debacle?: Medical testing has been a Pearl Harbor. But the war could be won.
Can we leap beyond flattening the curve and eliminate COVID-19 as a public health threat—not years from now but weeks? “It’s a war we should fight to win,” declared Harvey V. Fineberg, former Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health, in the New En
Nautilus7 min lettiSelf-Improvement
Let’s Talk About Our Health Anxiety Over COVID-19: The calming power of conversation, mindfulness, and a little exercise.
The hint of a headache at your temples, an itch at the back of your throat, a fever so slight you barely feel it. You know that it’s probably nothing, but, still, part of you wonders: Could it be? In this new reality where quarantine is a daily reali