Years ago, Brian Fisher granted me access to a lab colony of a very bizarre insect. Madagascar hosts several species of Adetomyrma dracula ant, an eyeless subterranean social insect with the morbid habitat of piercing the skin of their own larvae to drink the hemolymph.
Brian’s ants were an undescribed species informally called “mad-01”, presumably named for the island rather than the behavior. I am happy to report that, as of this afternoon, “mad-01” has a formal name: Adetomyrma goblin. A new paper by Masashi Yoshimura & Fisher describes this and seven other new species in a monograph treating all 9 taxa in this enigmatic genus.
I love the name goblin. From the etymology:
This species name refers to the goblin-like features of the new species: the males are small and black, and the workers possess long dentition on their masticatory margin.
source: Yoshimura, M., Fisher, B. L. 2012. A revision of the Malagasy endemic genus Adetomyrma (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Amblyoponinae). Zootaxa 3341: 1–31.