Charles Darwin argued:
I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created parasitic wasps with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars.
There you have it. Parasitic wasps are evidence of a spiteful, uncaring God.
And what does the face of such evil look like? Well…
A short film by Alvaro Mendoza productions:
The piece captures antlion hunting strategy perfectly. The sand pit by itself is only a partial trap; most insects can climb out on their own. But not with the predator churning sand and hurling debris.
Warning: a switcheroo in ant species between the intro and the close-ups will be a little jarring for taxonomists.
On my first day as a rosy-cheeked intern at the Archbold Biological Station, a gruff local man saw me watching a Monomorium nest and announced, through an impressive moustache, “Them’s piss ants!”
I didn’t agree. I thought they were just Monomorium. Plus, as best as I can tell, “piss ant” is just a catch-all term for any small nuisance ants.
Anyway. The subsequent quest to determine the true identity of the elusive piss ants was greatly enhanced yesterday by biologist Tom Uil, who sent in this photo from the Netherlands, and May Berenbaum, who confirmed the identification:
That’s a piss ant.