The fastest-moving animal on the planet has been revealed – and scientists say pace is not all the time influenced by dimension.
Often called the dracula ant, its jaws snap shut 5,000 instances quicker than the blink of a watch at 200mph.
The tiny insect is comfortably forward of the cheetah, whose report working pace is 60mph.
Researchers imagine the ants, present in Africa, Australia and southeast Asia, use their quickly accelerating jaws to smash into potential prey.
Entomologist Professor Andrew Suarez, from the College of Illinois, stated: “Their highly effective jaws work like a mousetrap, besides the latch and spring mechanism are multi functional.
“The ants use this movement to smack different arthropods, seemingly beautiful them, smashing them in opposition to a tunnel wall or pushing them away.”
As a substitute of pushing their jaws collectively, dracula ants slide one throughout the opposite in a movement that takes 23 microseconds.
He added: “Even amongst ants that power-amplify their jaws, the dracula ants are distinctive – as an alternative of utilizing three totally different components for the spring, latch and lever arm, all three are mixed within the mandible.”
They use venom to stun their prey that are then introduced again to the colony for the larvae to feed upon.
They’re known as dracula ants after Depend Dracula, the fictional vampire, attributable to their uncommon feeding habits.
Queens and employees apply a type of “non-destructive cannablism”, which includes chewing holes into and feeding on the haemolymph, insect “blood”, of the colony’s personal pupae and larvae.
Dracula ants had been found in 1994 – and at 200mph, their jaw movement is thrice quicker than trap-jaw ants – the earlier record-holders.
The findings had been printed within the journal Royal Society Open Science.