Suicide bomber ant discovered in Borneo

Colobopsis explodens.
Colobopsis explodens. Photo credit: ZooKeys

Scientists in the jungles of Borneo have discovered a species of ant that can detonate itself if it feels threatened.

Small females of the species, appropriately dubbed Colobopsis explodens, are able to clench their abdomens so tightly they rupture and spray toxic yellow goo on their enemies.

It's the first new exploding species of ant to be found in more than 80 years.

The goo has "a distinct and not unpleasant smell that's strangely reminiscent of curry" according to entomologist Alice Laciny of the Natural History Museum in Vienna, who discovered the suicidal bug.

But before sacrificing their lives, the larger Colobopsis explodens females try to stop intruders by plugging their flat, perfectly shaped heads into the open doors to their nests.

The findings were published in journal ZooKeys.