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@Mammals_Suck FIRST UP, WILD CARD: a larval Antlion (Dendroleon pantherinus) vs an adult Tiger Beetle (Cicindela formosa) #2019MMM
Our wildcard matchup comes from the 2019 CAT-e-GORY division, which are organisms with names inspired by felids, but aren't felids or even always mammals! Tonight we have two insects going up against each other. #2019MMM
Antlions get their common name because they are voracious predators of ants. Many (but not all) species of antlion have larvae that dig sandy pits and wait for an unsuspecting critter to fall in #2019MMM upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/comm… Image by Vaz Viren via Wikimedia Commons.
@bugbiter and @AndrewVSuarez study how trap-jaw ants escape antlion pits by catapulting with their jaws! #OpenAccessArticle journals.plos.org/plosone/articl… #2019MMM
@bugbiter @AndrewVSuarez AND HERE ARE THE VIDEOS! by @bugbiter and @AndrewVSuarez #SupplementaryMaterials figshare.com/articles/_Mand… . Note in Movie S1 the antlion flings sand to create a mini-sand avalanche causing their prey to slip! #2019MMM
@bugbiter @AndrewVSuarez Here's the National Geographic coverage by @bittelmethis about the antlion research by @bugbiter & @AndrewVSuarez news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/05/150513… #2019MMM
"The Dendroleon pantherinus larva is ""an extremely motionless ambush predator, normally staying completely
burrowed & covering the body with debris"" -Badano & Pantaleoni (2014) #2019MMM pdfs.semanticscholar.org/ebcc/19e3b76ad…
Check out those mandibles! #AntlionLarva upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/comm… Image by Roesel von Rosenhof (public domain) #2019MMM
Going up against the antlion tonight is the Big Sand Tiger Beetle #2019MMM upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/comm… Image by xpda via Wikimedia Commons.
While the Big Sand tiger beetle has spots somewhat reminiscent of a tiger, not all tiger beetles have color patches. Like antlions, tiger beetles are named for their predatory habits. #2019MMM
For their size, tiger beetles are the fastest-running insect in the world. If they were the size of a horse, & you could extrapolate the size & speed from that, they'd be running probably 200-300 miles per hour. #2019MMM
Learn that & more at the @AskABiologist podcast interview of @ASU professor David Pearson about tiger beetles askabiologist.asu.edu/podcasts/tiny_…. #2019MMM
Tiger beetles have a tremendous diversity in coloration- JUST LOOK: askabiologist.asu.edu/images/tiger-b… #2019MMM
My undergraduate mentor Tom Schultz (denison.edu/people/thomas-…) studied the structural characteristics of tiger beetle coloration (Schultz & Hadley. 1987) & the consequences of coloration for thermoregulation (Hadley, Savill, & Schultz. 1992) #2019MMM
Our battle begins with the tiger beetle sprinting along the understory, unaware that danger lurks beneath her very feet #2019MMM
Spotting an ant, the tiger beetle stops and orients itself. The ant freezes on a lump of leaf litter. #2019MMM
Without movement, the tiger beetle cannot track it's prey. Lurking underneath, the antlion feels for vibrations #2019MMM
The ant decides to make a break for it, setting into motion simultaneous attacks from above and below. #2019MMM
The tiger beetle makes it to the prey first, but as it is headed off with its prize, the antlion snaps at the underside of the beetle #2019
And emerges with a tiger beetle leg! Wounded, the tiger beetle scurries off the field of battle #2019MMM
Return Wednesday 8:30PM Eastern for Round 1: Jump Jump Division! #2019MMM
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