Scientists have found that a species of trap-jaw ants can box their opponents at a blazing-fast speed of 41.5 strikes per second, making them the fastest boxers ever recorded.
In a new study, researchers at the University of Illinois and North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences measured the speed at which different species of trap-jaw ants strike one another during antenna-boxing bouts.
Understanding such fights for dominance within ant colonies can shed light on ant behaviour and sociology.
To better understand this behaviour, the researchers used high-speed cameras to record antenna-boxing matches in four species of trap-jaw ants. They then counted how rapidly each species pummelled their opponents.
The speeds ranged from 19.5 strikes per second for Odontomachus rixosus, hailing from Cambodia, to a blazing-fast 41.5 strikes per second for Odontomachus brunneus, native to Florida, the researchers found.

The study was published in the journal Insectes Sociaux.


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