Saturday, July 20, 2024

Tool used by Assassin Bugs

Whilst at Macquarie University, two scientists, Fernando Soley and Marie Herberstein, investigated the hunting methods of Australian assassin bugs in the Gorareduvius genus. These insects kill prey by using their long beak-like mouth parts to inject digestive enzymes into the body of their prey, and then sucking up the liquified innards. What the researchers found was the novel way the insects caught their prey. The insects made use of the sticky resin found on spinifex. The insects scrape the resin off the blades of spinifex and coat parts of their body. The researchers showed that with the coating of resin, the insects could catch other insects much more efficiently than when not coated. In their paper published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, the authors suggest this is a clear example of tool use conveying a clear predatory advantage.

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