There are many different types of ants in the world. For example, there are black ants, fire ants, red ants and the T. rex ants. It is probable that you have never heard of the last ant listed, the T. rex ant. Many insect experts are not even aware of this ant’s existence, and with good reason. The T. rex ant has never been found alive by researchers.
Back in 2003, an entomologist, Fernando Fernandez, found one dead ant in Malaysia that had never been identified before. Fernandez had discovered an entirely new ant-genus. The ant’s mandibles reminded Fernandez of the Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaur, so he named the ant the Tyrannomyrmex rex.
Since the ant genus was discovered in 2003, many other reports from Asian countries have confirmed its existence. However, all of the ants that were found were dead, and they were all collected from leaf-litter. This all changed in 2016 when an entomologist, Mark Wong, was collecting ants in Singapore. Wong had finally stumbled upon the first colony of living T. rex ants. Now that a colony of these elusive ants has been found, many of the mysteries that surrounded these ants are being explained.
It is no wonder that finding the T. rex ant took such a long time for experts. This is because these ants live in small colonies that include around thirty ants. These ants are also nocturnal, and the traps that Wong set in order to trap the T. rex ants proved to be useless. Also, these ants live amongst moist wood that is located beneath the soil. Wong only found the T. rex because he happened to be digging in the right place at the right time. These ants are peculiar for not possessing many of the organs that other ants possess, and researchers are only now beginning to learn why these ants turned out to be so anatomically different from other ants.
Have you ever ventured into the great outdoors with the desire to discover a new species of insect?