Outside the kitchen door at the Kuala Belalong Field Studies Center in Brunei, on a number of trees near the balcony, there is a nest of very special ants.
This colony was studied in depth by scientists who, last week in the journal ZooKeys, published an in-depth description of the newly named species, called Colobopsis explodens, including a portion of their genome sequence.
Workers of C. explodens have a distinctive, rather foul talent. When their nest is invaded, they rupture their own abdomens, releasing a sticky, bright yellow fluid laced with toxins on their attackers. Similar to honey bees that die after stinging, the exploded ants do not survive, but their sacrifice can help save the colony.