This Insect Can Withstand The Hottest Of Climates

This Insect Can Withstand The Hottest Of Climates

We all know what it is like to be caught in the hot sun. Even our pets head for shaded areas. However, there is one type of insect that can withstand any temperature in any environment on earth. This insect is aptly named the Sahara Desert Ant. This ant can even use the sun to its advantage. For example, when hunting prey, the desert ant will wait until temperatures become so high that every other organism will go looking for shade. Once this occurs, the desert ant emerges and makes an easy meal for itself. The ant mostly feeds on corpses of bugs that have already died from heat exposure. The desert ant can forage on desert sand surfaces that reach temperatures of seventy degrees celsius.

An insect does not necessarily possess a high heat tolerance just because it can tolerate hot surfaces for extended periods. For example, sometimes temperatures will get so high that exposed organisms cannot escape from threats or find shelter very quickly because they are experiencing a heat stroke. This is why Van Sherwood, an entomologist with the United States Army created the critical thermal maxima (CTM). This is the temperature at which insects can no longer find their way to cooler areas. An insect referred to as the Ocymyrmex barbiger will experience a heat stroke at fifty five degrees celsius after twenty five minutes. The Melophorus bagoti can survive for an hour under conditions reaching fifty four degrees celsius. The desert ant was the most heat-tolerant insect of all as it could tolerate a bit more than fifty five degrees celsius for the longest period of time. Just because the desert ant is the best at tolerating heat, the ant still must make sure that it does not become stranded in the heat for too long. In order for this ant to keep track of where it is going it keeps tabs on the sun’s positions and counts its own steps. Luckily, this ant can tolerate such high temperatures that it does not need to worry about predators.

Do you think that the desert ant described above is the most successful ant in nature?



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