A fascinating new piece from Wired unearths a 1981 study on a particularly rude type of insect: the Lomamyia latipennis, a neuropterous larva. And why is this larva rude? Because it just goes off and farts on termites without their consent, resulting in their death. It's exactly like your roommate, only deadly. Via Wired:
When a baby Lomamyia latipennis gets hungry, it stuns a termite with a “vapor-phase toxicant” released from its anus. That’s a fancy way of saying it farts on it. In fact, their farts are powerful enough to immobilize six termites with one blow.
Interestingly, these farts don't appear to actually be that smelly. From Hagen and Johnson's 1981 paper:
The apex of the abdomen was lifted and waved past the termite’s face, without contact. The termite… was not repelled, as it made no obvious effort to escape.
But make no mistake: this shit is potent.
Even more astonishing is that early stage L. latipennis are tiny, about 0.07 mg in size. The average size of their termite prey was 2.5mg.
And it's taking out six of these dudes at once!
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.