Beetles have been mooching off insect colonies for millions of years

99-million-year-old amber shows two species that pilfered from ancient ants and termites

beetle fossils

BAD HOUSEGUESTS  Some ancient beetles survived by freeloading off social insects such as termites. Two new beetle fossils (Cretotrichopsenius burmiticus, left and Mesosymbion compactus, right) suggest that the behavior, known as social parasitism, has endured for about 100 million years.

From left:  C. Cai et al/Current Biology 2017; S. Yamamoto et al/Nature Communications 2016

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