Sniff . . . Pow! Wasps use chemicals to start ant brawls

10:59am, May 29, 2002

Wasps sneak around in ant colonies thanks to chemicals that send the ants into a distracting frenzy of fighting among themselves, says an international research team.

The wasps infiltrate the colonies to hunt caterpillars hiding therein, explains Graham Elmes of the Winfrith Technology Centre in Dorchester, England. In the May 30 Nature, he and his colleagues identify components of the riot-inciting cocktail and suggest that it could inspire new ways to control pests.

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