New ant species photos show 'monsters' in Central America, Caribbean

The face of ant species Eurhopalothrix semicapillum, named for the hairy patches on its face. The Costa Rican ant is among 33 new ant species discovered in Central America and the Caribbean and detailed in two new studies by University of Utah biology Professor Jack Longino. (John T. Longino, University of Utah)

August 2, 2013 6:43:55 AM PDT
A new ant species, referred to as 'mini-monsters' by Utah scientists, were are named after Mayan lords and demons.

"These new ant species are the stuff of nightmares" when viewed under a microscope, says entomologist Jack Longino, a professor of biology at the University of Utah, through a statement. "Their faces are broad shields, the eyes reduced to tiny points at the edges and the fierce jaws bristling with sharp teeth."

The new ants were found in Central America and the Caribbean. They are smaller than a grain of rice and live in the rotting woods of the forest. The ant's jaws open and close sideways instead of up and down, only adding to the horror-show faces, Longino said.

"If you really want a movie monster that freaks people out, have the jaws go side to side," Longino says.