Self-Destruction Defense

Self-Destruction Defense in the Exploding Ant image of Order:Hymenoptera Family:Formicidae Genus:Camponotus Species:Camponotus saundersi Specimen:casent0179025 View:profile

How can an ant defend against a predator by blowing itself up? The worker ants of a species (Camponotus saundersi) that lives in Malaysia and Brunei use self-destruction defense. Let me explain.

These ants have two glands filled with toxic glue running the length of their bodies. When the ant seems to be losing its battle with a predator, it makes the ultimate sacrifice. By violently contracting its abdominal muscles, the ant ruptures its body. The explosion scatters sticky poison in all directions disabling the predator.

How can that benefit the ant? Obviously, that ant dies, but its action spares the rest of the colony from the predator. Humans sometimes sacrifice their own lives to save others. But, unlike humans, ants are not conscious of the fact that they are sacrificing themselves for their colony. How can we explain this by natural selection? Self-sacrificing ants would not reproduce to pass on that trait to their descendants. It must have been designed into the ants by the Master Designer of life.

These ants practice self-destruction defense even though they don’t understand the concept of self-sacrifice. However, I believe their Creator does. It’s expressed beautifully in the Bible. (See John 15:13 and John 3:16.)

— Roland Earnst © 2020