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Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin have found a bizarre ant in Brazil that doesn’t look like any other existing ant species. Its proposed name, Martialis heureka, refers to its odd appearance—this ant looks like it came from another planet.
Martialis heureka has a pale body and no eyes, with long mouthparts that stick out like forceps. Its DNA is so far from other species as to warrant its own subfamily, Martialinae. This is the first time a new ant subfamily has been created since 1923.
Rabeling and his colleagues will publish their findings on Martialis heureka in an upcoming Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.