Bubblegum Babies

Bubblegum Babies

Most insects use taste to ward off other insects. They shoot out foul-tasting liquid or cover their eggs in sticky gross substances to keep away predators. The Extatosoma tiaratum, however, does just the opposite. It coats its eggs in a substance that is irresistible to certain ants. Why does it do this? Well, when the ants are attracted to the egg, they bring it back to their nest and eat off the coating, throwing the egg in the trash. When the egg hatches, the baby Extatosoma mimics the behavior of the ants and grows up within their protection.

But their odd habit of fending off attackers with delicious substances doesn’t end there. When an Extatosoma is attacked they squirt out a gooey substance that researchers claim smell like peanut butter. The insect basically adds a delicious topping for the predator to enjoy. I’m not entirely sure how this is supposed to protect it, or how this insect has managed to survive in the wild, but it is certainly unique.

Have you ever heard of a bug that covers its eggs in a substance designed to attract predators? Why do you think they squirt peanut butter goo at their attackers?

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