Australian Meat Ants Devour Toads In 2 Minutes Flat

Australia has an overpopulation problem with the cane toad, an alien species that sugar farmers introduced 75 years ago to control pests. Researchers have discovered a new weapon to use against the toads: cat food, which lures carnivorous meat ants.

Australian scientists have discovered that the placement of cat food next to the habitats of young cane toads increases the likelihood of meat ants going on a murderous rampage. In an interview with the Australian Broadcast Company, researcher Rick Shine noted:

It's not exactly rocket science. We went out and put out a little bit of cat food right beside the area where the baby toads were coming out of the ponds. The ants rapidly discovered the cat food and thought it tasted great.

After eating the cat food, the meat ants went on to devour nearby toads. When confronted by meat ants, 98% of young toads are attacked within two minutes and 70% of those attacked toads become all gobbled up. Yikes.

[via New Scientist. Photo: University of Sydney.]