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Mikey Bustos discovers new ant species in backyard, gets credited for it

By Camille Santiago Published Sep 09, 2023 2:21 pm

Mikey Bustos has been recognized for discovering a new ant species in his backyard in the Philippines, he shared on Instagram.

"Happy to share the great news! I've been credited for making a scientific discovery in ant science right in my own backyard!" the Fil-Canadian YouTuber said on Instagram.

Mikey said that he found this never-before-seen "red and black ant with peach fuzz and spines on its back." He then sent it to his myrmecologist friend Dr. Dave General, an ant taxonomist from the University of the Philippines Los Baños, for testing.

Upon the release of the results, it was discovered that the ant was a Meranoplus bicolor, which is not known to exist in the country.

According to Ant Wiki, this type of ant "inhabits bare lands, grasslands and sparse forests, and nests in soil."

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A post shared by Mikey Bustos (@mikeybustos)

They are also active all day and scavenge for food, such as small animals and insects, and also tend to aphids. They are timid and not usually hunted by other insects because of their toxic hair.

Mikey added that he found out on Saturday, Sept. 9 that he has been credited for the discovery of the ant that he is now raising a colony of.

"I was surprised to find out today as I was doing more research on the species, that I've been credited for the geographical scientific discovery of the ant, which I am now raising a colony of, for the Philippines. So cool!" he added.

The ants are now the 555th ant species to be documented in the country. He named it Species # 555.

"It's amazing what one might find lurking in our own backyards, if only more people took the time to look," Mikey said.

Aside from his musical comedy channel and lifestyle vlog, Mikey also runs Ants Canada, a sci-com/edutainment channel about pet ants.