Vlogger Discovers New Ant Species Right in His Own Backyard

defocused abstract background of ants on leaves after rain at bojong danas
Aan Nurhasanah/Shutterstock.com

Written by Erin Whitten

Updated: October 18, 2023

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In the captivating realm of ants, unexpected sources often bring about new discoveries. Recently, not a veteran scientist, but charismatic content creator Mikey Bustos, led the world to such a revelation.

“Happy to share the great news! I’ve been credited for making a scientific discovery in ant science right in my own backyard!” Bustos proclaimed on his social media platforms. Both his followers and the scientific community quickly took notice of his announcement, sparking widespread attention and curiosity.

Mikey Bustos Facebook update.

Mikey’s Unexpected Ant Find

Around two years prior, Mikey happened upon a peculiar and striking sight. Describing his find, he shared, “I found this really cool red and black ant with peach fuzz and spines on its back, that I hadn’t ever seen before.”

Reaching Out to Experts

Recognizing the potential importance of what he found, Mikey promptly sent samples of the unique ant to a field expert. “After sharing specimens with my myrmecologist friend Dr. Dave General from the University of the Philippines Los BaƱos, we both found it surprising that the species was Meranoplus bicolor.” This discovery stood out even more because no one had identified this species in the Philippines before, where Mikey lives.

World map with pin on city of Philippines, Manila.

First-time find: the

Meranoplus bicolor

was never before identified in the Philippines!

Meranoplus Bicolor: An Overview

The Meranoplus bicolor calls many Asian regions home, including places like India, Nepal, and southern China. These ants have a distinct preference: they nest at plant bases. This choice gives them both shelter and a quick route to food. With Mikey Bustos’ latest find in the Philippines, we’ve expanded our knowledge of where these ants live. It also shines a spotlight on the constantly changing world of entomology. These kinds of discoveries? They prove there’s always more to learn, even in places we think we know well.

A New Addition to Philippine Ant Species

This humble backyard find didn’t just add to Mikey’s personal knowledge, but it enriched the broader scientific understanding of ant species in the region. The ant was officially recorded as the 555th species in the country. Honoring this discovery and his passion project, AntsCanada, Mikey declared, “I went on to name the ant Species # 555 for my AntsCanada channel.”

His story sends a clear message: nature’s wonders don’t just hide in distant forests or hard-to-reach places. Sometimes, they sit right in our backyards, waiting for observant eyes to spot them. Mikey urges everyone to tap into their inner explorer, saying, “It’s amazing what you can find in your own backyard if you just take the time to look.

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About the Author

Erin Whitten is a writer at A-Z Animals, primarily covering dogs, food, and travel. She earned her BA in Communications and Digital Media from Arizona State University in 2019. A resident of Massachusetts, Erin enjoys hanging out with her shelter cat Azula and taking photos of other animals.

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