The tree-nesting tropical ant Cephalotes atratus can glide forwards and backwards in a directed flight. The ants steer themselves by changing the position of their hind legs, mid legs and gaster (the bulbous posterior segment of their bodies). See them here:
Other ants who exhibit this falling behavior live in Africa, Peru, Panama, Costa Rica and the United States.
The Smithsonian blog gives a fuller account not only of how the ants perform this unusual behavior and also how scientists manage even to study the tiny insects falling in the forests, using ropes, canopy walkways, construction towers, video cameras and even wind tunnels.
Move over, flying squirrel!
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