Amazing Gliding Ants

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!


Related Care2 Coverage

New Fungus Turns Ants Into Zombies

Rising Gold Prices Mean Deforestation in Peruvian Amazon Up 600%

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.


Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rogers4 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

Fi T.
Fi T.about a year ago

Another reason to treasure other living lives

K s Goh
KS Goh5 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Kelly Stephens
Kelly Stephens5 years ago

why is someone dropping them?

Aparna Amrita
Aparna Amrita5 years ago


carlee trent
carlee trent5 years ago


Katherine S.
Katherine S.5 years ago

interesting article

Lin Moy
Lin M5 years ago

if u dropped me from that far i'd fly too lol

Renato G.

Very interesting article , Tks for sharing ...

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal5 years ago