As a biologist I study myrmecology, a branch of entomology focusing on the scientific study of ants. In this field I have interest in natural history, behavior, polidomy, and principally the myrmecomorphy.
What is myrmecomorphy?
Why are there arthropods that resemble to ants?
Mimicry as a survival strategy played a very important role in the general acceptance of the theory of natural selection among naturalists in the last century. Myrmecomorphy, in turn, is mimicry of ants by other organisms known as widespread phenomenon among arthropods. There are several traits that allow ants being good models of mimicry, such, the possession of potent stings, distasteful flesh, strong mandibles, hard integument and secretion of formic acid. The combination of the eusociality and these characteristics make ants very suitable organisms to be mimicked by innocuous arthropods.
I am fascinated by the ecology of batesian ant-mimicry. I am interested in myrmecomorphy since the undergrad, when I studied natural history aspects of an arboreal ant and its mimic, a thomisid spider. During my masters I continued working with ecology, behavior and natural history of ants and again I became fascinated with this survival strategy by founding ant mimicking arthropods in the Cerrado Savanna.