Eusocial Behavior Is A Much Older Trait In Insects Than Previously Thought

A new ninety nine million year old beetle has been found encased in amber. The beetle probably lived among certain insects that demonstrated eusocial behaviors, such as insects and termites,  which indicates that insects developed the ability to behave in a eusocial manner very early on during insect evolution. The evolution of eusocial behavior in insects occurred at a much faster pace than previously thought.

The new species of beetle has been named Mesosymbion compactus. The newly discovered species of beetle is very similar in appearance to the already known beetle from the Staphylinidae family of beetles. These types of well-known beetles have been observed to operate within termite and ant colonies. This indicates that these beetles also posses eusocial abilities since they are able to function within the communities of well-known eusocial insects. It is likely that the nearly one hundred million year old beetle that was recently discovered also behaved in a eusocial manner among other insect colonies at the time.

If one hundred million years ago was considered an early period for insects to develop eusocial behaviors, then how long have insects been on this planet?


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