Another fly from the Phoridae family

There is an additional reason for winglessness in this riff-raff of lurkers and squatters in ants' and termites' nests. Many of them (not the Phorid flies) have over evolutionary time assumed a protective resemblance to ants, either (or both) to fool the ants or to fool would-be predators who might otherwise pick them out from among the less palatable and better-protected ants. Who, on taking only a casual glance, would notice that the insect below, which lives in ants' nests, is not an ant at all but a beetle? Once again, how do we know? From deep and detailed resemblances to beetles, which hugely outnumber the superficial features in which the insect resembles an ant: exactly the same way as we know that a dolphin is a mammal and not a fish. This creature has its beetle ancestry written all through it, except (again as with dolphins) in those features that define its superficial appearance, such as its winglessness and its ant-like profile.

Beetle disguised as an ant

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