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Hundreds of bugs form a ‘snake’ to scare off predators in video

This is the fascinating moment hundreds of bugs use strength in numbers to form a long chain and evade predators. 

Buddhist priest Somchai Auarun filmed the larvae crawling together on temple ground in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. 

The priest said: ‘I was fascinated when I saw them. The way that they were moving together was amazing. 

‘They carried on for a few more minutes like that. Nature is so smart.’ 

In the clip, the larvae move together making themselves bigger and more intimidating to evade predators while looking for food.

The larvae can be seen crawling all over each other in a kind of perpetual conveyor belt which enables the swarm to move much faster than a single bug over the same distance. 

Depending on how many layers, it can help the group move nearly twice as fast as an individual can. 

In 2013, Aatish Bhatia reported in Wired that this strategy, which several caterpillar species use, helps the entire swarm move 1.5 times faster than an individual can move, if it’s a two-layer mass. 

A three-layer mass can move nearly twice as fast. Bhatia says it is like walking on a moving sidewalk at the airport.

‘Unlike a typical conveyor belt, this one never runs out, because the caterpillars keep disassembling and re-assembling it,’ he wrote. 

The bugs have been identified as dark-winged fungus gnat larvae, which are known to move in this ‘snake-like’ mass and are around 6.35mm long. 

Other viewers believe them to be the larvae of Asian rice gall midges (Orseolia Oryzae). These larvae grow up to 5mm in length. 

They damage rice plants, leaving them with stunted and undeveloped stalks.  

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