A harvester ant venom: chemistry and pharmacology

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Science  02 Jun 1978:
Vol. 200, Issue 4345, pp. 1064-1066
DOI: 10.1126/science.653354


The mammalian toxicity of the potently algogenic venom of the ant Pogonomyrmex badius is greater than that reported for any other insect venom. This enzyme-rich venom contains high concentrations of phospholipase A2 and B, hyaluronidase, acid phosphatase, lipase, and esterases. This hemolytic secretion from the poison gland products unusual symptoms in mammals and appears to have been evolved as a deterrent for vertebrate predators.