Mikey Bustos credited for discovering ant species never before seen in PH

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 9) — Social media personality Mikey Bustos said he discovered an ant species not previously known to exist in the country -- and he found them right in his own backyard.

In a Facebook post on Saturday, Bustos said that he found a “red and black ant with peach fuzz and spines on its back” two years ago. He sent specimens to his friend from the University of the Philippines Los Baños and discovered that the species had not yet been known to exist in the Philippines.

“After sending specimens to my myrmecologist friend Dr. Dave General, ant taxonomist from University of the Philippines Los Baños, we were both surprised to discover that the species was Meranoplus bicolor, an ant that had not yet been known to exist in the Philippines, where I live,” he said.

The Filipino-Canadian content creator said his discovery is the 555th ant species to be documented in the country.

“I was surprised to find out today as I was doing more research on the species, that I've been credited for the geographical scientific discovery of the ant, which I am now raising a colony of, for the Philippines,” he shared. "So cool!"

“It officially became the 555th ant species to be documented in the country," he added. "I went on to name the ant Species # 555.”

In August, Bustos told CNN Philippines that the most popular of his three YouTube channels was AntsChannel, boasting of over 4.9 million subscribers.

"Most of the people who watch the AntChannel are people who are just curious about ants and aren't particularly passionate about insects. But I narrate it in such a way that it's storytelling, so anyone can relate. It's a lot of fun," he said on The Final Word.