Much like industrialized human societies, the complex specialized society of various ant species produces a remarkable efficiency in producing and storing food resources. Where there is excess food resource, there are predators. Alongside the ant there have evolved a wide variety of beetles who live inside ant colonies to gain access to this food. They emit the same pheromones, specific to the species they live with, in order to trick the ants into accepting them as members. Some are vicious predators, eating eggs or workers directly. Others are more benign, using chemical signals to have foraging ants feed them.
Their name derives from the Greek word for ants myrmekes . In the Iliad the warriors of Achilles are said to be from a Thessalonian Greek tribe called Myrmidons, who according to myth spring from a race of people descended from ants.