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Pictures of Ants

All pictures on this page are copyright by Daniel Kronauer. You are welcome to use the pictures for non-commercial purposes such as lectures and scientific publications as long as you notify me beforehand that you are going to use the pictures (dkronauer"at"rockefeller.edu) and you present them with proper attribution. I will be happy to provide high resolution versions and more detailed information on the pictures upon request. Click on images to enlarge.
Pictures from lab outings and fieldwork can be found on our Facebook page: 


Our main study systems - army ants and their relatives:

Ian Butler with Driver Ant Yes, we do have driver ants in the lab...
The queenless parthenogenetic ant Cerapachys biroi (subfamily Cerapachyinae) shows army ant-like behavior and is one of the main study systems in our group. The species is a native of Asia and has been introduced globally on tropical and subtropical islands.
The army ant Eciton burchellii (subfamily Ecitoninae) does not build permanent nests but instead forms so-called bivouacs, made up entirely of the live ants themselves. Bivouac nests are often suspended from buttress roots or fallen tree trunks. While the ants hunt during the day, the bicouac comes down at night and the entire colony emigrates to a new nest site. Parque Nacional Henri Pittier, Venezuela.
A newly eclosed Eciton burchellii male walking in the emigration column of its mother colony. A reproductive brood of army ants typically contains several thousand males and just a few young queens. The males disperse on the wing to mate. Have you noticed the Cephaloplectus beetles hitching a ride? Parque Nacional Henri Pittier, Venezuela.
The Eciton burchellii queen walks in the nightly emigrations. Army ant queens are permanently wingless and never leave the colony. Large colonies reproduce by fission, and each daughter colony retains a single queen which mates inside the colony with ca. twenty males. Rio Cristalino, Brazil.
An Eciton burchellii soldier guarding are raiding column. Soldiers of this species have impressive, saber-shaped mandibles, which probably evolved to defend the colony against potential predators. Rio Cristalino, Brazil.
  A raiding column of Eciton burchellii army ants returning to the bivouac. Sao Gabriel da Cachoeira, Brazil.
  Eciton rapax has much smaller colonies than Eciton burchellii and lacks the distinct soldier caste. The species is most easily recognized by the bright golden abdomen. Rio Cristalino, Brazil.
Colonies of the African army ant Dorylus (Anomma) wilverthi (subfamily Dorylinae) contain several million individuals and are among the largest insect societies on earth. In this picture, two soldiers are guarding an emigration column (note the worker carrying a white pupa in the background). Kakamega Forest, Kenya.
A Dorylus (Anomma) wilverthi soldier guarding an emigration column at Kakamega Forest.
A caterpillar falling prey to a Dorylus (Anomma) wilverthi swarm raid at Kakamega Forest.
A Dorylus (Anomma) wilverthi worker attacking an earthworm. Kakamega Forest, Kenya.
Most army ant species are subterranean and can usually not be observed above ground. These Dorylus (Rhogmus) fimbriatus workers surfaced after heavy rains and are shown here attacking a grub. Kakamega Forest, Kenya.
Army ant soldiers have forceful mandibles and can inflict painful bites. Here, a Dorylus (Anomma) wilverthi soldier is biting the thumb of the photographer.
  Unlike Eciton burchellii, African swarm raiding army ants of the genus Dorylus usually cover their raiding and emigration columns partially or entirely with soil. The picture shows a short section of a raiding column of Dorylus (Anomma) wilverthi at Kakamega Forest, Kenya. The entire column measured over 100m in length.
  Colonies of Dorylus (Anomma) wilverthi often construct their bivouac nests in preformed subterranean cavities, such as mammal burrows. However, while expanding their temporary nest, the ants often bring large amounts of soil to the surface. Kakamega Forest, Kenya. 
With up to six centimeters in body length, Dorylus queens are the largest ants in the world. This picture shows the queen of Dorylus (Anomma) molestus. Mount Kenya, Kenya.
 
Some other ants:

Dracula ants (subfamily Amblyoponinae; genus Stigmatomma) are specialized predators of centipedes. The name stems from the ants’ habit of feeding on larval hemolymph. Walden Pond, Massachusetts.
Citronella ants (subfamily Formicinae; genus Lasius (Acanthomyops)) are also being studied in the lab. They tend root aphids and mealybugs in underground chambers. Walden Pond, Massachusetts.
  Many Pseudomyrmex ants (subfamily Pseudomyrmecinae) form mutualistic relationships with plants, in which the plants provide the ants with nest cavities and food, while the ants in turn defend the plants against herbivores. This Pseudomyrmex species inhabits a Novato tree (Triplaris formicosa) in the Brazilian Pantanal.
 A look inside the branch of the Novato tree reveals the ants' brood.
Other Pseudomyrmex species nest in the soil. This worker is leaving the funnel-shaped nest entrance. Lencois, Brazil.
  Daceton (subfamily Myrmicinae) are predatory canopy ants of the Amazon Basin with impressive trap-mandibles. Floresta de Tapajos, Brazil.
  Closeup of a large Daceton worker with open trap-mandibles. The closing reflex is triggered when a prey insect touches the fine sensory hairs on the mandibles. Floresta de Tapajos, Brazil.
In a striking example of convergent evolution, trap-mandibles have also evolved in the genus Odontomachus (subfamily Ponerinae), which is only distantly related to Daceton. Sao Gabriel da Cachoeira, Brazil.
A Pachycondyla ant (subfamily Ponerinae) has been infected and killed by a Cordyceps fungus, which now grows out of the ant's head and limbs. The fungus alters the ant’s behaviour so that it climbs up vegetation and attaches there before it dies. This presumably helps the fungus to disperse. San Carlos de Rio Negro, Venezuela.
  David and Goliath in the ant world: Crematogaster (subfamily Myrmicinae) workers feed on the carcass of a much larger Paraponera clavata bullet ant (subfamily Paraponerinae). San Carlos de Rio Negro, Venezuela.
  Ectatomma workers tending membracids for honeydew. Sao Gabriel da Cachoeira, Brazil.
  A Formica (subfamily Formicinae) nest mound in the Swiss Alps. Derborence, Switzerland.
Formica worker on the nest mound. Lac de Tanney, Switzerland.
Cephalotes (subfamily Myrmicinae) turtle ant tending a caterpillar for sugary secretions. Alter do Chao, Brazil.