Takashi Komatsu travelled to the Amazon earlier this year and did a phenomenal job capturing photographs of the rich entourage of arthropods that travels with army ants. For example: Go see the rest of the series.
Posts Tagged ‘army ants’
Today is not only the final day of Army Ant Week, but Charles Darwin‘s 202nd birthday. So I close Army Ant Week with a bit of speculation about evolution, and what army ants suggest about the nature of the evolutionary process. The 300 or so army ant species vary in behavior, but most are specialized [...]
In the comments, myrmecologist James Trager notes: A serious question, though, have you ever seen these soldiers eat? I have not and always wondered how they go about it. Come to think of it, I don’t have much recollection of seeing any army ants eating. I have never seen a soldier or a queen army [...]
Last year army ant guru Carl Rettenmeyer posthumously published a paper documenting the tremendous diversity of animals associated with Eciton burchellii. Over 500, in fact. Eciton burchellii has a larger known entourage than any other species of animal. Although Eciton‘s associates are the best documented, all army ant species have them. Ant colonies represent a [...]
The frenetic action of the army ant lifestyle invites spectacular photography. There’s the rush of the raid, the evisceration of prey, the bravado of flanking soldiers, and the entourage of flies, beetles, and antbirds. But shooting these subjects- here I refer explicitly to Eciton- is different than general insect photography. The problems are four-fold:
A while back this video was making the rounds: It’s a self-reinforcing circular mill composed of- now here’s a change of pace! – army ants. I thought I’d reintroduce it in honor of this week’s festivities. The species is Labidus praedator, a swarm-raiding army ant from Central and South America, and these circular mills are [...]