Ant Acacia

photograph © Alex Wild 2007

Among the more remarkable mutualisms is the relationship between the Central American swollen-thorn Acacia and the Pseudomyrmex ants that protect it.  The numerous thorns on this tree host a populous colony of stinging ants.  The ants can be seen here running up and down the trunk.

Panamá, Chiriquí.: 3.5k ENE Caldera
08º39.53'N 82º20.94'W 300m. 2.viii.2007
Riparian forest, ants on swollen-thorn Acacia sp.
#AW2928, voucher specimens deposited at ALWC.

This image is copyrighted by the photographer and cannot be used without permission. To obtain permission to use this image, please email Alex Wild. (alwild (at)  Most of the photographs on are reduced from their original size and compressed for more efficient web transmission.  In some cases, higher quality versions are available.

This image was captured with a Canon EOS 20D, using a Canon 100mm f2.8 macro lens.