Azteca alfari Cecropia Ants with Odontomachus Trap-Jaw Ant

photograph © Alex Wild 2007

Cecropia ants guard their tree zealously against intruders.  Working together, they surround and immobilize their opponents by pinning down their appendages.  This trap-jaw ant had a trick up her sleeve, however.  She escaped shortly after this photo was snapped by slamming her mandibles shut with enough force to propel her from the tree and out of the territory of the Azteca.

Panamá: Canal Zone. Gamboa.
9.1177ºN 79.6959ºW 50m
vii.2007 Secondary forest edge.
#AW2922, 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 65mm MP-E 1-5x macro lens.