Ectatomma tuberculatum

photograph © Alex Wild 2007

Many plant species employ ants for protection from herbivores, usually offering ants food or shelter in return.  Here, two Ectatomma workers take nectar from a gland on an Inga leaf whose sole function appears to be to feed ants.

Panamá: Canal Zone. Pipeline Road.
9.14ºN 79.72ºW 80m
vii.2007 Rainforest understory, ants tending nectaries on Inga sp.

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.