Leptomyrmex darlingtoni (light form)
Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, Australia

photograph © Alex Wild 2004

A Leptomyrmex ant climbs a small bush with a larva after the photographer has disturbed her nest.  This photograph illustrates two interesting aspects of this species.  First, the greatly distended gaster indicates that this ant is a replete, who functions within the nest as a living storage chamber for liquids. Second, this absconding behavior, where ants carry brood away from the nest upon disturbance, is possibly a defense against attacks by subterranean army ants.

Australia, QLD: Mungkan Kandju National Park
28 km NNE Coen, McIlwraith range
24.viii.2004, 13º42.796'S 143º18.924'E, 420m
Araucaria cunninghami forest.
#AW2500, 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 D60, with a Canon 65/2.8 MPE 1-5x Macro lens.