Odontomachus clarus - Trap-Jaw Ant
Arizona, USA

photograph © Alex Wild 2005

A trap-jaw ant with her mandibles closed.  When open, the mandibles span 180º and snap shut on a hair-trigger.  The closing of the jaws is one of the fastest recorded motions in the animal kingdom.

USA AZ Cochise Co.: Southwestern Research Station, Chiricahua Mtns., 7km WSW Portal
1650m 31º53´N 109º12´W 
6.viii.2005  Oak-juniper woodland.   #AW2691, voucher specimen 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.