Odontomachus coquereli - Trap-Jaw Ant

photograph © Alex Wild 2006

The partially-closed mandibles of an Odontomachus trap-jaw ant.  When the trap is set, the mandibles are held open at about 180º.  Notice the tiny mites riding on this ant's mandibles.  The mites are apparently able to hold tight even when the jaws of their host slam shut at high speed.

Madagascar, Antsiranana: Parc National de Marojejy, Manantenina River
450m 14º26´S 49º45´E 
13.xii.2005  Rainforest, ex rotting log.
Brian Fisher, coll., #BLF13619, voucher specimens deposited at CASC.

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.