Proceratium californicum
Jasper Ridge Biological Reserve, San Mateo Co., California, USA

photograph © Alex Wild 2004

Ants of the subfamily Proceratiinae are recognizeable by their distinctive abdomens. Abdominal segment IV is greatly enlarged, and the tip of the abdomen is tucked underneath, facing forward.  This bizarre morphology is probably an adaptation to the specialist predatory habits of this ant. 

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.