Pseudomyrmex spinicola - Acacia Ants

photograph © Alex Wild 2007

Among the most remarkable mutualisms is that between the Central American swollen-thorn Acacia trees and Pseudomyrmex ants.  The ants are obligate inhabitants of the Acacia and protect their host trees from herbivores and from competing plants.  The plants in return house and feed their protectors.  Here a worker ant drinks from one of the tree's many nactaries.

Panamá, Panamá.: Parque Natural Metropolitano
08º59.61'N 79º32.84'W 100m. 5.viii.2007
Rainforest, ants on Acacia melanocera.
#AW2929, 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 20D, using a Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens.