Pseudomyrmex spinicola - Acacia Ants

photograph © Alex Wild 2007

Swollen-thorn Acacia trees in Central America are protected by aggressive Pseudomyrmex ants. In return, the plants house the ants in specialized thorns and feed them with nectaries and protein-rich food bodies.  Here two worker ants harvest food bodies to feed their larvae.

Panamá, Chiriquí.: 3.5k ENE Caldera
08º39.53'N 82º20.94'W 300m. 2.viii.2007
Riparian forest, ants on swollen-thorn Acacia sp.
#AW2928, 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.