Lasius (Acanthomyops) californicus
Mojave National Preserve, California, USA

photograph © Alex Wild 2004

Symbiosis: Citronella ants tending subterranean mealybugs.  The ants derive much of their nutrition from mealybug secretions, and the mealybugs are protected and carried to new plants by their ant hosts.

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, using a Canon 65/2.8 MPE 1-5x Macro lens.