Brachymyrmex patagonicus
Arizona, USA

photograph © Alex Wild 2007

Many species of barrel cactus (Ferocactus sp.) have nectaries at the base of their spines.  These nectaries are used to attract ants which can help protect the plant from herbivores.  Here two tiny Brachymyrmex ants feed from a nectary.

USA AZ Pima Co.: Tucson
730m 32º14.3´N 110º58.0´W 
10.ii.2007 Urban Lot, ex Opuntia

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.