Myrmecocystus mexicanus - Mexican honeypot ant
Captive colony at the California Academy of Sciences
(from Southwestern North America)

photograph © Alex Wild 2004

Honeypot ants have an unusual food storage system.  Some members of each colony act as living receptacles known as "repletes", these ants become engorged with food and hang from the ceilings of chambers deep underground. 

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 100mm 2.8 Macro USM lens.