Cephalotes atratus - Giant Gliding Ant

photograph © Alex Wild 2007

Portrait of a Cephalotes worker.  This large, attractive species is a common inhabitant of rainforest canopies from Panama to Argentina.  Notice the enlarged, flattened segments of the mid and hind legs.  These structures presumably help the ants control their gliding flights back to tree trunks.

Panamá: Canal Zone. Gamboa.
9.1177ºN 79.6959ºW 50m
vii.2007 Secondary forest edge.

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 100mm f2.8 macro lens.