Cephalotes atratus - Giant Gliding Ant

photograph © Alex Wild 2007

A gliding ant in mid-air.  Rainforest canopy ants risk losing contact with their colonies if they fall from their home trees to the dark, alien forest floor some 30-40 meters below.  Some canopy species, such as this Cephalotes, are able to guard against getting lost by gliding back to the tree trunk.  More information about the gliding ants- and videos of this unusual behavior- can be found here:  Steve Yanoviak's Gliding Ants page.

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.