Cephalotes rohweri - Turtle Ant
Arizona, USA

photograph © Alex Wild 2007

Arboreal ants of the genus Cephalotes inhabit pre-existing cavities drilled into wood by other insects.  Breaking open a dead branch on a Palo Verde tree reveals a colony in an old beetle hole.  Notice the size and shape difference between the major (left) and minor workers.  The majors use their large heads to block the nest entrance.

USA AZ Pima Co.: Tucson Mountains
32º03'N 111º06'W 950m. 7.ix.2007.
Ex Parkinsonia Palo Verde tree, Sonoran Desert.
#AW2933, voucher specimens deposited at ALWC.

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.