Mycocepurus smithii
Central America


photograph © Alex Wild 2007

Mycocepurus fungus-growing ants hang their gardens in long strands from the ceiling of the nest chamber.  The ants feed the fungus with bits of dead vegetation and other detritus, and in turn the fungus comprises the sole food supply for these specialized ants.

Collected in Panama; Laboratory colony at the University of Texas.

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.