Mycetarotes sp.

photograph © Alex Wild 2007

Inside the fungus garden of a Mycetarotes species from Argentina.  Male ants, seen here as the winged, dark-colored individuals, perform no labor in the colony, serving instead to disperse the colonies' genes during periodic mating flights outside the nest.

Argentina: Parque Nacional Iguazu.
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.