Solenopsis invicta - Red Imported Fire Ant
Texas, USA

photograph © Alex Wild 2006

Among the most damaging pest ant species is Solenopsis invicta, a fire ant native to South America.  This species has been accidentally imported to the southern United States, eastern Australia, China, and elsewhere.  Here a worker fire ant is shown in stereotypical defensive posture, her sting extruded, waving a droplet of venom in the air.

USA TX Travis Co.: Austin
140m 30º17´N 97º47´W 20.xi.2006

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 65/2.8 MPE 1-5x Macro lens.