Solenopsis invicta - red imported fire ant mound
Texas, USA

photograph © Alex Wild 2007

Fire ants build distinctive, dome-shaped mounds.  Nest-building is most active after rains, and when the soil dries the mound hardens into a protective shell for the colony.  Mounds also capture heat from the sun, speeding the development of the ants' brood.

USA TX Travis Co.: Austin
140m 30º17´N 97º47´W 21.iii.2007

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 17-40mm f4.0 wide-angle lens.