Strumigenys louisianae - miniature trap-jaw ant
Arizona, USA

photograph © Alex Wild 2006

Among the oddest-looking North American ants are the cryptic predators in the genus Strumigenys.  This species, S. louisianae, is native to the southeastern U.S. south to Argentina but has been accidentally introduced to urban areas in Arizona and elsewhere.  The bizarre hairs on the head and body probably serve sensory and camouflage functions.

USA AZ Pima Co.: Tucson, UA campus.
750m 32º13.89´N 110º57.29´W 
28.ix.2006 Under stones, urban lawn.
M. Lanan, coll.  

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.