Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Carpenter ant - Camponotus sp.

Carpenter ant - Camponotus sp., originally uploaded by imarsman.

This season I've been particularly engrossed by ants. Mostly I've taken photos of the False Honey ant (in spring and fall when they are active), and the Acrobat ant (very interesting behaviours and body morphology). I haven't gotten any shots of Carpenter ants, that is, until yesterday when I found one grooming aphids and feeding on their nectar.

This ant and the aphids were on the underside of a leaf (basswod I think, a tree noted for its attractiveness to sap-feeding insects). I turned it over and took lots of photos. Gravity means nothing to these creatures. Since I could move and hold the leaf as I pleased I was able to get some shots at face level that are otherwise difficult to get, including this good profile shot.

I bumped up the temperature a bit, as the late afternoon time of the shot desaturated things. You can see its glossa (tongue parts) at the base of its head. I love the way its left rear leg stretches out.