An amazing photo posted this week at Antweb shows a developing male Cerapachys ant inside the silken cocoon:
(Image by Erin Prado)
More than amazing – it’s haunting and inspirational.
Very wasp-like isn’t it? Is this one of the stinging ants?
For some reason, it reminds me of this.
I think they do sting. The simple addition of wings on males strongly recalls their relationship to wasps for me as well.
The sting must be a secondarily evolved structure, since it has been demonstrated that ants are derived from the Coleoptera.
Yes, the females of Cerapachys ants have well-developed stings.
But the males of even ants with vestigial stings can look quite waspy, such as this picture of a Formica male (from Alex Wild collection). This is a genus notorious for its substitution of spraying a jet of formic acid rather than stinging: http://www.alexanderwild.com/Ants/Natural-History/Male-Ants/9403446_ga7Wi#630200796_Ro6qW.
Damn you, and damn this site! It is only a matter of days now before I know I will convince myself that I need a macro lens more than, say, food…
And then, when I get it, I won’t come close to the quality of your photos. I suppose I can console myself in my weight loss.
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