An amazing photo posted this week at Antweb shows a developing male Cerapachys ant inside the silken cocoon:


(Image by Erin Prado)


  1. #1 Adrian Thysse
    May 4, 2010

    More than amazing – it’s haunting and inspirational.
    Very wasp-like isn’t it? Is this one of the stinging ants?

  2. #2 Alex Wild
    May 4, 2010

    For some reason, it reminds me of this.

  3. #3 Bob Kallal
    May 4, 2010

    I think they do sting. The simple addition of wings on males strongly recalls their relationship to wasps for me as well.

  4. #4 Ted C. MacRae
    May 4, 2010

    The sting must be a secondarily evolved structure, since it has been demonstrated that ants are derived from the Coleoptera. 🙂

  5. #5 James C. Trager
    May 4, 2010

    @ Adrian:

    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:

  6. #6 Anon
    May 4, 2010

    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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