Photo Synthesis

Agrarian Ants

Today, Roche announced funding for over a dozen genomes of organisms associated with the agricultural attine ants and the fungus they cultivate. In honor of the occasion, here’s a sampling of a few of the attine species and their gardens.

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Acromyrmex sp. nr. crassispinus, Argentina.

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The fungus of the texan species Mycetosoritis hartmanni is grown on a substrate of caterpillar frass. Not all the attines are leaf-cutters!

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Acromyrmex lundii, Argentina.

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Apterostigma auriculatum, Panama.

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Atta texana, Texas.

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Cyphomyrmex wheeleri, Arizona.

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Trachymyrmex pomonae, Arizona.

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The parthenogenetic Mycocepurus smithii, Panama.

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Atta cephalotes in the fungus garden.

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Atta cephalotes, Panama.

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Sericomyrmex sp., Panama.

Comments

  1. #1 Coturnix
    April 30, 2009

    Cool pictures – as always. Just wondering if you saw this paper and if so what you think about it?

  2. #2 samantha
    April 30, 2009

    I’m just curious – how far do you have to travel to get so many varieties of insects? Or, maybe more pertinently, how much variety of insects could a (very) amateur photographer capture within a block or two of their home? A mile?

    Thanks! Love the insect pix!

  3. #3 TEO
    April 30, 2009

    Great shots, Alex. I especially like the Acromyrmex lundii shot, since there´s a lot of them in my city (I´m from Argentina). Nice focusing too… since I read about the Canon MP-E 65mm, I can imagine what a pain it must be to get a sharp focus like that.

    Saludos from the south!

  4. #4 glen
    May 1, 2009

    How the #@$& did you get the picture of the mold growing on caterpillar frass? Or the one that looks like a stalactite? That ain’t no Toys-R-Us ant farm…

  5. #5 Tim Eisele
    May 1, 2009

    Samantha: You’d be surprised how many kinds of insects you can find in your own yard. As a (very) amateur myself, I’ve photographed over 100 distinct kinds of bugs in my yard, and this isn’t even a start – there are hundreds more that I just haven’t gotten around to photographing yet.

  6. #6 metin2
    May 16, 2010

    there are hundreds more that I just haven’t gotten around to photographing yet.thanks..

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