I hadn't anticipated that my keen readers would try to guess the *species* of the aforementioned oddity, but since the guessing has headed in that direction I'll post this hint, which shows the much more commonly seen worker caste of our little mystery bug.
Stakes are now at, um, 15 points. Yeah.
Oh, I just noticed the mandibles of the monster in the new shot. The fact that it has all the head appendages (antennae, mandibles, etc) male-like is pure awesome.
(hey, do you have some protists for me to identify? ^.^)
I'm sure most of my photos contain protists, somewhere. You just have to squint.
Sure looks like a Hypoponera to me too, but I'll zero in on cryptopone (because this distance it certainly is cryptic) . Must admit, I've never taken a close look at a male's head before coz the wings are such a giveaway. I learnt something valuable today!
Without a relative size comparison, and a good look at the eye, spurs, and overall "hairiness" the worker could also pass as Pachycondyla stigma...
That certainly looks like a worker and an ergatoid male of Hypoponera opacior. Now all I need is for someone to tell me how this species is discriminated from the Old World Hypoponera eduardi.