An unusually festive jumping ant from a laboratory colony at Arizona State University.  Researchers mark ants with unique patterns of paint to keep track of individuals for studies of ant behavior.
This shot wasn't too difficult.  The ant was following my finger about menacingly, as seen here, so I only needed to lift my hand just above the viewing frame to get her to pose.
Harpegnathos saltator - Jumping Ant I thought I would have to travel all the way to India (the horror!) to photograph one of the world's most charming insects, the jumping ant Harpegnathos saltator. But I recently learned that myrmecologist Juergen Liebig, a professor at Arizona State University, maintains dozens of captive colonies in his lab in Phoenix. Juergen studies these ants' rather unusual behavior. Unlike most ants that show a clear division between reproductive queens and sterile workers, Harpegnathos workers can mate and produce fertile offspring, leading to soap opera-style…