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Social Predation - Army Ants (31) More files... by Christian Ziegler
Army ants are thought of as the most complex of all ant species. Their fast and detailed chemical communication enables the colony of several hundred thousands of ant worked to act almost as one single organism. The new world army ants are especially well studied and display fascinating and unique behaviors such as swarm raiding (swarms can be several hundred thousand individuals and more then 50 feet wide on the forest floor) in which the ants overwhelm much larger prey items, daily migrations and change of nest site, building temporary nests, so called bivouacs out of ant bodies. According to recent studies, different species show strong prey preferences and thus have different impact on the ecosystem. As efficient predators, they are a key stone species in neotropical rainforests. Further they support a lot of organisms such as many species of birds, known as ant birds, that follow swarms and feed on the flushed insects. An large number of arthropod species, such as beetles, mites, centipedes and others live in the colonies of army ants as so-called guests.
The images of this story cover extensively all above mentioned aspects of army ant biology, including the never before documented split of a colony (their way to reproduce), as well as ant birds, guests, and research of some of the leading army ant experts.
Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) portrait of a soldier with large mandibles, Barro Colorado Island, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
00760018
00760018 Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) portrait of a soldier with large mandibles, Barro Colorado Island, Panama© Christian Ziegler
Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) colony forming a bridge by climbing over each other, some are carrying food back to nest, Barro Colorado Island, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
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00760086 Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) colony forming a bridge by climbing over each other, some are carrying food back to nest, Barro Colorado Island, Panama© Christian Ziegler
Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) colony forming a bridge by climbing over each other, Barro Colorado Island, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
00760087
00760087 Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) colony forming a bridge by climbing over each other, Barro Colorado Island, Panama© Christian Ziegler
Army Ant (Eciton sp) colony forming a bridge by climbing over each other, Barro Colorado Island, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
00760026
00760026 Army Ant (Eciton sp) colony forming a bridge by climbing over each other, Barro Colorado Island, Panama© Christian Ziegler
Army Ant (Eciton burchellii) a small ant bridge at the edge of a temporary nest, Barro Colorado Island, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
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00760088 Army Ant (Eciton burchellii) a small ant bridge at the edge of a temporary nest, Barro Colorado Island, Panama© Christian Ziegler
Army Ant (Eciton sp) bivouac (temporary nest) made of hundreds of thousands of ant bodies, Soberania National Park, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
00760184
00760184 Army Ant (Eciton sp) bivouac (temporary nest) made of hundreds of thousands of ant bodies, Soberania National Park, Panama© Christian Ziegler
Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) swarm, Barro Colorado Island, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
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00760104 Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) swarm, Barro Colorado Island, Panama© Christian Ziegler
Army Ant (Eciton burchellii) emigration of the colony, this species relocates every night and workers transport the larvae and food, Barro Colorado Island, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
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00760190 Army Ant (Eciton burchellii) emigration of the colony, this species relocates every night and workers transport the larvae and food, Barro Colorado Island, Panama© Christian Ziegler
Army Ant (Eciton burchellii) emigration of the colony, this species relocates every night and workers transport the larvae and food, Barro Colorado Island, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
00760198
00760198 Army Ant (Eciton burchellii) emigration of the colony, this species relocates every night and workers transport the larvae and food, Barro Colorado Island, Panama© Christian Ziegler
Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) migration of a colony, this species relocates every night and workers transport the larvae and food, Barro Colorado Island, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
00760136
00760136 Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) migration of a colony, this species relocates every night and workers transport the larvae and food, Barro Colorado Island, Panama© Christian Ziegler
Army Ant (Eciton sp) colony emigration, this species relocates every night and workers transport the larvae and food. Barro Colorado Island, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
00760141
00760141 Army Ant (Eciton sp) colony emigration, this species relocates every night and workers transport the larvae and food. Barro Colorado Island, Panama© Christian Ziegler
Army Ant (Eciton sp) raiding a nest of killer bees on Barro Colorado Island, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
00760154
00760154 Army Ant (Eciton sp) raiding a nest of killer bees on Barro Colorado Island, Panama© Christian Ziegler
Army Ant (Eciton sp) emigration of a colony. This species relocates every night and workers transport the larvae and food, Barro Colorado Island, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
00760169
00760169 Army Ant (Eciton sp) emigration of a colony. This species relocates every night and workers transport the larvae and food, Barro Colorado Island, Panama© Christian Ziegler
Army Ant (Eciton sp) swarm raid, Soberania National Park, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
00760167
00760167 Army Ant (Eciton sp) swarm raid, Soberania National Park, Panama© Christian Ziegler
Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) bridge made by ants during a raid, Barro Colorado Island, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
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00760129 Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) bridge made by ants during a raid, Barro Colorado Island, Panama© Christian Ziegler
Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) colony forms a bridge by clinging together, Barro Colorado Island, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
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00760107 Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) colony forms a bridge by clinging together, Barro Colorado Island, Panama© Christian Ziegler
Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) colony forms a bridge by clinging together, Barro Colorado Island, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
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00760109 Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) colony forms a bridge by clinging together, Barro Colorado Island, Panama© Christian Ziegler
Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) temporary nest called a bivouac, workers bringing in wasp larvae as food, Barro Colorado Island, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
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00760083 Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) temporary nest called a bivouac, workers bringing in wasp larvae as food, Barro Colorado Island, Panama© Christian Ziegler
Army Ant (Eciton burchellii) raiding a nest of killer bees, Barro Colorado Island, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
00760152
00760152 Army Ant (Eciton burchellii) raiding a nest of killer bees, Barro Colorado Island, Panama© Christian Ziegler
Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) raid, swarming the forest floor up to 50 feet wide, Barro Colorado Island, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
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00760078 Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) raid, swarming the forest floor up to 50 feet wide, Barro Colorado Island, Panama© Christian Ziegler
Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) attack caterpillar during a raid, Barro Colorado Island, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
00760013
00760013 Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) attack caterpillar during a raid, Barro Colorado Island, Panama© Christian Ziegler
Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) food cache where food is stored during a raid to be more efficient in transporting food back to nest, Barro Colorado Island, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
00760011
00760011 Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) food cache where food is stored during a raid to be more efficient in transporting food back to nest, Barro Colorado Island, Panama© Christian Ziegler
Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) swarm attacking and killing scorpion, Barro Colorado Island, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
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00760108 Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) swarm attacking and killing scorpion, Barro Colorado Island, Panama© Christian Ziegler
Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) workers with huge mandibles guarding nest entrance, Barro Colorado Island, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
00760105
00760105 Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) workers with huge mandibles guarding nest entrance, Barro Colorado Island, Panama© Christian Ziegler
Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) guarding their own brood during an emigration between two nest sites, Barro Colorado Island, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
00760084
00760084 Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) guarding their own brood during an emigration between two nest sites, Barro Colorado Island, Panama© Christian Ziegler
Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) food cache of army ants, where food is stored during a raid to be more efficient in transporting food back to nest, Barro Colorado Island, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
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00760077 Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) food cache of army ants, where food is stored during a raid to be more efficient in transporting food back to nest, Barro Colorado Island, Panama© Christian Ziegler
Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) teamwork in food transportation, a large wasp pupae is carried by several workers, Barro Colorado Island, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
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00760081 Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) teamwork in food transportation, a large wasp pupae is carried by several workers, Barro Colorado Island, Panama© Christian Ziegler
Army Ant (Eciton sp) detail of a temporary nest during a colony split, visible are the large pupal cases of the male Ants, Barro Colorado Island, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
00760032
00760032 Army Ant (Eciton sp) detail of a temporary nest during a colony split, visible are the large pupal cases of the male Ants, Barro Colorado Island, Panama© Christian Ziegler
Army Ant (Eciton burchellii) raiding a nest of killer bees, Barro Colorado Island, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
00760153
00760153 Army Ant (Eciton burchellii) raiding a nest of killer bees, Barro Colorado Island, Panama© Christian Ziegler
Army Ant (Eciton burchellii) raiding a nest of killer bees, Barro Colorado Island, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
00760151
00760151 Army Ant (Eciton burchellii) raiding a nest of killer bees, Barro Colorado Island, Panama© Christian Ziegler
Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) raiding a paper wasp nest and pulling the larvae out of their cells, Barro Colorado Island, Panama  -  Christian Ziegler
00760082
00760082 Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) raiding a paper wasp nest and pulling the larvae out of their cells, Barro Colorado Island, Panama© Christian Ziegler
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