Bull ants: not as invincible as I thought

I had always thought of Bull ants (Myrmecia spp.) as the kings queens of the jungle undergrowth. They are highly aggressive ants, with extremely good vision, a pair of powerful mandibles and a potent sting at their disposal. It is hard to imagine any other predatory arthropod taking one on and coming away unscathed. So you can imagine my surprise when I happened across the scene below.

Insidious!

The culprit is a bark-dwelling thomisid in the genus Tharpyna. At one third the size of the M. desertorum worker it is a most impressive feat on the part of this spider. Some thomisids are known for their ability to capture prey much larger than themselves and this is a wonderful example of that in action.

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4 Responses to Bull ants: not as invincible as I thought

  1. myrmecos says:

    Hey, welcome to the blogosphere!

  2. Pete Yeeles says:

    Have to admit at first glance I thought you had the focus off!

    Great photo.

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