Up close and personal with Myrmecia

Bull ants (Myrmecia spp.) aren’t the easiest creatures to get portraits of. They are very alert and the larger species are quite aggressive and will defend themselves and their nest vigorously. I have, on occasion, been lucky to get close enough for a portrait and I share my favourite photos below.

Thou shall not pass!

The Sentinel II

The sentinel

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7 Responses to Up close and personal with Myrmecia

  1. tommy says:

    Great pics! It’s weird, but I have never noticed all the setae on the mandibles before. I guess I have just been distracted by all the “teeth.”

  2. Laurie says:

    Fantastic wild shots of great looking ants… Wish we had some with jaws like this in the UK! :)

    You’d think those hairs in the jaws would be damaged if they clamped on something, but I guess not?

    • myrmician says:

      Thanks! As far as I know, the setae are hollow and can move slightly, which may prevent them from breaking when the mandibles are used. Although, I am sure some break off now and then.

      • tommy says:

        It seems to me that the bases of the setae are on the top and bottom of the mandible, with the setae curling into the gap between the mandibles. So I bet they easily move out of the way before they break. Besides, I’m pretty sure they are generally pretty flexible (with many exceptions, I’m sure), hair-like if you will ;)

  3. Henry W. Robison says:

    Wonderful pics of these ants! The “teeth” on the fantastic jaws are really awesome! You really captured these guys at their fiercest!

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