Amazon Pics Part 75

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Moebius
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Amazon Pics Part 75

Post by Moebius »

First one is a boring overhead shot, but look at the rear legs on that guy!

Image

This photo was heavily underexposed and I tried to salvage it through levels/curves/shadows. Still doesn't look quite right.

Image

Image

Ken Nelson
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crotermund
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Post by crotermund »

I kind of like the first shot, Ken. He looks like some type of wasp to me. That almost looks like a face on his back. The 2nd one doesn't look right to me either. The background looks kind of like a watercolor or something. In the 3rd shot, a quick glance might make one think the wing belongs to the ant instead of whatever he might be eating. He is a cool looking ant, though. Perhaps Gordon or Betty will recognize him.
Craig Rotermund
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Moebius
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Post by Moebius »

Oh, the wings do belong to the ant; I have other perspectives that show this clearly. What he is eating or carrying appears to be an egg-like object.

Ken

crotermund
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Post by crotermund »

Oops! :shock: My mistake, then. Something about the wing in the picture looks like it isn't really attached to the ant or maybe it is because the other wing is difficult to see.
Craig Rotermund
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Gordon C. Snelling
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Post by Gordon C. Snelling »

Ken
Any other pictures of the ant?? Great shots. The wasp in the first picture is a parasitic species which alas I am going blank as to the genus.

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Moebius wrote:Oh, the wings do belong to the ant; I have other perspectives that show this clearly. What he is eating or carrying appears to be an egg-like object.

Ken
Perhaps the ant is a prince or princess? The princesses routinely shed (clip off) their wings after mating, before starting a new colony. The body shape of this one doesn't really look like a princess to me, but perhaps a damaged prince? Or on the other hand maybe it is a princess -- I have no experience at all with Amazonian ants!

--Rik

Planapo
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Post by Planapo »

As Rik already pointed out, the ant is not a worker because the worker morph of ants does not possess wings and the typical mesosoma to support the wings and their muscles one recognizes on the photo. Though the end tip of the gaster isn´t shown, some other morphological traits that can be seen indicate that it isn´t a typical male. It is most probably a young queen since normally males die shortly after the nuptial flight without having shed their wings.

So most probably this young queen has ended her nuptial flight not long ago, is in the process of wing-shedding and further trying to pass her genes to a new generation one day, depending on the species that means to found a new colony or to join an existing colony in one or another way (Note, there are several different ways in such a large and diverse taxon as the ants).

Interestingly, on Ken´s photo it looks as if the young queen is holding something in her mandibles.
Now, this behaviour provides matter for speculation:
It could mean that she is foraging and that it is a food item. Young queens do that, e.g. when they found a new colony in a mode that is called semiclaustral.
But there could be another possible and yet more absorbing, though highly speculative way of explanation: As you know, quite a lot of ant species are tending plant sucking insects in a mutualistic relationship. A young queen of such a species that is founding a new colony faces the problem of providing with new such "cattle".
In fact it has been reported repeatedly that young queens of some ant species carry a specimen of the insects used as cattle with them on the nuptial flight . (One could compare this to a farmer´s daughter who takes a cow as dowry with her. Most fascinating, isn´t it!?).
So the queen on the photo might carry such a plant sucking insect but as one can´t identify what species/genus of ant it is and what she is actually carrying I wanna stress again that this explanation is highly speculative but hopefully provided you with some intriguing facts of ant biology at least. :wink:

Best wishes,
Betty

Gordon C. Snelling
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Post by Gordon C. Snelling »

I have to agree with Betty, this is a dealate queen Ectatomma, Ponerine. Not sure which species though although it may be E.. edentatum.

beetleman
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Post by beetleman »

Ken, I don`t know, I do not see anything boring about the first picture at all, that is one beautiful wasp(must be the scientist in me). All three are amazing and I love all this added information from Betty, Gordon and Rik. Just wonderful \:D/ :smt023. I would have to agree on her being a queen. The thorax is very large and humped....Do leaf cutter ants bring a piece of fungus with them to start a fungus garden???
Take Nothing but Pictures--Leave Nothing but Footprints.
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Gordon C. Snelling
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Post by Gordon C. Snelling »

Yes leafcutters typically do carry a bit of the old fungus garden with them.

Moebius
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Post by Moebius »

If it will help, here are two more views. Not much processing or glare removal included on these.

Image

Image

Ken

Danny
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Post by Danny »

Nothing wrong in the way you shoot Ken. :wink: All great shots. I just love that first shot. Thats quite unique. You also got some great coloured reflections bouncing off those wings. love to see that when it happens. Very nice. The ants are just awesome. Sharp and detailed. Well done :D :wink:

Danny.
Worry about the image that comes out of the box, rather than the box itself.

Ken Ramos
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Post by Ken Ramos »

I really like the second set of ant shots, they are much more definitive and the egg or whatever it has is much more clearly seen. I know little about insect life cycles and behavior, so information like that which has been posted in relation to your images is quite interesting indeed. Thanks to those who really brought out some interesting information. Great shots there Ken :D and maybe it is just my untrained eye but the butterfly looks quite good to me, as for the wasp in the first…you know I once dated a girl with legs like that, many years ago of course. :lol:

Planapo
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Post by Planapo »

Gordon wrote:
I have to agree with Betty, this is a dealate queen Ectatomma, Ponerine.
Well, I have written neither Ectatomma nor Ponerine and from the Ectatomma that I´ve seen so far I can´t see what makes one think of this genus. But we agree on a partially dealate queen.

Having a close look on the second and third picture of the ant, I think I can recognize, though in a slant view, propodeal spines and the petiole.
Together with characteristics of the gaster shown on the first picture and the pretty sculptured integument I am reminded of some neoptropical Dolichoderus species that I´ve seen.

Gordon, what do you think?
(Asks Betty who is, as always, willing to learn and hoping not to become the bugbear of the boards. Oh, yet another bug ... :smt118 Argh! :wink: :D )

Kind regards.
Betty

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