Who says we can’t have both beetles and Pheidole on Friday?

megacephala13

A South African Sap Beetle (Nitidulidae) reacts to a swarm of Pheidole megacephala by retracting its legs and antennae, leaving little exposed but smooth chitin.  The ants have difficulty finding anything their mandibles can grab, even if they have the tank-like beetle surrounded.

photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 20D
ISO 100, 1/250 sec, f13, flash diffused through tracing paper