Drama on the sidewalk

The two most conspicuous insects on our front walkway are Lasioglossum soil-nesting bees and Tetramorium pavement ants. Their co-existence is tenuous. Pavement ants are predatory, and yesterday afternoon I snapped this series of a bee in trouble.

As if there wasn’t enough action, a little Solenopsis molesta thief ant- also predatory- took advantage of the confusion to have a go at a distracted pavement ant:


photo details:
Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro on a Canon EOS 7D
ISO 100, f/13, 1/250 sec
diffused twin flash

6 thoughts on “Drama on the sidewalk”

  1. Bee -> Pavement Ant -> Thief Ant makes a nice progression of sizes. I didn’t realize that thief ants were so small.

  2. Does the thief ant have a chance? What’s its strategy? Precision strike? And if so, can it drag an ant that size without getting caught by the other pavement ants? It looks like a suicide mission to me.

    1. A suicide mission it was, too. I wish I’d captured the full sequence, but shortly after I got that shot another pavement ant nearly sliced the thief ant in two.

      I suspect thief ants are better at this sort of thing underground, and in larger numbers. This lone ant bit off more than it could chew, so to speak.

  3. Amazing that with all that was going on, that you even saw the thief ant. I usually spot that sort of thing when I’m viewing the photographs after I download them.

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