Ants clean up the remains of Brood XIX

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With the inferno summer sweltering on here in Illinois, the last of the Brood XIX 13-year periodical cicadas have dropped. We won’t be hearing them again until 2024, but their biomass is already filtering back through the forest ecosystem. I recently caught Camponotus chromaiodes in the act of scavenging the carcasses.


photo details:
(top)Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x lens on a Canon EOS 50D
ISO 100, f/13, 1/250 sec, diffuse twin flash

(bottom)Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro lens on a Canon EOS 50D
ISO 100, f/14, 1/200 sec, diffuse overhead flash

6 thoughts on “Ants clean up the remains of Brood XIX”

    1. Beats a mile high glacier bearing down on Chicago and New York by a long shot, LOL. Now THAT would truly be terrifying since at least summer goes away in a few months.

  1. It’s hard to appreciate how many Camponotus there are in the world (species, yes, but here I mean individuals). At this hot time of year they become very active, but mostly only after it becomes fully dark. When it 90F outside at 10 pm, walking across a university campus or other place with both trees and paved and lighted walkways will reveal them running all over the place in surprising numbers!

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