Trap-Jaw Ant

Scanning electron micrograph of Anochetus faurei from St. Lucia, KZN, South Africa

Last night’s tight crop was difficult enough that I expected no one to correctly guess the exact species. Marek B came close, however, picking the genus. Anochetus is a diverse if inconspicuous group of ponerine trap-jaw ants found in warmer climates around the world.

Living Anochetus faurei, in visible light, is pleasingly red in color.

This pair of images illustrates the strengths of two very different methods of imaging. The macro photograph allows me to capture the pose and color of a living insect, while the SEM is brilliant at minute structural details, although the ant is obviously dead.

So. 8 points to Marek, who pulls into the lead for the month, and one point each for Ainsley, Julio, Roxana, and Flavia who each guessed a trap-jaw ant.