Leptomyrmex erythrocephalus (Harrietville, Victoria, Australia)

What is my favorite ant?

Turtle ants, of course.

Wait! No. Army ants! I think. Or, maybe leafcutters. This is a hard question.

Regardless of my paralyzing myrmecological indecision, one ant that always lurks near the top of my favorites list is Leptomyrmex, the charmingly slender spider ant of Australia and New Guinea. I was fortunate to cross paths with several species (L. unicolor, L. ruficeps, and L. erythrocephalus) during my recent visit to Australia. Check out the photos here:

Spider Ant Photo Gallery

Leptomyrmex, among ants, is extraordinarily difficult to photograph. They are fast, they are shy, and their long appendages make the choice of focal point even more important than usual. I spent a great deal of time getting just 9 workable new photos. I hope you enjoy them.