If you look closely when opening large ant nests in the northern hemisphere temperate zone, there is a good chance you’ll see ant crickets. These flattened, wingless insects are kleptoparasites living among ant colonies, stealing food and tricking the ants into feeding them.
The common species where we live in the midwest is the eastern ant cricket Myrmecophilus pergandei. Larger nests of Tapinoma sessile in our yard often have a few of these running about, so this morning I borrowed one for a twenty minute studio session. They’re odd looking animals, but then, they have an odd lifestyle.
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MacGown, J.A, Hill, J.G. 2006. The Eastern Ant Cricket, Myrmecophilus Pergandei Bruner (Orthoptera: Myrmecophilidae), Reported From Mississippi, U. S. A. Journal of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences 51: 180-182.
Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon 7D
ISO 200, f/13, 1/250 sec