Monday Night Mystery: Red

The Monday mystery returns!


Above is a cropped photograph of a Belizean ant.

1. What is the genus? (2 points)
2. What is the species (3 points)
3. Why is the right side of the picture redder than the left side? (5 points).

Points will be awarded to first person to correctly guess each question, and the cumulative points winner across all mysteries for the month of February will win their choice of 1) any 8×10-sized print from my insect photography galleries, or 2) a guest post here on Myrmecos.

Good luck!

15 thoughts on “Monday Night Mystery: Red”

  1. Well, I agree with Morgan that it’s likely parisitized, but the red color suggests something in the pallens clade. I didn’t think varians gets as far south as Belize — perhaps pallidoides? The flat, bulky mesosoma makes me think it’s a soldier.

  2. Can I have a specimen? Pretty please? There isn’t much pallens clade material from Belize, and it doesn’t look like porrasi. This is most likely a late-stage callow, accentuating the natural bi-coloration in many members of this clade. Parasitism is possible too, but rare next to the bi-color pattern seen in all callows in some species.

      1. A callow is an adult recently emerged from the pupal stage. At first, the ant is often all white. Then the colors develop in the cuticle over the next few days and eventually reach the normal adult colors.

  3. Paco got it, I’m sure!

    Cephalotes varians, minor worker. Too burgundy to be minutus or the other little neotropical species I usually play with. (Also kinda blocky.)

  4. Also, bwahahahaha… it’s Cephalotes varians, and the gaster does NOT have nematodes… this is within the normal color variation for this species.

  5. Pingback: Answer to the Monday Mystery: A turtle ant with worms – MYRMECOS - Insect Photography - Insect Pictures

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