SEM head of black garden ant

SEM head of black garden ant

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Scanning electron micrograph (SEM), tinted orange, of the head of a black garden ant Lasius niger, an infertile female worker. This species lives under flat stones at the edges of lawns & paths, feeding on caterpillars, earwigs, woodlice & other ants. It has a close relationship with Aphis fabae, the broad bean aphid, which it strokes with its antennae to make it discharge a drop of honeydew, additional nourishment for the ant. In return the ant protects the aphid by removing nearby eggs of predators such as ladybirds & lacewings. It is a formicine ant, which means that it squirts a jet of corrosive formic acid at attackers. Magnificat- ion: X 20 at 35mm size. Original is BW print Z345/050.

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Keywords: animal, black garden ant, formicine ant, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, lasius niger, milker, nature, wildlife, zoology

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