Head of black garden ant

Head of black garden ant

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: False colour scanning electron micrograph of the black garden ant, Lasius niger. The species lives under flat garden stones, & feeds 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 the aphid emit a drop of honeydew, nourishment for the ant. In return, the ant protects the aphid by removing 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. The specimen is an infertile female worker. Magnification: x20 at 6x45cm size.

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

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