Army ants carrying pupae and larvae, Costa Rica.

Army ants carrying pupae and larvae, Costa Rica.

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Credit: GEORGE BERNARD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Eciton sp, army ants, found in Tropical America, carrying their pupae and larvae across the forest floor. These aggressive insects stage massive raids in pursuit of arthropod prey. They have no permanent nest, but make temporary 'bivouacs' amongst tree roots. When eggs are laid by the queen, the ants return to the same bivouac each night until hatching 10 days later. The colony then enters a 15 day nomadic phase while the larvae are developing and the ants move to a new bivouac each night. At the end of the nomadic phase the larvae pupate. This phase, the statary phase, ends when the pupae and the next generation of eggs hatch. Photographed in Costa Rica.

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Keywords: animal, ant, army, army ant, eciton sp., insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, larva, nature, pupa, wildlife, zoology

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