Ant head, SEM

Ant head, SEM

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Credit: THOMAS DEERINCK, NCMIR/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Ant head. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the head of a garden ant (Lasius niger). Its long antennae, compound eye, jaws and segmented sensory palps can be seen. This species lives under stones at the edges of lawns and paths, feeding on caterpillars, earwigs, woodlice and 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 and lacewings. It is a formicine ant, which means that it squirts a jet of corrosive formic acid at attackers.

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Keywords: animal, animal behaviour, ant, antenna, antennae, aphid, behaviour, biological, biology, black, black background, black garden ant, colored, coloured, common, compound eye, entomological, entomology, false, false-colored, false-coloured, fauna, formicine ant, garden, head, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, jaw, jaws, jointed legs, lasius niger, mandible, mandibles, milker, mouthparts, nature, no-one, nobody, palp, scanning electron micrograph, sem, symbiosis, symbiotic, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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