Big-headed ant worker, SEM

Big-headed ant worker, SEM

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Credit: DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Big-headed ant worker (Pheidole megacephala). Pheidole sp. (known as harvester ants) is the second largest genus of ants with over 850 species and subspecies found worldwide. Most species form nests in the soil with a low mound of loose dirt around the entrance. Other species nest under rocks and a few species are known to occasionally nest in trees. The introduced species, Pheidole megacephala (big headed ant), is a common pest in many worldwide locations. It can pose a serious threat to local invertebrate communities. It will severely affect or eliminate natives insects, especially other ants. P. megacephala was first introduced to Hawaii around 2000 and is the prime suspect in the extinction of many lowland beetles. Magnification: x8 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.

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