54.6 MB (6.2 MB compressed)
5363 x 3561 pixels
45.5 x 30.2 cm ⏐ 17.9 x 11.9 in (300dpi)
GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Eciton sp, army ants, found in Tropical America, dismembering a grasshopper on the forest floor. These aggressive insects stage massive raids on the forest floor 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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