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Black ant. Coloured Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) of a black ant (Lasius sp.) biting a blade of grass. A parasitic fluke (Dicrocoelium dendriticum) has infected the ant. The fluke has formed an encysted stage (metacercaria) within the ant and is ready to infect a larger animal. The parasite causes cramp in the ant's mouthparts (mandibles), clamping it to the grass blade for many hours. During this time the ant may be consumed when the grass is eaten by a grazing animal such as a cow or sheep. The fluke will then infect its new host's gall bladder and bile duct. Dicrocoelium sp. flukes are found world-wide. Magnification: x17 at 5x7cm size. Magnification: x28 at 4x5 inch size.
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