PATRICK LANDMANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PATRICK LANDMANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Polyrhachis laboriosa ant defending itself. This African ant species is endemic to Cameroon and lives in trees at the edges of tropical forests. It feeds on honeydew produced by aphids, flower nectar, and sugary exudes from young leaves. The hooked spines on its back are used as a defence against predators and other ants. When threatened it points its abdomen at the intruder, ready to ward them off with a jet of formic acid. Photographed in the Biosphere Reserve of Dja, Cameroon.
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