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April is just about over and this month I have been looking for early spring insects -- trying to get a decent photo but also looking for something new. I found it the other day as I watched an ant. I've tried to photograph ants before (I don't have a fancy macro) and they are not only tiny but they are very speedy thus difficult for me to capture through the lens. But this bright sunny day I found a tiny ant carrying something very big. Turned out to be a piece of a desiccated worm. I suppose the weight of the worm slowed him down a bit (depending on species, an ant can carry 10 to 50 times its weight).
I know next to nothing about ants, and some viewers might think this desiccated worm part is yucky, but to the ant this is good food. Notice how the ant grasps the worm with its mandible. I took a lot of pictures as it worked its way over and under the grass. He dropped it at one part (my fault I think) and a second ant came to help.
The two of them carried it for awhile, but it appeared that they started to fight over it and soon just one ant was left carrying the worm. I never did see where the ant took it--I didn't have any more time as I had to get back to work of my own.
Ants belong to the same order as wasps and bees: Hymenoptera. It is estimated that there are over 20,000 species of ants in the world.
Keywords: ants, hymenoptera, insect behavior
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