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Karijini 2009
 

Karijini Hymenopterans

Those ants and bees and wasps that I love so much, their very own page...

Trap Jaw ant Odontomachus sp. Trap Jaw ant Odontomachus sp. Trap Jaw ant Odontomachus sp. Trap Jaw ant Odontomachus sp. Trap Jaw ant Odontomachus sp. Trap Jaw ant Odontomachus sp.

Trap Jaw ant Odontomachus sp. On the left the ant is just moseying along minding it's own business, jaws relaxed. By picture two it thinks I might be tasty and has it's jaws cocked with a latch called the clypeus. In the zoom on the far right you can especially see the trigger hairs that set off the jaws. These ants jaws are the fastest moving anything measured in the animal kingdom. They put mantis shrimps to shame. They use them to catch prey and for evading predators.
Watch them in action

Bull Ants Myrmecia sp. Bull Ants Myrmecia sp. Bull Ant Myrmecia sp.

Bull Ants Myrmecia sp. - Daan called me back to a nest he'd found, they were quite, ahem, angry by the time I got there.
So I popped a few quick shots while Daan helpfully beat them off me with a sturdy stick. Thanks Daan!

Ants carrying a wasp Ants carrying a wasp Ants carrying a wasp Ants carrying a wasp

Ants carrying a wasp

ant? ant? ant?

Not sure who this little ant was - but a pretty hairy and shiny abdomen, might not be an ant at all, but pretty sure it's a hymenopteran

Velvet Ant hunting Velvet Ant hunting Velvet Ant hunting Velvet Ant hunting Velvet Ant hunting Velvet Ant hunting

Velvet ants, so called because of their extreme furryness. These are actually wasps of the familly Mutillidae. The females are usually wingless and hunt for a ground-nesting bee or wasp nest to lay her eggs. Hence the downward pointing antennae and typical pose - head in a hole in the ground and furry bottom skywards. The bodies are very armoured and sculptured to protect against stings.
Both of these were out in full sunlight, which may be odd as I had the impression that Mutillidae are predominantly nocturnal or crepescular hunters.

Native Bee Native Bee Native Bee Native Bee supping Native Bee cleaning

Native bees - The only time these little beauties stopped buzzing around was to clean themselves - they'd clamp themselves firmly on a dried twig with their jaws - thus enabling themselves to use all six legs at once to brush themselves down.... very neat


Ants nest Ants nest Ants nest Ants nest Ants nest Ants nest Ants, Calomyrmex sp. Ant, Calomyrmex sp. Ant, Calomyrmex sp.

Ants - Calomyrmex sp.

Meat Ants, Iridomyrmex sp. Meat Ants, Iridomyrmex sp. Meat Ants, Iridomyrmex sp.

Meet the Meat Ants - Iridomyrmex sp.

Wasp nest Wasp nest I have come for your sweat Spider Wasp Fresh fruit attracts

Paper wasps, Spider Wasps and a solitary bee sharing some fruit with an ant

Spider Wasp Spider Wasp Spider Wasp

Spider Wasp, this little beauty was excavating a hole to put it's prey in - on the right you can see how it uses it's jaws and front legs to drag the earth out

Mulga Ant nest Ant nest Ant nest Ants nest

Mulga ant's nest, and others

current overall picture count 51

top home arthropoda botanical vertebrata views panoramas folk willis's walkabouts

Last Modified Tuesday December 01 2009
tracey@r2-dvd.org
All images Copyright T.Dixon unless indicated otherwise
Please acknowledge and inform me if pictures are used
Dedicated 100% to the Torpid Talpid
Read more about Willis's Walkabouts Kimberley and Pilbara Trips
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