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Photo Information
Copyright: Haraprasan Nayak (haraprasan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1570 W: 101 N: 5421] (20403)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-02-07
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon Coolpix E5600
Exposure: f/5.9, 1/69 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-03-01 8:25
Viewed: 5465
Points: 48
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note

Ants are eusocial insects of the family Formicidae and, along with the related families of wasps and bees, belong to the order Hymenoptera. They are a diverse group of more than 12,000 species, with a higher diversity in the tropics. They are known for their highly organized colonies and nests, which sometimes consist of millions of individuals. Individuals are divided into sub-fertile, and more commonly sterile, females ("workers", "soldiers", and other castes), fertile males ("drones"), and fertile females ("queens"). Colonies can occupy and use a wide area of land to support themselves. Ant colonies are sometimes described as superorganisms because the colony appears to operate as a unified entity.

Ants have colonized almost every landmass on Earth. The only places lacking indigenous ant species are Antarctica, Greenland, Iceland, parts of Polynesia, the Hawaiian Islands, and other remote or inhospitable islands. When all their individual contributions are added up, they may constitute up to 15 to 25% of the total terrestrial animal biomass.

Termites, sometimes called white ants, are not closely related to ants, although they have similar social structures. Velvet ants, although resembling large ants, are wingless female wasps.

The Formicidae family belongs to the order Hymenoptera, which also includes sawflies, bees and wasps. Ants are a lineage derived from within the vespoid wasps. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that ants evolved from vespoids in the mid-Cretaceous period about 120 to 170 million years ago. After the rise of angiosperm plants about 100 million years ago, they diversified and assumed ecological dominance about 60 million years ago. Several fossils from the Cretaceous are intermediate in form between wasps and ants, adding further evidence for wasp ancestry. Like other Hymenoptera, the genetic system found in ants is haplodiploidy.

In 1966 E. O. Wilson, et al. obtained the first amber fossil remains of an ant (Sphecomyrma freyi) from the Cretaceous era. The specimen was trapped in amber from New Jersey and is more than 80 million years old. This species provides the clearest evidence of a link between modern ants and non-social wasps. Cretaceous ants shared both wasp-like and modern ant-like characteristics.

During the Cretaceous era, only a few species of primitive ants ranged widely on the super-continent Laurasia (the northern hemisphere). They were scarce in comparison to other insects (about only 1%). Ants became dominant after adaptive radiation at the beginning of the Tertiary Period. Of the species extant in the Cretaceous and Eocene eras, only 1 of approximately 10 genera is now extinct. 56% of the genera represented on the Baltic amber fossils (early Oligocene), and 96% of the genera represented in the Dominican amber fossils (apparently early Miocene) still survive today.

This close up shows the powerful mandibles of the Bull Ant, and the relatively large compound eyes which provide it with excellent vision
This close up shows the powerful mandibles of the Bull Ant, and the relatively large compound eyes which provide it with excellent vision

Ants are distinct in their morphology from other insects by having elbowed antennae, metapleural glands, and by having the second abdominal segment strongly constricted into a distinct node-like petiole, forming a narrow waist between their mesosoma (thorax plus the first abdominal segment, which is fused to it) and gaster (abdomen less the abdominal segments in the petiole). The petiole can be formed by one or two nodes (only the second, or the second and third abdominal segments can form it).

Ant bodies, like other insects, have an exoskeleton, an external covering that provides a protective casing around the body and a place to attach muscles, in contrast to the internal skeletal framework of humans and other vertebrates. Insects do not have lungs, but oxygen and other gases like carbon dioxide pass through their exoskeleton through tiny valves called spiracles. Insects also lack closed blood vessels but have a long, thin, perforated tube along the top of the body (called the "dorsal aorta") that functions like a heart in that it pumps hemolymph towards the head, thus creating some circulation of the internal fluids. Their nervous system consists of a ventral nerve cord running the length of the body, with several ganglia and branches along the way into each extremity.

The three main divisions of the ant body are the head, mesosoma and metasoma or gaster.

The head of an ant has many sensory organs. Ants, like most insects, have compound eyes with numerous tiny lenses attached together enabling them to detect movement very well. They also have three small ocelli (simple eyes) on the top of the head, which detect light levels and polarization. Most ants have poor to mediocre eyesight and others are blind altogether. Some ants have exceptional vision though, including Australia's bulldog ant. Also attached are two antennae ("feelers") which are special organs that help ants detect chemicals. The antennae are used in communication, detecting pheromones released by other ants. The antennae are also used as feelers, aiding in their sensory input about what is in front of them. The head also has two strong jaws, the mandibles, used to carry food, manipulate objects, construct nests, and for defense. In some species a small pocket inside the mouth holds food for passing to other ants or their developing larvae.

The thorax of the ant is where all six legs are attached. At the end of each leg is a hooked claw that helps ants climb and hang onto things. Most queens and male ants have wings; queens shed the wings after the nuptial flight leaving visible stubs, a distinguishing feature of queens. Wingless queens (ergatoids) and males can also occur.

The metasoma (the "abdomen") of the ant houses many important internal organs, including the reproductive organs. Many species of ants have stingers used for subduing prey and defending their nests.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Suborder: Apocrita
Superfamily: Vespoidea
Family: Formicidae

Argus, nglen, jaycee, mariki, cataclysta, PaulH, bahadir, xTauruSx, Jamesp, boreocypriensis, Ena, jusninasirun, zulfu, matatur, nkasot, rousettus, goldyrs, marhowie, cicindela, dejo has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Haraprasan
Very good idea with DOF. We can focus our attention on the main object. Sharpness is pretty good. Very nice presentation and good note (I am still read it ;-)
Best wishes

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-03-01 8:33]

Hello neighbour!
A really fine macro of a worker ant. The focusing and low POV are superb and the sharpness and DOF superb. This is an outstanding macro Haraprasan, and I thank you for sharing it.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-03-01 8:34]

Hi Haraprasan. Now this is a very close shot of the Ant. you have captured a very low POV showing all the detail so well, with good natural colours. very interesting notes . well done TFS.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-03-01 8:42]

Hi Haraprasan,

WOW! I've seen many ants in my lifetime but never knew this is what they would look like under a microsope. Fantastic macro. Superb details of every part of him. Wonderful colors and shadings. I feel like I am seeing one for the first time.


  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2008-03-01 9:04]

Hello Haraprasan,
you can see the very narrow depth of field and the ant exactly fitting within the limits.
Exact focus was necessary here!
The small translucent antennae are impressively shown!
Best wishes, Peter

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-03-01 9:06]

Hi Haraprasan,
very good close of such a tiny subject, you have got some very sharp detail and a very precise DOF, well done!

Hello Haraprasan
A lovely close-up shot of this hard worker social insect with excellent details, sharpnes. TFS.


Hi Haraprasan, a perfect-lovely shot of this ant with excellent details, sharpnes. TFS. Regards,

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-03-01 14:16]

Hi Haraprasan

Superb posting - wonderful POV with great detail and exposure.


  • Great 
  • Ena Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 324 W: 61 N: 594] (2454)
  • [2008-03-01 15:51]

Hello Haraprasan,
Beautiful close-up!
Good compo!

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2008-03-01 17:03]

Hi Hara,wonderfull macro,perfect sharpness and colours and great point of view,have a nice day,Luciano

Hello Haraprasan. You have a good focus on this ant. Excellent sharpness and details for a small creature. I like the head with two antennas and in good position. well done and regards. Jusni

Hi Friend!

A splendid capture of this beautiful ant my friend! As usual wonderful DOV POV sharpnes and superb composition... TFS and Regars,


Ciao Haraprasan,
complimenti per l'ottima messa a fuoco che sei riuscito ad ottenere, malgrado l'inquadratura laterale rendesse molto difficile riuscirci.
Una formica davvero strana ed interessante.

Hello Haraprasan,

Very good presentation of this ant. I like very much the POV. Good sharpness. Good exposure. Very nice colours.

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2008-03-02 1:59]

Hi Haraprasan, a perfect-lovely capture of this ant with superb composition, excellent details and sharpnes. TFS. Regards,

Well Haraprasan, I really can't imagine how you succeeded in squeezing the whole of that loong ant within the obviously quite narrow DOF and kept it motionless while you were taking this fine close-up my friend, but the result is perfect! TFS and cheers...

Hi Haraprasan, amazing macro of splendid ant, great colors, superb details and wonderful sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

Impresionante toma Hara.
Lo siento (sorry),hoy no tengotiempopara comentarios.

Thank you for your critique of one of my shots!!
This is a very nice shot of an ant!Very sharp and precise!
Thank you!

Hello Haraprasan,
what a great closed-up shot from ground level. Very beautiful. Great details and composition. Nicely framed. I like also your this capture very much.
TFS, well done

Hi Haraprasan,
Very small subject, great job here.
I like the DOF isolating the ant well in your frame.
Nice detail, color, and exposure. Excellent notes.

Hello Haraprasan!
What a strange looking ant species! So long and so flat! Very nice to watch! Really interesting and original object. I like also POPV - very low, a really ant's point of view :)
Best greetings from Lodz my Friend!

  • Great 
  • dejo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 344 W: 51 N: 520] (2242)
  • [2008-03-24 1:49]

Hello Haraprasan,
great work, beautiful macro!
very good details and sharpess, nice natural colors,

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