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June 26, 2013
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Myrmicaria sp. by melvynyeo Myrmicaria sp. by melvynyeo
Taken at night in Singapore.
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Ants are distinct in their morphology from other insects in having elbowed antennae, metapleural glands, and a strong constriction of their second abdominal segment into a node-like petiole. The head, mesosoma, and metasoma are the three distinct body segments. The petiole forms 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 may be formed by one or two nodes (the second alone, or the second and third abdominal segments).

Like other insects, ants have an exoskeleton, an external covering that provides a protective casing around the body and a point of attachment for muscles, in contrast to the internal skeletons of humans and other vertebrates. Insects do not have lungs; oxygen and other gases such as carbon dioxide pass through their exoskeleton via tiny valves called spiracles. Insects also lack closed blood vessels; instead, they have a long, thin, perforated tube along the top of the body (called the "dorsal aorta") that functions like a heart, and pumps haemolymph toward the head, thus driving the circulation of the internal fluids. The nervous system consists of a ventral nerve cord that runs the length of the body, with several ganglia and branches along the way reaching into the extremities of the appendages.

An ant's head contains many sensory organs. Like most insects, ants have compound eyes made from numerous tiny lenses attached together. Ant eyes are good for acute movement detection, but do not offer a high resolution image. They also have three small ocelli (simple eyes) on the top of the head that detect light levels and polarization.[38] Compared to vertebrates, most ants have poor-to-mediocre eyesight and a few subterranean species are completely blind. Some ants such as Australia's bulldog ant, however, have excellent vision and are capable of discriminating the distance and size of objects moving nearly a metre away.

Two antennae ("feelers") are attached to the head; these organs detect chemicals, air currents, and vibrations; they also are used to transmit and receive signals through touch. The head has two strong jaws, the mandibles, used to carry food, manipulate objects, construct nests, and for defence. In some species a small pocket (infrabuccal chamber) inside the mouth stores food, so it may be passed to other ants or their larvae.
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:iconrentham:
Rentham Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2014   Digital Artist
How strange an insect body can be!! O:
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:iconofn-johnny:
OFN-Johnny Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2013
Uh the Hunchback of Notre Dame. xD

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:iconsadiqalkhater:
sadiqalkhater Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2013   Photographer
wooooow 

great ...
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:iconmeteor-venture:
Meteor-Venture Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I was wondering; Have you ever seen an ant, or perhaps another insect, infected with the cordyceps fungus?
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:iconmelvynyeo:
melvynyeo Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2013
Yes, I've seen several species infected with fungus, but not all are cordyceps :) Here's a few




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:iconraido-ehwaz:
raido-ehwaz Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2013  Professional Photographer
Looks like a queen!
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:iconmelvynyeo:
melvynyeo Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2013
Yeap! :)
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:iconkatiefierce:
katiefierce Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2013  Student
wow, amazing shot!
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:iconmelvynyeo:
melvynyeo Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2013
Thank you! :) :)
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:iconherofan135:
herofan135 Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Looks so cool, excellent shot!
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