Cephalotes basalis

7mm | January 17, 2011 | Cahuita National Park, Limon Province, Costa Rica

If I managed to use this “Key to Cephalotes Species Known from Costa Rica, Based on Minor Workers” correctly, then these images are of Cephalotes basalis.

There were quite a few crawling around on low vegetation.

Dorsal View

One interesting thing about this arboreal genus is that some members (perhaps all) have the ability to glide during free fall. If they fall, they use this ability to attempt to maneuver themselves toward their host tree trunk where they have a much better chance of returning to their nest.

Dorsolateral view

Another interesting thing is that some species have a special soldier cast with heads adapted for sealing off their nest entrances. If I’d know that when I saw these, I’d have attempted to locate their nest entrance so I could photograph that behavior.

Head on view, preening

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6 Responses to Cephalotes basalis

  1. Nice shots – really even lighting.

  2. Comment1 says:

    Wow, I’d heard about the gliding ants but never seen one. It’s really quite strange looking.

  3. Patrick Coin says:

    Volplaning ants–who would have thought! Excellent!

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