I took some close-up images recently of
bull ants that I found while bushwalking here you can see its mouth region
underneath, what is called a labium and maxilla directly underneath its
head where its mouth is; it’s used for taste and helps them determine if the food or the prey is edible or not. He’s stuck between the jar and I think a piece of paper. Here is a better angle of his mouth
region. The long strands are the labium now this is good, this is his stinger, he’s
retractable stinger. Every time I poke him you can see the stinger coming out, it’s
like a needle, the bull-ant injects his venom through it. yeah and, oh it comes out quite
long yeah oh yeah These are his feet, their like little grappling hooks you can see little claws on the end of the feet. they get a good grip on the paper
you watch here we go the bull ant has very large mandibles
and oversized eyes, they have really good eyesight for an ant yeah here we go, he grabs the piece of paper. let go let go your little thing now I buy these crickets from the pet
food store and their classed as live food I buy them for my spider spiders and
they kill them and they eat them. The ants, fully grown bull ants feed on honeydew
although their larvae eat meat so you can see they’re ignoring the cricket
they’re not interested in it at all but, the cricket triggers the ant. I think the ant
mistakes it as an attack right here see then he goes after him and he’s trying
to inject his stinger into him and they have good eyesight so they can track their prey and follow it around well, track the threat anyway. He lands
a good shot right there. Most ants have formic acid as their venom. You can see here it’s just instantaneous, it
knocked him out, he’s paralysed The ants is just cleaning himself up,
totally uninterested in the cricket yeah like I said they don’t eat meat they eat honeydew nectar from plants he’s moving again, he’s after him again. He’s landing some pretty decent shots into the cricket here. I think that’s about it for the
cricket he’s injecting him with formic acid yeah offense is the best form of defence for the ants it’s not interested in eating him, he’s
inspecting the cricket using his antenna and the part underneath his
mouth the lablium and maxilla those strands underneath, those stringy like strands underneath his mouth are used for taste they helps him determine whether a
substance is edible or not but he’s not overly interested in the
cricket he’s giving himself a little bit of a clean here he’s cleaning his
stinger these ants I think are one of the
biggest ants on the planet they grown to about an inch, inch and a half in length
very aggressive… well you know they defend their colony. They will actually
jump at an intruder I guess the jumping is used to intimidate their enemies. he’s continuing to investigate the cricket he’s using his antenna and also
his labium underneath his mouth. but I think his worked out that it’s
not something he’s terribly interested in eating he would have expended a lot of fluid
injecting all that formic acid he’s probably dehydrated himself so I decided
to throw in a little bit of water for him yeah he’s just busy cleaning himself at
the moment. That cricket is out cold. well he’s not getting up again. I’ve been stung by one of these ants and it hurts well I think I received multiple stings
from these ants long ago, you know my arm just went numb yeah I just put in a drop you can see the
drop of water on the back wall in the middle. They can detect the water, I
think it’s the water evaporating you watch, he’s going crazy here,
he zeroes right in on the water drop and he’s having a drink, that’ll probably
be like a human having two buckets of water and that’s the ant that attacked the cricket
so he’s probably trying to build up his body fluids again. It was interesting
to see him zero in on the water, those antenna you can see the antenna go
crazy I think he just detected all the water vapour and he just focused, he just zeroed right in and I think that’s pretty cool Drink enjoy yourself little bull-ant.

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Dennis Veasley

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