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Ant holding a Fly by Molly Gibson

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About This Gigapan

Taken by
Molly Gibson Molly Gibson
Explore score
0.24 Gigapixels
Date added
Jul 16, 2009
Date taken
Jul 15, 2009

This is an SEM Nano Gigapan of an ant holding a fly in its mandible. This image came about when we found some ants this morning in the kitchen and decided to take them into work to image. While looking for other cool things to image I also stumbled across a very small fly that was dead on the table (you might not believe me, but the house we're staying at is actually really nice, and at least appears very clean). Lacking another container for putting samples into, we dropped the fly in with the live, albeit confused ants, saying "they probably wont eat it." Seconds after touching the bottom of the container, the ant you see here snatched the fly up and proceeded to hold on to it for not only the commute into the office, but also during a stint in the freezer, a move from the container to the SEM stage, and then while in a vacuum. That is dedication.
The ant and fly are magnified 400x and this image is composed of 288 pictures taken with the SEM. The ant is of the species Aphaenogaster occidentalis. You can see optical images of it on ant web. www.antweb.org/description.do?rank=species&name=occidentalis&genus=aphaenogaster&project=calants Will open in a new tab or window
This Gigapan is part of the NanoGigaPan project. Which is working to take big pictures of small things.
Read more on the project blog at nanogigapan.blogspot.com Will open in a new tab or window
and see more of our work
on the gigapan site at gigapan.org/profiles/mollyg";

Gigapan Comments (1)

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  1. Nathan Wong

    Nathan Wong (July 17, 2009, 06:07AM )

    Perhaps she was saying 'I'll save you little buddy.' That's dedication! By the way, the SEM Nano Gigapan project is outstanding. Thank you for doing it.

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