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Cephalotes pusillus Ant quite common on trees even in cities, this one crawling up and down some palm trees in front of my house. Cephalotes,Geotagged,Paraguay,Spring,arboreal ant,gliding ants,hormigas planeadoras,tahýi,turtle ant Click/tap to enlarge PromotedSpecies introCountry intro

Cephalotes pusillus

Ant quite common on trees even in cities, this one crawling up and down some palm trees in front of my house.

    comments (4)

  1. They look so weird! I once found some family of it in Colombia:

    Giant Turtle Ant - worker, La Isla Escondida, Colombia This was a relatively quick snap, but of course only months later when trying to identify it do I discover that it's a pretty interesting species. Ants in the genus Cephalotes are characterized by their odd appearance. They have flat heads, a thorny thorax and a super smooth abdomen. They are called "turtle ants" but also "gliding ants" for their ability to drop from the canopy when there is danger, whilst steering themselves to safety during the fall. <br />
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They are relatively slow ants that are omnivorous yet mostly focus on treehopper secretions. I'd also like to include this part from Wikipedia explaining the effectiveness of their armed body combined with social cohesion:<br />
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"In one instance, a troop of army ants Nomamyrmex esenbeckii was seen attacking a colony, and the C. atratus workers made a living wall to defend the entrance, aligning their heavily sclerotinised heads to prevent the army ants from getting inside to attack their brood."<br />
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If you've ever seen the mass scale brutality of army ants, you'd realize that withstanding such an attack is no small feat! Most insects don't stand a chance against such an invasion.<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/73454/giant_turtle_ant_-_front_view_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html<br />
 Cephalotes atratus,Colombia,Colombia 2018,Colombia South,La Isla Escondida,Putumayo,South America,World,atratus
    Posted one year ago, modified one year ago
    1. The good thing about them is that they don't bite or sting. They do have a sweet tooth though. Posted one year ago
  2. So awesome! Cephalotes ants are about 85% accurate in gliding/parachuting to their targets. This video will give everyone an idea of this behavior (different species though):
    Posted one year ago
    1. That's generous of you Christine, nice. Posted one year ago

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''Cephalotes pusillus'' is a species of arboreal ant of the genus ''Cephalotes'', characterized by an odd shaped head, and the ability to "parachute" by steering their fall if they drop off of the tree they're on. Giving their name also as gliding ants.

Species identified by Tito Lahaye
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By Tito Lahaye

All rights reserved
Uploaded Dec 14, 2019. Captured Dec 10, 2019 16:02 in Tte. Francisco Escurra, Asunción, Paraguay.
  • TG-5
  • f/6.3
  • 1/100s
  • ISO1600
  • 18mm