Crematogaster sp

Crematogaster sp

Image of Crematogaster sp

(Acrobat ants, Cocktail ants)

SUBFAMILY

Myrmicinae

Species

Crematogaster sp.

Common name

Acrobat ants, Cocktail ants

Main colour

Black

Size

2-4 mm long

Campus

Cairns, Townsville

Description

These ants have the ability to fold their abdomen so that it points horizontally forward over their backs, explaining both common names. They often form trails on trees, and are generalists – they are predators, scavengers and attend aphids. They have a sting, but it has been modified to allow them to daub enemies with defensive chemicals, and has a small spoon-like structure at the tip for this purpose. The genus occurs worldwide, and varies in size and colour, but the heart-shaped abdomen and ability to direct this acrobatically is universal. Figured is a species photographed on Cape York, which closely resembles a species on campus. Photo courtesy of Alex Wild, http://www.myrmecos.net/ants/