Atta cephalotes: Up close and personal

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Atta cephalotes.

Atta cephalotes: Up close and personal

Photo by T. Linksvayer
Website: Ants of Cowling Arboretum and McNight Prairie

A pinned specimen of a major worker of Atta cephalotes from Costa Rica shows one identifying mark - the rough tufts of hair on its otherwise smooth head. Confusingly, the color of this species varies from darker forms like the one shown to more orangey red varieties. In Costa Rica, one behavioral trait that may be used to differentiate this species from Atta colombica is the fact that A. colombica has external refuse piles, whereas A. cephalotes keeps their garbage in underground caverns.

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