Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Look back at my post, "So much life" (October 19, 2008), and you'll see this photo of an ant. "A rather large species of ant" was my caption.

This week, I'm researching ants for a magazine project. Since I'm getting more smarts about different species, I thought I'd go through my blog and see if I had any images of ants. This one popped up. Curious, I clicked on the picture and peered at the thorax (an ant's middle section). Hmmm. Then I looked at the head... Hmmm. Hey, wait a minute! Next I went to and pulled up some ant images. Hmmm. Then I did another search. OH WOW!

"JAMES!" I hollered. "COME SEE THIS!!"

Good sport that he is, James walked into the office and stood next to my desk. "What's that look like?" I said, pointing to the picture.

"An ant," he said. Naturally. I grinned.

"Ah, look CLOSER," I said, beyond excited. "What's it MISSING!?"

James looked closer. Then he shrugged. "I dunno."

"MANDIBLES!" I exclaimed (like I'd found loose coins on the ground or some such treasure). "ANTS HAVE MANDIBLES!" Then I pointed to the long, thin beak coming from the insect's mouth end. "THAT'S A BUG! AN ANT-MIMIC BUG! Isn't that just COOL!?"

"That's nice, Sheryl," James said as he backed away from my desk and tiptoed toward the hall. "Yeah, really nice." James gave me a worried smile, then disappeared.

From ant to broad-headed bug nymph. ShaZAM!!


shawnelle said...

way cool. my boys are learning about mimicry in science. have you seen a pic of owl butterfly?

Sheryl Smith-Rodgers said...

YES! I've met some in person too! At a butterfly house at the San Antonio Zoo. AWESOME!

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