The Eye of the Ant

Eye of an Ant

Eye of an Ant
Image: Noah Fram
2014 Nikon Small World Honorable Mention

This image of an ant’s eye by Noah Fram won Honorable Mention at 2014 Small World. The visual units (ommatidia) are hexagonal, have a lens that is secreted by the underlying cells and contain multiple receptors that are tuned to different wavelengths of the color spectrum in most insects. In the image at left, the shape and size of the ommatidia are consistent. At the edges of eye, a narrow boundary region can be see between the ommatidia and the undifferentiated cuticle of the head.

Some ants in the Genus Caponotus (Ex: Carpenter Ant) have size variation among workers. Workers with larger heads have a greater number of ommatidia than those with smaller heads. Greater numbers of receptors can produce images with greater detail. All ants are social and create nests. Desert ants, active at night are known to use landmarks including the stars of the night sky to navigate when returning to their nests.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in Art, behavior, by jjneal, Vision. Bookmark the permalink.

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