Ants engage in large-scale battles that in many ways call to mind human warfare. Entomologist and photographer Mark Moffett describes their bellicose behaviors in his article in the December issue of Scientific American.
AMAZON ANTS pillage free-living ant colonies for slaves. Here a slave (grey) in Lake Tahoe, Calif., helps carry booty of its masters -- the Amazon ants which pillage free-living ant colonies for fresh slaves.
SUICIDE BOMBER ANT (right) in Brunei, Borneo explodes and spews out a toxic yellow glue when contacting an enemy, killing both ants instantly.
WEAVER ANTS (right) attack a much stronger and tougher army ant in Ghana, Africa. The weaver ants control and protect large territories, whereas the army ants are nomadic, seeking victims on the run.
HONEYPOT ANTS in Arizona circle each other in a ritualized "stilting" form of battle that generally results in low mortality for the relatively small colonies of this species.
MARAUDER ANT minor workers attack a Diacamma ant that made the mistake of blundering onto their trail. These small workers will be able to pin down the larger Diacamma, then a marauder ant major worker will arrive to kill the enemy in its crushing mandibles.
TRAP-JAW ANT worker in Costa Rica defends herself and larvae against an army ant by shooting venom at the intruder.