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Ant-mimicking Broad-headed Bug Nymphs

14mm | January 17, 2011 | Cahuita National Park, Limon Province, Costa Rica

At first glance you’d think that’s an ant rather than a true bug. Look closely though and the beak gives it away. These broad-headed bug nymphs (Family Alydidae) were easily found on the same foliage where I saw some Ectatomma ants. Perhaps those ants are the model for this mimic. The caption for this photo certainly suggests that’s the case.

Here’s a side by side comparison.

Mimic, feeding

Model?, waiting in ambush

Notice how the antenna tips are darker in the photo below. I wonder if that makes them appear shorter and closer in length to the model? read more

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