A Close-Up Look at Hornets and Ants
Occurred on July 28, 2022 / Dohr, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Info from Licensor: "During the summer months of the last few years, I have been intensively involved in observing, photographing, and filming eusocial wasps. Many of these photographs and videos, including this one, were taken in our garden in Dohr (located in the Eifel region) in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. As a nature photographer and filmmaker, these insects are very productive study subjects and performers for me. I spent numerous hours observing and analyzing their behavior until they became accustomed to me (and I to them). Then I succeeded in taking extraordinary photographs and videos over time.
At a feeding station, I could now observe that ants are also very interested in this tasty liquid. This, in turn, did not suit the hornets and wasps at all. I could also observe that ants are very brave at the feeding station. Although the hornets are probably 1000 times bigger and heavier, these small ants show no fear and pinch the hornets in the legs. In this video, you can see how the ant curves its abdomen in a typical way and sprays acid right into the hornet's face to drive it away. But this does not go well, the hornet finds this extremely unpleasant and literally goes into a rage. It grabs the ant with its mandibles and flings it through the air, so that the ant and the hornet land in the background. Usually, ants survive these attacks unharmed and proceed directly with the harassment. This can be seen well here in slow motion 250 fps. I really wanted to film this and I experimented for a long time until I got these extraordinary shots. Only in slow motion, here maximum slowed down playback with a maximum of 250 fps, can we really grasp these very fast processes."