Everyone knows how ants live, right? They live in these massive mounds covered in fir needles. (Or somewhere inside my lawn. Or my kitchen.) That’s true for the most prominent species, Lasius niger and of course the big red Formica species everyone knows from failed picnics. These gals are different. They’re much, much smaller for once, so small I almost missed them. So small an entire hive of 50-100 individuals fits into hazelnut:
This is probably an ant of the genus Temnothorax – I don’t know enough about them to make sure, and I wouldn’t want to guess the species. They didn’t make the hole by the way, that was most likely a weevil.
With a size of around 2-3 mm, they hunt, for instance, springtails. Another reason to be a bit lenient when cleaning your garden: You never know, the nutshells and hollow acorns might just be home to an entire family of ants.
Canon 5DIII, Canon MP-E 65/2.8, Canon twin flash. Ibuprofen for my back afterwards.