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Banded sugar ant with cocoon
Worker with cocoon

The banded sugar ant (Camponotus consobrinus) is a species of ant endemic to Australia. A member of the genus Camponotus in the subfamily Formicinae, it was described by German entomologist Wilhelm Ferdinand Erichson in 1842. Its common name refers to the ant's preference for sweet food, as well as the distinctive orange-brown band around its gaster. The ant is polymorphic and relatively large, with castes called major workers (soldiers) and minor workers. Ants in these groups measure around 5 to 15 millimetres (0.20 to 0.59 inches) in length. Mainly nocturnal, banded sugar ants prefer a mesic habitat, and are commonly found in forests and woodlands; they are also found in urban areas, where they are considered a household pest. The ant's diet includes sweet secretions they obtain from aphids and other insects. Workers prey on some insects, killing them with a spray of formic acid. Banded sugar ants are prey for other ants, echidnas, and birds. The eggs of this species were consumed by Australian Aborigines. (Full article...)

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Today's featured picture

General Perspective projection

The General Perspective projection is a map projection used in cartography in which the Earth is depicted as viewed from a finite distance above its surface. If the view precisely faces the center of the Earth, the projection is a vertical perspective projection; otherwise, it is a tilted perspective projection. Here is shown a vertical perspective from an altitude of 35,786 km over (0°, 90°W), corresponding to a view from geostationary orbit. Due to the horizon as seen from the viewpoint position, the projection always shows less than half of the Earth's surface: in this case neither of the North and South Poles is visible.

Map: Strebe, using Geocart

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