Why Are Ants Faces So Scary?

Many people keep ants as pets due to their small body size and the non-aggressive nature of a few species. However, a few of them are scary and don’t look cute.

Why Are Ants Faces So Scary? Ants’ faces are so scary due to their large compound eyes, red antennal sockets, three tiny ocelli, curvy teeth, rotating scape, flame-like whiskers, and segmented antennae. The horrifying viral close-up photo of ant’s face is not real, but it helps depict their actual appearance because they look like it to some extent when seen under a microscope.

Ants are considered adorable and enchanting creatures for their social behavior, adaptability, and resilience, but their appearance can be intimidating for a few people.

Why do ant faces look so scary?

Some people consider ants fascinating creatures because their small size and complex behavior make them interesting insects.

In contrast, they can be scary or horrible creatures for a few people if these terrible stinging insects bite or sting on their bodies.

Large compound eyes

Their large compound eyes can be scary for some people because their smaller bodies possess two large black spots on the right and left sides of their heads.

Their eyes have a covering of exoskeleton to protect inner optical units from external air elements. This covering also ensures that their eyes do not dry because they do not have eyelids.

Accordingly, it seems odd to humans to see creatures without eyelids and eyelashes, as they are used to seeing human eyes having lashes and lids.

Their eyes are bigger and bulging outward, which looks horrible when you see through a microscope or magnifying glass. These devices magnify their eyes that look more scary than before.

Red antennal sockets

They look scary due to the presence of a red-colored structure on the head region, as they look like a monster with red eyes on the bigger rectangular heads.

Some people consider that the eyes of ants are red in color due to the presence of red circular structures on their heads, but these are not eyes.

However, these are antennal sockets in real because two large antennae emerge from each of these two sockets. These red sockets look terrifying after a closer view of these insects.

Three tiny ocelli

They have three simple eyes or ocelli on their head, in addition to compound eyes arranged in a triangular shape on the top region.

These simple eyes have limited resolution to see the objects but help distinguish different light intensities and determine the orientation or direction of movement.

Moreover, their triangular arrangement makes these insects look scary because it is not a common sight for humans to see creatures with five eyes.

Sharp and curved teeth

Ants have two large mandibles in their mouth with curved ends that look horrifying. Their teeth have coats of zinc particles obtained from the food, giving extra sharpness.

They can bite on the skin hard using their curved and sharp teeth, leaving marks on the affected spot. These bites are painful to tolerate and lead to swelling and redness sometimes.

Moreover, they can easily pinch the skin layer with their curvy teeth and pull the tissues in an outward direction to break the skin layer.

Accordingly, bleeding can also occur if their mandibles are large enough and reach deep into the tissues to cause deep wounds.

Rotating scape and antennae

They possess two large antennae on their heads, making their faces scary because these large and segmented structures extend outward.

The first segment of antennae is usually larger than others and known as scape. They can rotate scape that helps move antennae in different directions while sensing the chemical secretions.

A rotating antenna can be scary for some people. Which is not visible when you see them moving on the ground surface, but you can see it under the magnifying glass and microscope.

Moreover, they keep rotating their antennae to capture chemical secretions and odor molecules from the environment to reach the food resources and nests.

Dense flame-like whiskers

Whiskers are sensitive hair commonly present in animals and help them navigate and explore their environment by sensing the chemical secretions on the ground or in the air.

A bulk of hair is present on their forehead that looks like flaming whiskers and gives a scary look. In addition, their antennae have small hair or sensilla used for odor detection.

The dense hair on their head can make you fearful of these tiny insects because it is horrible to see a mass of hair on their rectangular or square-shaped head.

Is the ant face picture real?

We have seen the picture of an ant that looks like a monster with bigger bulging eyes and long teeth with reddish sockets for antennae.

The photo was submitted in Nikon’s competition for photomicrography, which is a competition to capture images of creatures from the small world like microbes, insects, etc.

Accordingly, a picture of a carpenter ant went viral, submitted by a photographer named Eugenijus Kavaliauskas belonging to Lithuania.

He is a wildlife photographer, and he did some photomicrography by observing them under a microscopic lens.

This picture seems reminiscent of a movie of the horror genre because it is a terrifying image of an ant’s face. It is not the natural face but somehow relates to their real face.

The photographer captures the image by magnifying the face or the head region under a stereomicroscope to get a 3D image.

The 10X stereomicroscope was used for capturing the image and provided a picture by zooming its face up to 5 times to get a clear picture of facial features.

In addition, it was beyond expectation to see these tiny and cute creatures as horrible monsters under the microscopic lens; that’s why the picture went viral on different platforms.

So, this picture can be the closest to its real face according to the theoretical studies and the image created by seeing under a microscope, but it is not the real one.

What is the cutest ant in the world?

Ants are not considered cute creatures anymore after their viral picture and stinging or biting behavior, but a few species have beautiful appearances and look pretty.

The green weaver ant is considered the cutest species among all of these insects due to its iridescent green color, but some workers also appear orange in color.

Their bellies or gaster appear green because they chew green leaves. Moreover, their eyes are relatively bigger, and their bodies lack a stinger.

It is fascinating to observe these tiny creatures when they are busy weaving leaves to build their nests. They are commonly found throughout Australia and are known to live in arboreal trees.

In addition, the honeypot ants also look cute due to their swollen bellies when they repeatedly eat and store honey in their bellies to feed the inactive colony members.

Their bellies can reach a size equal to that of small grapes and appear relatively bigger than others. The colorful ghost ants look beautiful with banded stripes of two colors on the abdomen.

Accordingly, their head and thorax appear dark, while the legs are milky white, and gasters have black and milky white bands.

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