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Weaver ant (Oecophylla smaragdina). Photo by Mark W. Moffett (c) National Geographic Magazine

Weaver ant (Oecophylla smaragdina). Photo by Mark W. Moffett © National Geographic Magazine

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Weaver Ant attends scales
A weaver ant worker (Oecophylla smaragdina) in Cambodia protects a herd of fat, red scale insects. Photo by Mark W. Moffett © National Geographic Magazine

This site views ants through the eyes of photographer and Smithsonian Research Associate Mark W. Moffett and scientists from the Smithsonian and elsewhere as they expose the hidden life of ants. Get a look at life from an ant’s point of view as the go about their daily business, see a cast of an underground ant city, and videos of living ant colonies.

Explore the Photo Gallery for a look into this busy universe.

Ants dominate the small-scale world.  We may seldom notice them, but ants affect their ecosystems as much as humans do.

And much like us, ants achieve domination by being social creatures.  They must cooperate with each other to meet their basic needs for food, shelter, and defense.  How they do this can look both strikingly familiar and bizarre.

Cast of ant nest
An aluminum cast of the underground nest of Florida harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex badius). Photo © Walter Tschinkel. Walk around the ants' nest cast (this video requires Quicktime).

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