Marauder ant (Carebara sp.) .... a violent killer !!!
Slow & Steady….yet…its Death at the end…
Incessant rains over the last weekend dampened the festive spirit. While most of them were busy praying to deter the rain gods from pouring further, I had been plodding my way through the muddy sloshy forest floor. My boots reached deep into the soft earth that was soaked to brim with the constant rains. I managed to hold on to my gear carefully while balancing my way through as the drizzling continued.
At a certain corner, in midst of the deep forests, a pile of broken pieces of twigs and wood lying on the forest floor caught my attention. The heap drenched and soaked in rainwater provided the perfect habitat for a certain group of living creatures in the Eco System to thrive peacefully. But from the rotten browns, shone a speck of silver. I stooped low to have a closer look and observed that it was a small snail moving along leaving a trail behind…it moved slowly, its shell glistening amidst the trickling drops of water. And what followed its trail, made me immediately gear up for a forthcoming action moment that I could foresee. A small group of ants trailing behind the snail with two to three of their huge soldiers make for a superb entry into the scene. The constant rains must have driven the swarms into pangs of hunger and thus pushing them out of their nests for a hunting spree. Poor little innocent snail had no idea of the impending danger that lurked behind it.
Without any pre-notion, one of the big ants suddenly attacks the snail. My lens focused, I try to capture the moments even though the light was inadequate and the background dark with the rotten brown wood. The grasp of the ant was so deadly that the snail could not retrieve back into its shell. Smaller ants attack the snail in bunches and then in this do or die scenario, the snail starts generating foam and froth. That off course does not demotivate the ant troops. They sooner form groups to attack the snail, which was already struggling inside the deadly bite of the huge commando ant. As the inevitable death slowly approaches, the foam dries up and the tormented snail makes one last attempt to break free from the clutches of the deadly ants…it stretches out its head, elongates it body and may be takes it last breath instead. The ants seems to rejoice and rushes to ration out the meat to be carried back home..
Succumbing to the rules of Mother Nature, all that remains of the snail is the shiny shell, while the ants treat themselves to a meaty picnic…time and again Nature has proved that the game is all about the survival of the fittest…!!!