The ant species here is protecting the soft scale insect in return for the sugary honeydew it produces. The host plant is the beautiful but endangered South African silver tree, Leucadendron argenteum.
Similarly, these Florida carpenter ants, Camponotus floridanus, have a sweet tooth and can often be found in association with insects that produce honeydew. Here, they are seen protecting an adult female tuliptree scale, Toumeyella liriodendri. They will rapidly attack any nearby threat – as the photographer can attest.
Emergence sequence of a stunning Neotibicen sp. cicada. These 5 images were taken over a 50 minute period, and won a PSA Best in Show medal for sequences.