Their jaws spring shut at more than 100 km/h (62mph) - the fastest recorded
speed at which an animal can move its predatory body parts.
The pictures also reveal these tiny creatures, native to Central and South
America, do more with their vicious jaws than simply giving a nasty nip.
By biting the ground, the ants hurl themselves upwards when danger looms.
A frosty reception
Uninvited visitors to a nest of trap-jaw ants can expect a vicious response.
The ants are named after their characteristically long jaws, which they use
to hurl unfamiliar neighbours from their nests, cripple prey, or deliver a
brutal bite to anything they consider a threat.
Employing the same high-speed imaging methods as those used to film flying
bullets, an American research team now shows that the jaws can move at
exceptional speeds. Peak velocities exceed 180km/h (110mph)