Data from: Keeping cool: enhanced optical reflection and heat dissipation in silver ants

Norman Nan Shi, Cheng-Chia Tsai, Fernando Camino, Gary D. Bernard, Nanfang Yu & Rüdiger Wehner
Saharan silver ants, Cataglyphis bombycina, forage under extreme temperature conditions in the African desert. We show that the ants’ conspicuous silvery appearance is created by a dense array of triangular hairs with two thermoregulatory effects. They enhance not only the reflectivity of the ant’s body surface in the visible and near-infrared range of the spectrum, where solar radiation culminates, but also the emissivity of the ant in the mid-infrared. The latter effect enables the animals...
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