Consumption of vertebrates by ants may be an important part of nutrient turnover and ecosystem functioning, particularly in the tropics (Griffiths et al., 2018; Eubanks et al., 2019). As scavengers, ants have been observed to remove carrion at rates on par with all non-invertebrate scavengers (Romero et al., 2020), though their role in decomposition ecology remains largely understudied (Eubanks et al., 2019). As predators, ants can be an overlooked source of mortality for many terrestrial vertebrates (McCormick and Polis, 1982; Valdez et al., 2020), especially when their prey is at smaller or less-defended (Murray et al., 2016; Bichinski, 2015) life stages.

Bullet ants (Paraponera clavata Fabricius 1775) are omnivorous, flexible foragers: they are most frequently observed carrying nectar back to their nests, but will also scavenge larger carcasses and actively hunt small prey animals, mostly arthropods (...