Monday, April 1, 2019

This Week in Anting 04/01/2019 Winter Ants Flying

Sorry about the wind in some scenes. These ants don't mind flying on days with 60mph gusts. Indeed it's probably part of why their swarms gather around trees with large trunks, or shrubs or fences and so on. The males gather around these wind breaks to better establish a swarm that attracts the queens.

I was fortunate enough to get one queen to pose for me quite gracefully for a short while.

I was able to get some great shots of the head and body. 

 And she couldn't have picked a better perch to stand on.

The colors of the log and the green of the background really help show just how pretty this ant is. 

Also surprising was finding this Camponotus subbarbatus queen. It's much to early for them to fly and she looks malnourished. Usually the gaster is twice the size and with more of the yellow bands of color (common in this species) showing! I suspect she must have flown last May and failed to found a colony but managed to survive the winter. I'm going to try and feed her to see if I can get her to rebound.