Alex Wild on insects, science, and photography
Chiricahua mountains, Arizona
So, the Arizona Ant Course wrapped up this weekend. I didn’t attend this year, but I know some Myrmecos readers made the trip. How was it? What were the highlights of Ant Course 2011?
Posted in: Ant Course, Ants, arizona.
I want to take it some day!
Yes, please, do tell.
The ant people left just as I was arriving for the lep course – I heard they had a great time!
Right now it’s rainy and there are flash floods around the station, though. We were supposed to collect butterflies today… oh well. Still a fun place to be!
I can see the headlines: “LOCAL INSECT FAUNA TERRORIZED BY PEOPLE IN KHAKIS” XD
Thanks for the report, weirdbuglady! I’m glad the rains kicked in, I hear it’s been a very dry year so far (and not to mention the fires!).
Things were just starting to green up nicely when we got there, in areas where the earlier summer burns weren’t too hot, and were positively verdant by the time we left. The greenery was just starting to produce flowers for the lep and bee courses that are this week and next, when we left. We had a good batch of students from all over the world, and found quite a few ants, including the traditional tasting of the honeyants.
Best ant catch: Stef (of course) got a whole colony of a new Pyramica that was previously known from only two isolated workers. Extra fun for me was the discovery of Polyergus n. sp. raid at the most unusual time of 10:30 in the morning, right near where we parked a van on one of the field trips, so all the students got to see it and collect a specimen of two.
The fires were more severe in the conifer forests up high, so hungry larger animals came down to search the lower stream drainages for food, resulting in 4 bear sightings and 3 mountain lion sightings during the 10 day period of the course!
That’s great news about the Pyramica- I had wondered if anyone was going to turn up a nest of those. Thanks for the report!
Did you happen to get field shots of the Polyergus?
Did you guys get scared from the bears and mountain lions?
Email (will not be published)
A personal blog by Illinois-based biologist and photographer Alex Wild.
Myrmecos- derived from the ancient greek word for "ant"- hosts Alex's musings about these and other little creatures that share our planet.
Questions? Email alwild [at] myrmecos.net; or follow @Myrmecos on Twitter.
All text and images appearing on myrmecos.net are © Alex Wild 2003-2013 and may not be used without prior permission.
Copyright Infringement Policy
© 2013 MYRMECOS | Powered by WordPress
A WordPress theme by Ravi Varma