It is that time of the year, when nuptial flights of ants are galore in Australia. In the last few weeks, colonies of the ant Camponotus consobrinus have had their nuptial flights in Canberra. The first flight I recorded was on December 11 and I saw several more on December 18 aswell. These ants are nocturnal and are commonly found in and around Canberra and Sydney. While observing the alates (winged forms) going in out and of their nest and some taking flight, I noticed that the males of this ant had a strangely long antennae. Upon close observation, I noticed that in fact the scape was distinctly long, which is quite unlike any other male ant I have seen. I wonder if long scape in males is seen in other species aswell..any takes on this?
A male Camponotus consobrinus draws its first pair of legs between its mandibles to clean it. Note the long scape that originates from the clypeal region.