Archive for February, 2007

As promised, here is a male of another species of Myrmecia, Myrmecia nigriceps.

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Male of Myrmecia croslandi
The incessant rain over the last week has led to a major confusion among the ants here in Canberra. Most of the nests where I had observed nuptial flights in December are again having their nuptial flights, with alates males and females flying out. In the last week the following are the ants which have been releasing winged forms: Crematogaster sp, Iridomyrmex sp, Myrmecia croslandi, Myrmecia nigriceps, Camponotus sp. Crossed my fingers and hoping to see the alates of Rhytidoponera in the coming week.

Here is the first among the lot, Myrmecia croslandi. Things to note: remarkably reduced mandibles, extremely short scape, raised pronotum and mesonotum.

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Myrmarachne plateloides

One of my pictures of the ant-mimicking Salticidae spider, Myrmarachne plateloides, has made it to the July month of the Canadian Arachnologist Calender-2007. These spiders are look-alikes of the Asian Weaver Ant, Oecophylla smaragdina. Check out the other fantastic spiders that made it to the 2007 calender here.

Is anybody generous enough to send me this calender 🙂

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One of the truly memorable roadtrips I have done so far in Australia was in 2004-2005, driving from Sydney to Darwin cutting across Wagga Wagga, Narrendra, Broken Hill, Flinders, Cooberpeddy, Alice Springs, Katherine, Kakadu and Litchfield. Dinesh, with whom I did the entire trip has written about our trip in India Today’s Travel Plus.

Check it out here
Pics are here and here

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Excerpts of the review of the Indian Ant Book
by Bittu Sahgal for
Sanctuary Asia

“One of the most welcome, natural history titles to have been published last year was the extremely well put together and printed, ‘On A Trail With Ants: A Handbook of the Ants of Peninsular India‘, by Ajay Narendra (an expert on the navigational abilities of ants) and Sunil Kumar M. (who has documented the ant diversity of Bangalore).

This vital book should be a permanent part of the travel kit of those who escape to wild places and will prove extremely useful to those who seek to identify the ants in their backyards too.

At Rs. 600 per copy (in India), the book is a steal. To acquire a copy, write to antbook.india [at] gmail.com.”

For a detailed review, see here

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Ant Course

I just had a look at some of the pictures of the ant course that was held in Australia. Looks like they had a really great time. The next Ant course is in 2007 and will be held at Arizona and in 2008 it is going to be at, hold your breath, Venezuela. How cool will that be!

here is the link for more info on the ant course.

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Jack Jumper

New photos of Jack Jumper, Myrmecia croslandi added.

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