Drove up from Canberra all the way to Townsville a few days ago. Stopped along the way at several places hunting and photographing ants along inland Australia. This was my first road trip along this route and it was thoroughly entertaining. Found a stunning Myrmecia Jack Jumper Queen in the Floral garden of Gilgandra. Also found in the same place the super cool Opisthopsis ants, which have their large eyes placed at the posterior region of the head.
Somewhere along the way from Canberra to Townsville
Queen of a Jack Jumper, Myrmecia species, Floral Garden – Gilgandra, NSW
Strobe ant, Opisthopsis species, Floral Garden – Gilgandra, NSW
Mission Townsville: The world’s only inter-tidal ant, Polyrhachis sokolova calls Townsville home and so have I for a few weeks. The plan is to identify the homing strategies of these ants. The challenge for these ants is not only to find the tiny little nest entrance at the base of the mangroves, but to also get there often by swimming, yes that’s right, by swimming. First and foremost, I am hoping to tackle the foraging strategies on the ground and will then attempt to unravel the swimming part of the story. Have had five fantastic days of fieldwork so far and its getting better by the day. Now if someone could only get rid of the sandflies…
The inter-tidal ant, Polyrhachis sokolova, tears apart a dead crab. Townsville, QLD
Workers of the inter-tidal ant, Polyrhachis sokolova, transfer maggots found in a dead crab. Townsville, QLD
An angry worker of the green tree ant, Oecophylla smaragdina agitated by the intruding photographer