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Archive for July, 2012

The dark lord of ants

I spent the last few days setting up a photo shoot with the nocturnal Bullants (Myrmecia pyriformis). I desperately needed them for a talk next week. Here are some of the images.

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See more of these Bull ants in my Flickr gallery

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The Arboreal Bicoloured Ant, Tetraponera rufonigra, is often seen in the Western Ghats nesting in rotting logs and dead wood.

Western Ghats, is the mountainous region that runs all the way from North to South of the western region of the Deccan Plateau in India. Most people are driven to this region primarily because of its large vertebrates: Hornbills, Lion Tailed Macaque, Asian Elephants and Tigers. To me, the Western Ghats laid the foundation for my beginnings as an ant-watcher. This place has always pushed my curiosity, inspired and surprised me and often frustrated me for not providing the answers to my questions of species distribution. I warmly welcome its recognition as a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site.

Below is an excerpt from World Heritage Centre, UNESCO:

“Older than the Himalaya mountains, the mountain chain of the Western Ghats represents geomorphic features of immense importance with unique biophysical and ecological processes. The site’s high montane forest ecosystems influence the Indian monsoon weather pattern. Moderating the tropical climate of the region, it presents one of the best examples of the monsoon system in the planet. The site also has an exceptionally high level of biological diversity and endemism. It is recognized as one of the world’s eight “hottest hotspots” of biological diversity. The forests of the site include some of the best representatives of non-equatorial tropical evergreen forests anywhere and are home to at least 325 globally threatened flora, fauna, bird, amphibian, reptile and fish species.”

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