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Archive for November, 2012

The ant town – Poochera

Now Australia has a Big Ant. Poochera, South Australia

 

The ant hoarding at the roadhouse, Poochera, South Australia

The little known town of Poochera gained worldwide attention when Robert Taylor rediscovered Nothomyrmecia macrops in 1977 and subsequently found several nests of these ants in that region. These ants were originally described from Balladonia, Western Australia, but have never been found back there again. Nothomyrmecia, known by a single species, is often refereed to as the living fossil, giving rise to its common name, the Dinosaur Ant. Since their re-discovery, Poochera has become a Mecca of sorts for myrmecologists, perhaps the only town in the world, which thrives on ant tourism.

First ant signage as you you enter the town!. Poochera, South Australia

Ant illustrations feature on lamps posts throughout the town. Poochera, South Australia

Ant illustrations feature on lamps posts throughout the town. Poochera, South Australia

Ant illustrations feature on lamps posts throughout the town. Poochera, South Australia

The Ant Story on the community noticeboard. Poochera, South Australia

Ant signage on the community noticeboard. Poochera, South Australia

Ant signage in the noticeboard. Poochera, South Australia

Ant signage in the noticeboard. Poochera, South Australia

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Just got back from Poochera, South Australia, last night and here is a quick glimpse of the renowned Dinosaur ant, Nothomyrmecia macrops.

A worker of the Dinosaur ant, Nothomyrmecia macrops, returns to its nest with a robber fly

A worker of the Dinosaur ant, Nothomyrmecia macrops, climbs up a tree in the dim-lit hours after sunset

More pictures after I recover!

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Along with Chloe and Fiorella, I drove over 1600 kilometeres west from Canberra to a town called Poochera in South Australia. This place is THE mecca for ant people. It is here that Bob Taylor discovered a colony of the oldest living ant, Nothomyrmecia macrops in the late 1970s. Since then several ant researchers from across the world have visited Poochera to watch this elusive cold-loving nocturnal ant.

Our first night here was a new moon day and we had no luck with the ants. But over the last couple of nights and very early mornings we have now had a great opportunity to watch several foraging individuals. These ants, unlike Myrmecia, are very timid and often play dead when disturbed. We just located some nests of these ants, which promises to be an exciting few days ahead!

Images and videos to follow upon return!

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