August 31, 2013 by Ajay Narendra
It has been a really busy winter in the southern hemisphere. Was at the Bäckaskog Castle in Sweden, attending the Invertebrate Vision Conference followed by the Symposium on Vision in Dim Light. Since being back, getting ready for a fieldtrip to Poochera to study the charismatic Nothomyrmecia. Over the last week or so, I started updating the ant gallery. If you have not been there for a while, now is the time!
Some important additions: Anonychomyrma (Perth), Calyptomyrmex (Borneo), Colobostruma (Murramarang National Park, NSW), Meranoplus (from Australia and India), Opisthopsis (three species from Australia) and Harpegnathos (from India via Paris!). Below are a few pictures.
Calyptomyrmex lowreyi, Sabah, Borneo. Ants of this rare genus, Calyptomyrmex, are known from Africa to India east to New Caledonia. They are known by 28 species. In a recent revision (2011), Steve Shattuck indicates that these ants are so rare that they have been collected fewer than 20 occasions! Very little is known about their biology, other than that they are ground foragers that nest within rotten word and in soil. The enlarged hairs on their body, seen in several Dacetine ants, is thought to assist in retention of soil acting as some sort of a camouflage.
Colobostruma alinodis, Murramarang National Park, NSW. Locally abundant, these ants have an unusual 4-segmented antennae.
Colobostruma alinodis, Murramarang National Park, NSW. Nests were in the soil underneath wet leaflitter in a wet sclerophyll forest.
Camponotus consobrinus males, Canberra, ACT.
Melophorus hirsutus, Canberra, ACT.
Anonychomyrma itinerans perthensis, Kalamunda National Park, Perth
Camponotus molossus, Perth. These ants make elaborate chimney like nest entrances.
Harpegnathos saltator, Shimoga, India. The renowned jumping ant, from a colony in the lab of Christian Peeters, Paris.
Opisthopsis pictus, Townsville, QLD.
Meranoplus bicolor, Bangalore, India