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Posts Tagged ‘Africa’

Pyramica ludovici

Pyramica ludovici - KZN, South Africa

I am still working through the South African ant photos I took this July.  Progress is slow.  I’m not terribly familiar with the African fauna, and the species have to be keyed out and checked against the literature so I can post images with the proper identification. All the same, I’m not 100%.

What I’ve learned in the process is that Brian Taylor’s Ants of Africa site is indispensable.  The interface is a bit web-1.0-clunky, but the content is exactly what I need.  This morning I keyed the above Pyramica to the pan-African species P. ludovici in under 5 minutes.  And it checked well against the virtual collection at Antweb.  Awesome.

In any case, I’ve posted the latest update of African myrmicine ants here.

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On my recent visit to the coastal forests of Kwazulu-Natal I noticed basketball-like growths on many of the Acacia trees.  In North America, any large gray ball you see hanging off a tree branch is liable to be a hornet’s nest.  In South America, it’s probably a carton nest of fierce little Azteca ants. The equivalent in South Africa?  I didn’t know.

A little bit of poking around in the acacias revealed the culprit.  It was Crematogaster tricolor, an orange ant about half a centimeter long: (more…)

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Leptogenys attenuata

In spite of the southern winter, the coastal forests of Kwazulu-Natal had plenty of ant activity to keep me occupied last week. In addition to the beautiful Polyrhachis I posted earlier, here are portraits of a few of the species I encountered.

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