Monday, May 19, 2008

Army ants on the move

It's always exciting to find army ants on the trail system at Bosque Santa Lucia. They just keep coming ... and going. There may be up to 200,000-300,000 of them moving about in their search for food, which means anything that moves. They are carnivorous, so don't make yourself available for any personal consultation. Joking about your being carved up for dinner, but they are carnivorous. And they bite and sting! It's hard to believe, but the workers are blind. The army ant is also known for its nomadic ways. They don't have a permanent nesting place, preferring to bivouac from night to night.


Gil said...

Hi Steve, cool pix!!!

I love these ants. They are quite an attraction during my field trips. They belong to the genus Ecciton and basicly feed professional antbirds when crickets, grasshopers and even frogs are flushed by their horrifying moves. They are never eaten by the the professional antbirds, which actually benefit from their presence. I love bumbimg on them in the Bosque.

again congrats for your conservation work and i am eager to lead trips again there. By the way, i ahve a small gift to your museum. Nothing to do with ants but jaguar.


gil serique

Sandpiper said...

Yikes! With seeing all of these together like this, my skin is crawling a little. ;-)

Steven Alexander said...

Gil, well stated. You're the "bird man", so you know only too well.

Sandpiper, think of all the beautiful photographs you could take of the birds which fallow the ants around on their hunting games. Just got to be careful of where you step!