The Prettiest Midwestern Camponotus

Camponotus castaneus
Champaign, Illinois

I photographed this ant’s nest yesterday afternoon.  A couple hundred large, orange ants with piles of silken cocoons under a board in the park next to our house.  I feel vaguely guilty about this now, as the soggy remains of Hurricane Ike are blowing through town this morning and everything is underwater.  If I disturbed the structure of their nest too much, the ants might not have had time to repair their water-proofing.  I suppose I should check in on them again once the weather improves.

photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon 20D
ISO 100, f/13, 1/250 sec, flash diffused through tracing paper

2 thoughts on “The Prettiest Midwestern Camponotus”

  1. I love these ants. I have a colony out in my yard I’ve been meaning to rob but haven’t had the chance yet. I caught a queen of them this past spring and her brood failed.
    Beautiful picture.

  2. themarvelousinnature

    Great photos on your blog! I have no idea how you get these guys to sit still long enough to produce such crisp images. Diffusing the flash with tracing paper is a great idea; I never use flash because the glare gives an unattractive look to the critters, but that’s something I should try.

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