Continuing our series of First-Ever-Photographs, after some research I suspect I have taken the first live images of the African tree-dwelling ant Terataner:

Terataner elegans (Kibale Forest, Uganda)

If you know of other photographs, speak up! I’ve been unable to find any online, nor in the scant technical literature on this genus.

The crew at Ant Course 2012 collected a twig nest of Terataner elegans along the roadside entrance to the Makerere University Field Station in Uganda, letting me borrow it for a few photographs before the ants were pickled for Cal Academy’s research collections. I had never seen live Terataner before. They reminded me a great deal of the related Australian genus Podomyrma, as both are muscular arboreal insects.

Terataner elegans (Kibale Forest, Uganda)

That images of these ants are exceedingly rare is not some boast of my photographic prowess; rather, it’s an observation on the paucity of African ant research relative to just about anywhere else in the world. Africa holds great promise for discovery.

Terataner elegans (Kibale Forest, Uganda)