Oak tree leafing out at Paynes Prairie State Park.
Earlier this month I gave a pair of talks at the University of Florida. The trip was fabulous! In addition to meeting a pile of exceptionally friendly people, I spent time with my myrmecologist friends Andrea Lucky and Lloyd Davis, hunting ants at
Paynes Prairie State Park, Austin Cary Forest, and elsewhere around Gainesville.
Below, as promised, are a few of my photos from the visit. I’ve posted a larger set to
. this gallery
Andrea Lucky and Lloyd Davis spot a Cyphomyrmex worker walking across a fire ant mound. Paynes Prairie.
Cyphomyrmex rimosus feeds its fungus garden with caterpillar droppings. At Austin Cary Memorial Forest.
My new Sigma 10mm wide-angle lens does a fine job capturing this Lasius neoniger mound at Paynes Prairie.
Thief ant, Solenopsis carolinensis, photographed at the Austin Cary Memorial Forest.
Lloyd Davis examines a fire ant mound at Paynes Prairie. Lloyd, before retiring, worked on Solenopsis invicta in a USDA lab.
A nest of Dorymyrmex bureni as looked upon by myrmecologists. Also taken with the Sigma 10mm fisheye.
Nylanderia faisonensis at Austin Cary Memorial Forest, nesting in rotting wood. This encounter was the first time I’ve seen this species in the field.
Crematogaster minutissima, Austin Cary Memorial Forest. As far as I can tell, this capture is the first photograph ever taken of this small, subterranean species alive.
Trachymyrmex septentrionalis, a fungus-growing ant worker, carrying excavated soil from the nest. Photographed on the University of Florida campus
Formica pallidefulva poses for a photograph. In Florida this common species is much lighter in color than its conspecifics in Illinois.
Temnothorax pergandei, Austin Cary Memorial Forest
Not all ants are ants! This is the ant-mimicking jumping spider Synemosyna formica. Photographed on the University of Florida campus.
At the end of the day, Andrea tallies the insects from Paynes Prairie.
This is not, I am told, an ant.