Myrmecos takes Manhattan

Sphecius specious
Sphecius specious

Manhattan, Kansas, that is. Next week I’ll be at Kansas State University giving the following talk:

“How To Take Better Insect Photographs”

Alex Wild

4:00 pm, Monday, April 29, 2013
Waters Hall 041

Kansas State University
Manhattan KS

– open to the public –

I hope to see some of you there!

17 thoughts on “Myrmecos takes Manhattan”

  1. I hope you’ll get a chance to spend some quality time at Konza Prairie, especially in any recently burned areas, and have some good anting weather. On the several occasions I’ve been there, I’ve gotten the impression that ant abundance and diversity are both oddly low there, and you will be there at a really good time of year to check on this. I have visited there only in the heat of (a very hot) summer and early fall, less propitious times for anting.

    Looking forward to a report, if the opportunity avails …

    1. An “oddly low” ant diversity is probably not the best way to sell a field trip to me, James, but I was planning on spending a few hours out looking for ants in the area. What do you anticipate I’d see at Konza?

      1. In my recent collections for my senior thesis, I found around 29 species, and this doesn’t count a Pyramica sp. that I know is in some vial I haven’t gotten to yet. This actually seemed pretty high to me compared to other studies I’ve read on impacts of grazing on ant diversity, etc.

          1. I do plan on publishing my findings after fixing things up, but I don’t mind sharing the species I got. I’m assuming I may have misidentified one or two (I have yet to go back and double-check these), but here’s my list (without italics):

            Aphaenogaster ashmeadi
            Aphaenogaster treatae
            Brachymyrmex depilis
            Brachymyrmex sp. 2
            Crematogaster lineolata
            Crematogaster missuriensis
            Forelius mccooki
            Forelius sp. 2
            Forelius pruinosus
            Formica difficilis
            Formica incerta
            Formica pallidefulva
            Hypoponera opacior
            Lasius neoniger
            Monomorium minimum
            Myrmecina americana
            Neivamyrmex nigrescens
            Nylanderia parvula
            Pheidole bicarinata
            Pheidole dentata
            Pheidole pilifera
            Pheidole soritus
            Pheidole tetra
            Pheidole tysoni
            Ponera pennsylvanica
            Prenolepis imparis
            Solenopsis molesta
            Solenopsis tennesseensis
            Temnothorax pergandei

          2. I did pitfall trap collections along transects for two weeks, so I don’t know about “hard”. They made up a very small amount of my dataset (only 30 out of 20,434 individuals), but I found them in 10 of the 15 watersheds included in my analysis.

          3. I love those relevent numbers ! Looks like a nice long tail on the ant dominance-diversity graph with Solenopsis tennesseensis comprising ~ 0.001468 % of the total sample.

          4. formicidaefantasy, yes, temperate zone species populations are generally dominated by a few species with longer or shorter tails on the curve (tail length is dependent on sampling effort eg replicates). This regardless of the taxa involved.

            In the tropics you sometimes see a very large number of species sharing small to middling abundance and then the usual tail.

            This is said to be the result of the period-length of stability that allows species to jostle for a larger share of the trophic pie, like lots of disruption (winter) in temperate zones versus extreme temporal stability of rain forests in the tropics.

          5. Thanks, ff. I’ve never photographed that species, and as North America’s smallest ant it’d be great to have for my North American Ants book (still in progress…).

  2. Sounds like a good excuse to take the afternoon off and head back to campus. Also, even if you don’t find a single ant on the Konza, it is still worth seeing.

  3. Pingback: The Ant Parasites of Konza Prairie – MYRMECOS - Insect Photography - Insect Pictures

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