In February 2003, over 10 years ago, I bought my first SLR camera. I wanted to photograph ants, of course. So I didn’t lose time heading to the California coast range to try the new gear on live subjects. Below is one of the first properly-focused efforts, more or less (you really don’t want to see the failures):
Your challenge tonight is to answer the following:
- What is the genus (2 points) and species (2 points)?
- According to the available genetic data, which lineage of ants is most likely to be the closest living relative of this genus? (3 points)
- I mentioned that this photo was taken in California in February. If I were to return to the same spot now, in August, would I be more likely or less likely to see these ants? Explain (3 points).
To earn points, be the first person to correctly answer each question. The cumulative points winner across all mysteries for the month of August will win their choice of 1) any 8×10-sized print from my insect photography galleries, or 2) a guest post here on Myrmecos.