Earlier this month, Newstead Landcare hosted a terrific talk on ants, by ecologist Karl Just. In response, local Landcare member Kate Sandiford, herself no slouch in the ant ecology stakes, has provided some great resources for those interested in learning more about this amazing group of organisms. To whet your appetite, here are some images I collected last evening of a mystery ant enjoying a feast of pollen from a Scented Sundew.
1. Good photos of live Australian ants:
- Alex Wild Photography http://www.alexanderwild.com/Ants/Regional-Ant-Faunas/Australian-Ants
Use the search function for Yandoit shots ~ 30 species. Worth looking at all the others too.)
- Farhan Bokhari’s West Australian ant and spider photos http://www.flickr.com/photos/myrmician/
(Quite a few of the ants in the far south-west are also found here)
2. Ant identification tools:
- Australian ants – Antwiki http://www.antwiki.org/wiki/Australian_ants
(This is where the CSIRO ‘Ants Down Under’ website disappeared to. General info is all there but the main keys no longer have explanatory illustrations and the ‘compare’ function is gone. Quite a few species keys now.)
- Ants of Queensland (Genera) – AntWeb http://www.antweb.org/taxonomicPage.do?rank=genus&project=queenslandants&images=true
(AntWeb has a very useful ‘compare’ function. Use the regional project filter for Queensland if you don’t want to get entirely lost in/overwhelmed by the world’s ants.)
3. School of Ants/citizen science:
- School of Ants http://www.schoolofants.org/
How it works. I also see that Kirsti Abbott of Monash University has just run a trial project in Melbourne – primary schoolers managed pooters fine but the local ants weren’t interested in cookies.
- The Mystery of the Italian Ants* http://myrmecos.net/2012/04/23/the-mystery-of-the-italian-ants/
a thoughtful post on Alex Wild’s blog by Rob Dunn from the School of Ants about humans, their relationship with ants and the School of Ants project in Italy.
The Smaller Majority by Piotr Naskrecki http://thesmallermajority.com
(a nice nature photography blog by another entomologist/conservation biologist/photographer)
Many thanks Kate for this great set of links!