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Ant Together 2019


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9 replies to this topic

#1 Offline MrILoveTheAnts - Posted June 16 2019 - 5:14 PM

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Date: Saturday, July 27th

Starting Time: 10:00am. Meeting in one of the parking lot areas. Possible break for lunch around 1:00pm.

Location: Turkey Swamp Park.

 

Address:200 Georgia Rd, Freehold, NJ 07728

 

You should wear bug spray, ideally something with 40% DEET. We encounter a variety of ticks and chiggers on these trips, you may want to dress appropriately for that. I know they recommend long pants and tucking them into your socks but also it's the summer and dressing that way is really hot. I'm going to try and get a tube of 98% pure DEET which is strong enough to melt a cell phone, and apparently shoes... I'm not kidding. It's also one of the few things I've actually seen causes ticks running to get OFF of you.

 

I will have a few hand spades on hand too which are used to safely flip large rocks and logs. Snakes, and Black Widows are some of the other things we encounter on these trips. They're really not something to worry about but better safe than sorry. 

 

For a secondary location Brendan T. Byrne State Forest seems like a nice option. The thing is it's a new location and we don't know what we'll find there. Prospertown Lake we know we'll be able to find some Trachymyrmex colonies, however we've been finding they're pretty found all over the Pine Barrens wherever there's sandy soil. We'll discuss it the day of while exploring Turkey Swamp.

Secondary Location One:

Prospertown Lake to see the Trachymyrmex septentrionalis colonies there.

Note: I don't think this place has an official address but it is directly next to 6 Flags Great Adventure. Here is the address for them, just drive past it or stop when you get to the lake. 

1 Six Flags Blvd, Jackson, NJ 08527

 

Secondary Location Two: New Location

Brendan T. Byrne State Forest

Parking Lot Address: 103 Shinns Rd, Vincentown, NJ 08088

 

(Updated) I'm re-purposing this thread for our second trip of the year. The first trip sort of petered out after the first location for various reasons. So we're making a second trip of the year at the locations we didn't get to. 


Edited by MrILoveTheAnts, July 21 2019 - 12:23 PM.

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#2 Offline WeatherAnt - Posted June 17 2019 - 7:45 AM

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I'll be there. 



#3 Offline T.C. - Posted June 17 2019 - 5:01 PM

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Id ride the bike down if it was a weekend.

#4 Offline MrILoveTheAnts - Posted June 30 2019 - 10:39 AM

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I have updated the information above for our second trip of the year. If you're planning to attend please post so here or contact me directly. There are three parking lots at this place that are sort of close to one another, we'll be messaging one another on discord to meet up. If you don't have discord, I'm willing to communicate via text but let me know that you're going.


Edited by MrILoveTheAnts, July 16 2019 - 5:14 PM.


#5 Offline MrILoveTheAnts - Posted July 30 2019 - 7:55 PM

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Highlights from the more recent trip.

 

Crematogaster tending Scale insects.

 

Formica exsectoides mound seen more from aside as most shots don't seem to capture just how large they are. 

 

An abandoned mound on the right that was over taken by some kind of moss. Not sure if the ants abandoned it first or did so because of the moss.

 

Trachymyrmex septentrionalis workers collecting frass.

 

 

Queen starting a nest.

 

 

Aphaenogaster chewing up a mushroom. Eating fungus is uncommon among ants that don't go out of their way to farm it. This isn't often seen because Aphaenogaster will only eat certain mushrooms which only grow at a certain time of the year.

 

We encountered two of the worst caterpillars to bump into within a short walking distance of one another.

Spiny Oak-Slug catepillar

 

IO moth caterpillars.

 

The hairs to both of these produce a very painful sting. The neurotoxin lasts for hours and can leave one in so much pain they'll find it difficult to drive.


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#6 Offline Boog - Posted July 30 2019 - 11:43 PM

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Wish I could've seen this earlier, but I was busy on the 27th. I'm close to Freehold and would've enjoyed coming out to see some ants. Maybe next time!


Keeping-
Camponotus pennsylvanicus
Tapinoma sessile

#7 Offline VoidElecent - Posted July 31 2019 - 3:37 AM

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Nice. I'll try to upload some of my shots at some point today.



#8 Offline Mercutia - Posted July 31 2019 - 5:48 AM

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Really glad to see this still goes on! Good luck; have fun!



#9 Offline VoidElecent - Posted July 31 2019 - 6:14 AM

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Aphaenogaster sp. eating a russula mushroom:

 

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jeJ4gV0.jpg

 

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IYsoTTY.jpg

 

Scary caterpillar:

 

JDdutae.jpg

 

Scary spider:

 

UfDNjRc.jpg

n4oxb34

 

This little dude:

 

rfOSwXL.jpg


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#10 Offline MrILoveTheAnts - Posted July 31 2019 - 11:52 AM

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Your mushroom Aphaenogaster shots came out way better than mine.






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