Wanted to make this thread to share the ants I find whilst bushwalking in my home state of Victoria
These first photos I am going to share with you are from a trip I made over the weekend to a local bushland reserve near my house, observing for the Great Southern Bioblitz. The reserve is a mix of lowland eucalypt forest and damp heathy woodland. My brother and I arrived around mid afternoon and it was already very warm (26 Degrees Celsius) and humid. There had been a lot of rain the previous few days so it was the perfect time to look for some queens.
The first find of the day was a congregation of funnel ant queens (Aphaenogaster longiceps) under a piece of bark. Their common name derives from the funnel shaped nest entrances they construct. Workers aren't usually seen foraging outside of the nest and instead rely on insects falling down the funnel and getting stuck.
Alate queens preparing to fly
Further along the track I was lucky to spot this dealate tawny legged bull ant queen (Myrmecia fulvipes) hiding under a piece of bark.
Rhytidoponera aspera workers foraging along a fallen tree. Similar in appearance to R. metallica however can be separated due to their reddish/tawny coloured legs whereas metallica have dark appendages.
Golden tailed carpenter ant (Camponotus sp) foraging along the ground
Here's an interesting find: Mayriella sp (Possibly M. ebbei?) found foraging along the ground near the carpark. Love the elongated compound eyes.