In order to get a proper identification of an ant, usually more than just a picture is needed. I have created this template for those who are new and don't know what information to post, or anyone who does, and feels like using it out of convenience. Nobody is required to use this, but you'll probably get better reception from the experts and professionals if you do. It's not entirely necessary to use this template either, as long as all the information, or at least as much as possible is in your post. I know you can't always get all the information listed here, but just try your best. When you're out collecting ants, and taking pictures, keep all of this in mind.
1. Location (on a map) of collection (ie: city/town, state/province, country).
2. Today's date (this lets people know whether it's a new thread or an old one that has just been updated or resurrected).
1. Location of collection (ie: park/area, city/town, state/province, country). You can be more specific here than in the title, but please include the information in the title here as well.
2. Date of collection (more important for ID's of queens).
3. Habitat of collection (ie: desert scrub, oak forest, riparian, etc.).
4. Length (to the nearest millimeter or 1/16th of an inch.) Millimeters is preferred. Length is measured from the tip of the head to the tip of the gaster, excluding antennae, legs and stingers. Do not estimate, use a ruler! No matter how good you think you are at guessing the length of something, it's amazing how far off you can be sometimes.
5. Coloration, hue, pattern and texture (ie: dark redish-orange head, velvet-like gaster, translucent, hairy/bald, shiny/dull, etc.). Be as specific as possible, and you can use the diagram below if you need it.
6. Distinguishing characteristics (ie: one petiole node/two petiole nodes, length and orientation of any spines or bumps on the thorax or waist, head shape, eye size, shape of mandibles, number of antennal segments, etc.)
7. Anything else distinctive (ie: odor, behavior, characteristics relative to others in the colony, etc.).
8. Nest description (if you can find the nest, and you're sure it belongs to the ant you collected) (ie: rotted log, volcano-shaped mound of coarse gavel 10cm in diameter, etc.).
9. Nuptial flight time and date (if you witnessed the ant or it's colony having a nuptial flight or caught an alate you are confident was flying that day or time)
10 . Post the clearest pictures possible of the top, side, and face of the ant in question, and if possible, their nest and the habitat they were collected in.
Here are two basic diagrams that might help some of you when filling out this information.
Copy and paste everything from my next post into a NEW thread, and enter in the information specific to your ant. If there is any item of information that you are unable to obtain, just leave it blank.