Tag Archive | Western Thatching Ant

Spring cleaning?


On Friday, on our way to the airport and a meeting with a gorgeous hummingbird, my brother and I stopped quickly at Island View Beach to see what we could see. What we found was a huge number of the Western Thatching Ant, Formica obscuripes (thanks to Alex Wild for the ID!) emerging from their mound, engaged in foraging and perhaps a little spring cleaning. This colony was out in full force, quite different from  later in the season when the workers are travelling far and fast on foraging trips. All these workers out on top of the mound were truly an impressive sight.


En masse, they were gorgeous and impressive.


These ants uses “thatch” on the roof of their mounds, so many of them were dragging bits of dried grass stems to the top.


The only prey item I saw was this unfortunate noctuid caterpillar being dragged in for dismemberment. Does this mean there is already brood?



The mound from a distance. The black bit at the top are the ants!


The skies above were also worth noting, with these two eagles providing some exercise for my long-lens skills.


This is how you get a strained neck!