Three is company...
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|... aka The Rest are in the Nest ...|
Click on the photo to display the panorama version
Carpenter-ants climbing a wood wall, with an unexpected visitor, a pill-bug...
While I was busy photographing this pair of carpenter ants, one ant turned around. I had no idea why, till I saw the wee intruder. The pair of ants were part of a colony. Most of the other ants were still dormant, while this pair appeared to be "scouting"...
I realize that the pill bug*** is not totally in focus... I was not expecting it... ;) The good news is that this gives a sense of scale. The ants are big.
These creature are CARPENTER ANTs < I will reveal what I know about them later ... ;) > Detail: species: Vicinus ; black head, rusty red thorax (mid section) and black abdomen (tail section.) Multiple queens in parent nest.
I learned a long time ago that the best time to split logs is in the winter, when logs are frozen solid. One feels like a diamond worker who works with the "grain"...
This winter I was cutting some of the fatter logs. I stacked them, waiting for a good time to split the biggest ones < anything over one foot in diameter > I split a fair number of these logs and put them away after noticing that there seemed to be vains of ice in he logs.
So imagine my surprise when I turned some over after Spring < temporarily > arrived... I noticed that the ice vains were gone and that some carpenter ants were crawling out of the areas where the ice had been...
WIKI: ""Carpenter ants are large ants (¼ in–1 in) indigenous to large parts of the world. They prefer dead, damp wood in which to build nests. Sometimes carpenter ants will hollow out sections of trees.
All ants in this genus possess an obligate bacterial endosymbiont called Blochmannia. This bacterium has a small genome, and retains genes to biosynthesize essential amino acids and other nutrients. This suggests the bacterium plays a role in ant nutrition. Many Camponotus species are also infected with Wolbachia, another endosymbiont that is widespread across insect groups.""
Carpenter-ants do not eat wood; but chew it up while building "nests", whicj basically consists of tunnels.
Some of the chewing up by these ants is evident in the upper part in this photo. I hope to post another photo with details of the nest before too long.
One detailed carpenter ant was posted previously...
Pill bug < sourced from WIKI > :
""Unlike other arthropods such as insects and spiders, pill bugs do not have a waxy cuticle that would reduce evaporation from their bodies. Pill bugs also use modified gills, called pseudotrachea, for respiration, and the gills must remain moist to function. Individual pill bugs typically live for two or three years, and females brood eggs once or twice each summer. Several hundred eggs are brooded at a time in the marsupium, a pocket on the ventral side of the female pill bug. The marsupium must also be kept filled with water until the young hatch and crawl away.""
*** ""Common names for woodlice vary throughout the English-speaking world. They include: "armadillo bug" , "cheeselog" (Reading, Berkshire), "doodlebug" (also used for the larva of an antlion), "monkeypea", "pill bug" (usually applied only to the genus Armadillidium), "roly-poly", "potato bug", "roll up bug", "slater" and "sow bug" ""
thor68, horia, Adanac, bobair, mlines, anniejo, dew77, saguzar has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
- [2007-05-01 5:35]
amazing 3-some-macro-shot, jay! :-)
terrific composition and wonderful details (especially in the LPversion).
these ants seem to be really big - did they kill the pill-bug in the end?
well seen & captured, thorsten.
- [2007-05-01 5:39]
This is a very interesting "panorama" ;)
What a great idea for a macro! The details on the ants are terrific and the intruder really goves a great idea of their size...wow!
The natural colors are also great and the exposure here is spot-on. Good contrast, too, between the ants and the log.
All-in-all: a very original composition!
Bravo and TFS
- [2007-05-01 7:47]
Hello Jay,Excellent posting all the way around my friend, great camera work on this superb capture ana an outstanding note, great job Jay.
- [2007-05-01 20:29]
A neat vertical composition displaying these carpenter ants.Good lighting and colours.Nice bonus wood louse too.TFS
this is a fun shot you have given us today,I do like it.The details are good as are the colour and focus.Pill bugs sure do live a long time and that is something I didn't know-that is the value of your great notes,knowledge.Tfs Jay. Bob
je ne sais pas comment vous avez fait pour proposer une vue plus large de cette photo,mais je trouve cela tres interressant.
- [2007-05-02 16:54]
Hi Jay. Your macros are very interesting especially with the notes giving details about them. Good series for TN. Murray.
WHOA, these ants look like scaling sylvester mountaineers! Amazing that they
are not harnassed together. Nice clean detail on these superants, glued to
this wooden wallface. And I even spy an eye on the one up high. Very nice
LARGE POST too with an unusal, but suitable orientation.
- [2007-05-12 4:43]
Excellent macro.All three are in same frame and each of them is sharp and well detailed.
Long time without visit your gallery. I´ve found this beautiful one. I like format, title chosen and with good sharpness details and insect situation. Good macro job.