Last weekend I took a drive up to central Vermont to do some hiking/anting in addition to relaxing. 

I looked mostly in and around a large grove of white pines. All ants were identified using the keys in A Field Guide to the Ants of New England.
 
The temperature was low 70s with a partly cloudy sky.
 
Myrmica sp. AF-scu

 
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These ants were common on the inside edges of the grove. Where present they were dense and very active.
 
 
Stenamma brevicorne
 
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I found 5 colonies of this ant. All of the colonies were within rotting branches that were partially submerged in the pine needle mat. The only workers I saw foraging were very close to the colony.
 
Aphaenogaster picea
 
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I did not find this ant in the pine grove but they were very common outside of it. 
 
Leptothorax sp. AF-can
 
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I found this ant on the edge of a meadow nearby. Only this single worker was found. This is my first encounter with this genus.
 
I plant to go back there and try and collect and observe some of the undescribed species.
 
Also common in the pine grove was Camponotus pennsylvanicus, and outside and in the boarder Lasius neoniger was common.

 

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Prionopelta amabilis queen

IMG_1371 IMG_1370I found this specimen right in front of me while I was eating breakfast at La Selva.

Cerapachys JTL-002

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Acanthognathus teleductus

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Hypoponera sp.

I found this worker in my sample bag several days ago, but when I tired to ID it things didn’t make sense. The key I was using relied heavily on measurement data and where it lead me didn’t make sense.

IMG_1351Then I saw the top of its head where three ocelli were. I still haven’t identified it fully yet but I thought I would share this morphological quirk.IMG_1352

A wingless wasp

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I found this creature in my sample bags from La Selva Biological Station which is in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. Each leg pair attaches to a “thorax” segment and each “thorax” segment can be articulated individually. Using this key I identified this specimen as Pseudisobrachium merklei.

Progress…

IMG_1346~8%

Some cool ones so far:
Acanthognathus teledectus
Prionopelta amabilis
Carebara unichi
Hylomyrma dentiloba
Lachnomyrmex scrobiculatus

Hylomyrma and I have a shitty camera

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Hylomyrma dentiloba. Such a chunky mesosoma.

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The mandibles really remind me of the genus Gnamptogenys. Would it be possible to look at census data and do some kind of stat test to look at frequency of co-occurrence between the two genera, to test if they have similar predation? My camera really does not capture the beauty of the rugae.

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An odd feature on the gaster where the rugae almost abruptly ends.

Lachnomyrmex scrobiculatus

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Labidus coecus

Apparently Labidus coecus can come in two different color morphs; a reddish brown type that I only collected once and a black form which was very common. Or, perhaps the lighter worker has simply recently eclosed? I’m sure they are the same species as they both have the same defining feature that the key uses. The lighter morph worker was collected within a raid trail that had other workers of the color but, army ant brood is raised in cycles, so I’m left clueless.

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