A radical revision, updating and correcting of most of this blog has commenced, and will be ongoing for some time. Watch this space!
22 April 2016
* Section on Ponerinae partly revised
* Some Crematogaster drawings much improved
26 March 2016
* Complete illustrated list of Southern African Pheidole added
16 March 2016
* Ant Catalogue updated and corrected, with new species and genera
5 March 2016
* New species Melissotarsus emeryi added, with details of the bizarre Melissotarsus genus
22 January 2016
* details of the sub-family Aenictinae and all six species of Aenictus added
20 January 2016
* Updated pics of Tetraponera emeryi added
18 January 2016
* All eleven species of Tetraponera added
17 January 2016
* Two new Crematogaster species added
* New genus-recognition pic added to Polyrhachis
* Polyrhachis details added to Genus key
15 January 2016
* New drawing of Polyrhachis schlueteri added
* Additions to Key to ants >5 to <10mm
* Additions to Key to ants >10mm
9 January 2016
* All seven species of Messor added
7 January 2016
* All eleven species of Polyrhachis added
2 January 2016
* Catalogue revised and updated, especially with regard to Polyrhachis
26 December 2015
* A comprehensive Catalogue of all the ants that have appeared on iSpot Southern Africa, with illustrations and links to not more than 5 of the best pics of each as these have appeared on iSpot
* More next-level pics added for some species
* other minor tweaks
4 December 2015
* Species added: Monomorium macrops
* More next-level pics added, various pages;
* Ants larger than 10mm key improved
* Myrmicinae general page revised
* A couple of other general tweaks and corrections
14 November 2015
* Some revision to the Camponotus page, including new pics of C niveosetosus that we think take our pics to a new level!
10 November 2015
* All new KEY to the 68 Southern African GENERA [under development, but try it!]
8 November 2015
* corrected captions for Crematogaster
7 November 2015
* complete revision of all pages involving Technomyrmex
1 November 2015
* new quick recognition guide for Anoplolepis added
* new quick recognition guide for Ocymyrmex added
30 October 2015
* new quick recognition guide for Myrmicaria added
28 October 2015
* new quick recognition guide for Camponotus added
10 October 2015
* new species, Agraulomyrmex meridionalis, added
* some other species descriptions updated
29 September 2015
* new species, Meranoplus peringueyi, added
* keys updated with some new ants and new illustrations; some text updated too
* NEW NEW: internet links to the best pics of many of these species as these appear on iSpot now included. If our keys leave you in doubt [they’re bound to, sometimes!] have a look at these pics – they will help!
6 September 2015
Surveyed the spread of Argentine ants [Linepithema humile] at Eselbank in the eastern Cederberg; these were the first sign of these invaders we have found in the Cederberg, comfortably surviving in the village and in the surrounding veld at an altude of over 1000 metres, with extremes of cold and heat in winter and summer. There are several myrmecochorous plants in the area including the threatened Serruria flava.
3 June 2015
New species added: Plectroctena mandibularis
13 May 2015:
Great pic and info about Dorylus helvolus
25 April 2015:
New species added: Hagensia peringueyi.
New illustrations and details added: Bothroponera pumicosa
New illustrations and details added: Ant imitators: Wasps
New illustrations and details added: Dorylus helvolus
23 April 2015:
FANTASTIC NEWS: We have discovered someone who’s been doing it for ages [atlassing ants that is!]. Iimbovane [= ‘ants’ in Xhosa] is an outreach project from the Dept of Entomology at Stellenbosch University that has been involving high school pupils from a wide range of communities in ant atlassing! Iimbovane’s website says:
The Iimbovane Project is a long term monitoring project which focuses on ant diversity in different natural and modified (developed or transformed) landscapes, investigating how ant groupings change in space (between places) and over time (between seasons and years). The project involves educators and learners from secondary schools who assist with the monitoring through direct participation in on site sampling.
Iimbovane aims to educate and raise awareness levels of educators and learners on the importance of biodiversity and to increase and improve scientific biodiversity, eventually providing a general picture of ant species composition in different Western Cape biomes over a 10 year period.
William Bond and Peter Slingsby resumed their re-surveying of the Oudebosch area, a follow-up to their research of 1981 that established the extent of Argentine ant invasion in the area.
As indicated last year, we were astonished to find that by and large the Argentines (Linepithema humile) had disappeared from much of the area, and were now confined to several small ‘pockets’ that seemed to be separated from each other. The possible effects of the 2011 fire, or a new wave of invasion by Big-headed house ants (Pheidole megacephala) need further investigation. The survey is not yet complete ... more anon.
25 March 2015:
Noticed by granddaughter Frieda, the astonishing remains of hundreds of invasive Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) and invasive White-footed ants (Technomyrmex albipes) that had apparently been engaged in a deadly battle. Wish we'd seen this Battle of the Aliens live!
23 Feb 2015:
... some new observations on Anoplolepis custodiens