Jul 012011

T.G.I.Formicidae is a new occasional feature here on the blog, and this inaugural edition features some collusion between Alex Wild, Ted MacRae and myself. Alex normally features beetles on Fridays, and Ted and I thought it might be fun to continue the trend, with Ted blogging flies today while I cover ants to complete the triad of major insect groups! Make sure to check out their blogs to see what fantastic Friday finds they have to share!

In a last minute rush to produce some ant photos to compliment the fine photographs of Ted’s and Alex’s, I ran back to the Dairy Bush on the University of Guelph campus with hopes of finding some interesting ants to shoot. Luckily for me, I happened across what I believe are Camponotus Formica ants tending to masses of aphids. Ant mutualism with aphids was one of the first insect interactions I can remember learning about in my intro entomology courses, and I can’t resist watching and photographing these tiny ranchers whenever I come across them!

Camponotus ant tending aphids on a plant


Two Camponotus ants tending an aphid herd


Camponotus ant seemingly dancing with the aphids it is tending


  7 Responses to “T.G.I.Formicidae – Formica with Aphids”

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  1. Those are some right fine ant photos – better watch out Alex!

  2. Nice pictures. They look a lot like some that I posted last year tending some scale insects. James Trager told me that mine were in the Formica rufa group.

  3. Nice pics, but not Camponotus. These are Formica, apparently F. integra.

  4. Not Camponotus- try one of the parasitic Formica. :)

  5. Thanks for the ID corrections everyone! I’ll make sure to keep it in mind for the next time I go to ID local ants!

  6. Great photos! These ants are such a menace in summer, especially in the countryside of southern Ontario.

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