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Stick Insects

It is not often you catch a glimpse of a stick insect out and about like this one I found basking on a wall a couple of years ago.

Members of the order Phasmatodea, these insects are also commonly called walkingsticks.

Why would I be featuring walkingsticks in a blog about ants?

Actually walkingsticks and ants have a [...]

Woodpeckers That Specialize on Ants

This week we’ve been watching The Life of Birds DVD set narrated by Sir David Attenborough.  Have you ever seen the series? If you love nature you should, because it is so well done.

In one scene a rufous woodpecker from India is shown breaking open an ant nest and then busily eating ants. It piqued [...]

New World Army Ants: Horror or Hype?

Are New World army ants the dangerous killers that movies and other media suggest?

After all, look at the jaws (mandibles) on the Eciton burchelli soldier. (Photograph by April Nobile / © / CC-BY-SA-3.0, downloaded at Wikimedia) Appears fairly fierce.

So, are they really horrors?

When reading the recent review of the Antsbirds & Ovenbirds book, Ossein asked [...]

Ants and Spurge Part 2: Nectar and Pollination

Have you ever heard a gardener comment, “Spurge plants always have ants,” and wondered if it was true? I admit searching ground spurge (Chamaesyce prostrata) for ants when I find the weeds, and I am often rewarded. Ants are attracted to spurge seeds (previous post), but is there more to the story?

Let’s take a look [...]