Monthly Archives: July 2010

Others want it too

So partridge pea sets out a buffet for a number of insects that it doesn’t need in order to attract some ants that it does need.    So how do these insects find the extrafloral nectaries?  I smelled a few … Continue reading

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Extrafloral what?

Extrafloral nectaries are places where  plants release nectar–a mixture of sugars, water, and often other substances. It is believed that they serve primarily to attract ants, and that the ants attack other insects which inhabit those plants.  This keeps the … Continue reading

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A cool drink of sugar water

Here is an American snout butterfly, Libytheana carinenta, drinking nectar from an extrafloral nectary on partridge pea, Cassia fasciculata.

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But they don’t all get eaten.

One would think that all snails would be in danger of being eaten if they venture on to the nest. Last April, after a strong rain there were at least three slugs like this one roaming about on the nest. … Continue reading

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More snails for dinner

This shell, likely a Vallonia species was on a stem of grass about an inch above the body of the mound. There seems to be some debris stuck to the top of the shell–presumably from the nest.  Why the ants … Continue reading

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Meal leftovers

The mounds of Formica exsectoides sometimes contain the remnants of meals.  Escargot is on the menu. To the right is Zonitoides arboreus, below and to the left is probably Gastrocopta contracta, which I removed from the mound and photographed in … Continue reading

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More Allgeheny Ants

I haven’t posted for several days because I have been on a vacation away from electronic stuff (for the most part). There is some information available about the Allgeheny mound building ant.  It is thought that the mounds are a … Continue reading

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More on the Allegheny Mound Ant

The mound is made up of clumps of dirt and pieces of plants.  Occasionally the ants will move stuff around. The entrances to the nest change over time.   The most permanent entrances seem to be on the sides of the … Continue reading

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Default Americans

I am an American by default.  I was born in the United States of America and therefore I am a citizen.  Because I am an American I enjoy a number of freedoms that people in the rest of the world … Continue reading

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An unfortunate ant

Of course, the Allegheny mound building ant is Formica exsectoides, which was the subject of my first post.  I ran across two individuals on a walnut tree which had been killed in an unusual way.  The thorax had been completely … Continue reading

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