One of the reasons I was so excited to come live here in Manaus was for all the insects I could encounter here. However, there are some that have given us trouble, and I’m thinking about ants. There are many species of ants in the garden and house, some are eating one of the bedroom doors, others decided that they like the dog food and sometimes the plate is covered with ants and other little ones just like sweet stuff, but those don’t bother me that much, except when my juice glass gets covered by them. Then there are many others in the garden. Those that like dog food, seem to like everything, I have seen them taking chicken feathers into their nest. but the worst are leaf-cutter ants! They have cut leaves of so many of our plants, just in one night the hibiscus were without leaves, and then they went for the nonis, and they have also gone up the mango tree. However, with so many of them I had the chance to practice taking photographs of moving insects. It has been complicated as they move so fast and so much. It’s the first time I try using a white background thanks to some macrophotography tips shared by my friend The Bug Geek.
This is a leaf-cutter ant of the Atta genus, (Hymenoptera, Myrmicinae, Attini).
On the last visit to the Bosque da Ciencia of INPA (about a month ago), I saw some ants new to me. I think one belongs to the genus Dolichoderus, which are usually associated with honeydew producing insects and, based on a post on the Myrmecos blog, I believe it is the “long-necked ant of the Amazon” Dolichoderus attelaboides.
And when we were heading out, I saw another interesting ant, also new to me. Daceton armigerum, classified as one of the most beautiful ants in the Myrmecos blog. Daceton armigerum has a nice honey coloration and a heart-shaped head with large jaws which caught my attention. Although I didn’t find them in the canopy where they are known to be found, they were in the ground with other species of ant, much smaller, which I still haven’t been able to identify.