Thursday, September 3, 2015

Red Car Property: Harvester Ants

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 2, 2015.  Yesterday, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something small and strangely shaped, moving at quite a clip across the trail near Adelbert.  (Click on photos to enlarge.) 

I'd seen Harvester Ants moving things much heavier and larger than themselves before, but this one was carrying a large piece of dry leaf, high above its head, more like a Leafcutter Ant,  heading toward the nearby nest. 
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 2, 2015.  Even when it got stuck on the dry brush, the ant just backed up and continued on.  When it seemed to get lost it would retrace it steps in a circular pattern to get back on track.

Unfortunately, the ants enthusiasm was not inspiring me to stay until it got to the nest.  The sun was coming out and it was already way too humid for me to stay and record the ant's journey.

We've highlighted Harvester Ants on the north end of the Corralitas Red Car Blog rather extensively because they are an "indicator species."  In other words, their presence is a sign of enough of varied and healthy ecosystem to support their continued existence.

Click here for all our Harvester Ant posts.