[The following contribution is by Ant Course participant Andrea Walker]
Sunday morning, students and instructors arrived in Uganda. Several of us students visited the Botanic Garden and the Zoo. At the garden we got our first glimpse of the infamous Dorylus Driver Ants! The Ant Course introductory meeting was also held.
This photo is a close up of Driver Ants (known locally as Siafu). These few were just a small portion of the long and dense trail the ants formed as they crossed our path.
Tuesday the students were introduced to the subfamilies of ants, ant phylogeny and classification. In the afternoon, the instructors demonstrated various methods to collect ants. Some of the methods included using pitfall traps, Davis sifter, baiting using cookies or tuna, soil core samples, malaise traps, and the winkler system. In the evening Andy Suarez gave a talk about ant invasions and invasive ants. In this photo Peter Hawkes talks about sweep netting samples into emergence containers.
Wednesday we had a morning field trip to collect ants with our newfound knowledge of collection techniques and methods. Methods we practiced included winkler sampling, Hand/aspirator collecting, twig and rotten log collection, and several other methods. It was also too active of a day for only one photo. :) Enjoy a few! The first photo is a Trap-Jaw ant (Odontomachus) as it clasped to my pantleg and proceeded sting me through the fabric. It was a bit of a surprise, and then another worker stung me!
This photo shows me using a machete to loosen the litter for use in a winkler sample.
This photo shows students working at their microscopes in the evening.