Wood ants are some of the most conspicuous invertebrates in the Caledonian Forest and fulfil a number of important roles within the ecosystem. Their distinctive nests can be up to a metre tall, over 100 years in age and home to more than 100,000 ants. These social insects have complex, sophisticated lives, which include ‘farming’ aphids for their honeydew, and building their nests to maximise the amount of heat they receive from solar energy.
This presentation covers many aspects of the lives of wood ants, from their foraging for food and their predation on other insects to the techniques they use to regulate the temperature in their nest at the optimum level for the development of their young. Illustrated by high quality macro photographs, it reveals the hidden life of some of the under-appreciated but crucially important species in the forest, and will open the eyes to some of the miniature wonders in the natural world around us.
If you would like me to give this talk to a group or at an event, please contact me.