We thought we'd give you guys a bit of an insight into where we find most of our queens and the area that we capture most of our photos.
The region is called Mansfield and it's in the state of Victoria.
In the photos above you can see the dry sclerophyll forest that inhabits most of this area of Australia.
We are at a high altitude that we find most species of ants prefer. The area is typically dry throughout the year and has a minimum winter temperature during the night of approximately -1c with a maximum temperature during summer of around 43c. During winter we occasionally have large amount of rain in short periods of time, saturating the ground. This broad range in temperature and climate ensures that the ants that inhabit the area are very hardy. Tolerant to long dry spells and able to withstand extremes at both ends of the temperature scale.
We're busily getting ready for the start of our anting season 2016. We've already witnessed several species of ants have alate queens readying for their nuptial flight. In other species we've seen the telltale signs of emerging alates in the form of larger larvae.
During early spring we start to find many species of ants begin waking from hibernation and their daily activity increases. A few weeks into spring alates begin to fly and continue throughout summer. Our larger Myrmecia species typically fly in early autumn, giving us a broad frame of time to collect.
We utilise UV lights and white sheets to enable us to capture any queens that fly during the night. We notice that when the temperature stays above 30c at night we find large amounts of alates begin to fly. For the species that prefer to fly during the day we utilise the tried and tested method of just walking through the bushland looking for delate queens on the ground.
Good luck to all in the Southern Hemisphere as spring and summer approaches.