Melophorus bagoti

Ants at Simpson's Gap

They are big, have long legs, and move fast.

Photos by Barbara Muser

M. bagoti is one of the most heat tolerant ant in the world. It is active in the heat of the day. Behaviour is one component of foraging in the heat. When the ground gets really hot, the ant spends more and more time climbing onto plants to escape the heat.

Some of these ants have been painted for identification. The winged ones are queens.

Ants at the CSIRO

After working at Simpson's Gap, we then rented the house at what was then the CSIRO Centre for Arid Zone Research, and found the ants roaming around the grounds. The CSIRO site became our new field site. It is still cluttered with grass tussocks, bushes, and trees.

photos by Eric Legge


In the 2008-2009 season, we witnessed a large number of queens and males emerging, as well as some queens establishing (or trying to) nests on our field site. We got some good shots.

a winged queen

photos by Patrick Schultheiss

The black ones with wings are males.

A paper describing M. bagoti, including a nest moving house: Schultheiss, P., Schwarz, S. & Wystrach, A. 2010. Nest relocation and colony founding in the Australian desert ant, Melophorus bagoti Lubbock (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Psyche, 2010, doi:10.1155/2010/435838.

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Simpson's gap field site

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