Two weeks old, already so big!
Oooh and the beak on the darker one… They’re fine looking birds.
Saw a lovely ant queen this morning, no picture, but she had dealated herself (probably right at the morning) and was looking for a nice place to have a nest. She must have been attracted to the lights and was climbing the walls outside my apartment. Looking for a species ID now.
btw, what might be the reason for them to do this?
other insects, ex beetles, don’t shed their wings even if they don’t use them/too heavy,
seems like sorta strange use of energy for such temporary consorting ?
Shedding wings is a critical stage in the ant queen’s life cycle. Ants actually tend to mate on the wing, (bees as well), though some mate on the ground. In either case, wings are critical for finding mates. Once a queen has mated however, she really doesn’t need them and they are an expensive piece of machinery that she will never use again. The rest of her life is going to be subterranean and workers will go out and collect food and water for her, why should she continue to pump all sorts of resources into the maintenance of what would otherwise be ornamental wings?
So instead, after mating the queen lands, sometimes with a male still mating with her, the queens then chew off their wings, leaving behind a wing scar that helps identify them from workers (in cases when the queen-worker size disparity is not significant). And then she starts looking around for a place to dig her nest.
In colonies of ants that don’t have a fertilized queen, worker ants will sometimes become aggressive towards unmated young queens and chew off their wings, forcing them to produce unfertilized brood that will eventually become males. It happens quite commonly in lab colonies if you have alates but no queen, within 3-4 days almost all the alates loose their wings and/or are killed by the workers.
Also: funny story. I went outside to try and find a worker of the same species as the queen since my original offhand ID as I ran down a flight of stairs to make my appointment didn’t hold up. Guess who I found on the third floor wall?
Originally she was on the 1st floor in the morning, provided she is the same queen.
If you look on her thorax, you can see it is super ‘hefty’, ‘bulky’ or if you will ‘thicc’ this is because unlike workers of the same species the queen needs flight muscles to flap those wings, and although the lighting is bad you can see the wing scars that are left of the thorax after she chewed them off.
So now she is dead. . . Apologies but Entomology stories tend to end with things being collected for science.
well, on the upside, probably not likely to run out of ants anytime soon, 1 queen more or less
(and cheers for the ant trivia )
How does she manage to chew her own wings off?
Can’t imagine they’d be flexible enough to get her own mandibles touching her back or is it more like she tears them off?
It depends on the species:
Here is a queen kicking off her wings.
EDIT: A quick book consultation in the office gave me a good species ID: the queen I found earlier is Camponotus planatus.
So i’ve finally seen my favorite band ever TOOL playing live yesterday at Prague. It was just amazing in every aspect. Not only i’ve never been in such huge concert before ( full stadium of 20,000 people ) but the show they put on is just mesmerizing. They do not allow any photos or videos ( Vocalist only allowed photos and videos on their last song ) so all i got is few shots and few minutes of video but memory will be in my head for the rest of my life i think !
I definitely absolutely did not take this picture while driving, because that would be dangerous.
Stopped at a rest stop
Stretching the legs.
Other things I saw today but did not take a picture of.
A crash with a car in the ditch.
A car partially submerged in the water.
Some dude arguing some other guy why he couldn’t drive through a submerged road
A Hummer pulling a trailer RV.
A hobby lobby truck try to attack me and the car in front of me.
After passing a guy pulling a trailer that the trailer axle was bouncing, said trailer broke said axle.
A cool rock formation that you drive through.
Lots of cool views usually on bridges or hills.
A golf course right by the freeway.
Lots of people hauling ass.
Guess which one of them doesn’t play Subnautica.
I saw it and as I was passing it was already starting to fling debris. The noise the trailer made was pretty obvious too. But yeah, definitely got around and gave them plenty of space. I can’t 100% affirm they actually broke an axle, but they pulled off with lights blinking and a rod shaped thing was sticking out. One of the days I wish i had a CB radio so I could ask the truck drivers behind me.
And so is speeding. I think most states go after texting and driving rather than .5 sec picture.
I still can’t get into my garden to weed. It’s too wet.
Trip back time!
I’m not downsizing the images because that takes really long for Chrono to resize them anyway. (So Data Warning)
Pictures Group A
This was at a “Scenic Overlook”. I honestly was expecting more.
I don’t remember where this was. About 1 hour further down the road.
A picture of the road I was on.
These three were at an information center for Smith Creek.
On the path down to Smith Creek.
Hollow Tree. Probably struck by lightning or something
Shelf at Smith Creek.
The Creek Bed I assume. Likely flowing here after it rains.
I wouldn’t drink that water. I thought it was interesting it was teal colored.
Around Elise Falls.
I think this is Elise Falls. Either that or I didn’t go far enough. If I didn’t, I would be especially pissed as I missed out on seeing Eden Falls at Lost Valley because of this hike. (I ran out of water/energy/time). Still a little salty about that. The hike was about 20 mins, so I’m guessing 3/4 mile (1.2km), and a 400’ differential (122m). (Same height differential of Lost Valley)
Back on the Road.
Picture Group B
At Lost Valley!
Along the Path.
The Natural Bridge and the falls within it.
Closer up of the falls.
Closest up of the falls
No idea tf that is.
Up inside the falls area. That’s water in the gulley moving pretty fast.
Inside a tiny cave further up. I didn’t stay very long because of the mist.
Here’s the water path in the cave.
Here’s the face of the rock that the cave is at.
Here’s a picture of the layout. I basically stopped and turned around at the Natural Bridge. Still a bit pissed at myself for not continuing up just a little further to the main falls. Oh well, I was out of water and had gotten my butt kicked by Smith Creek earlier so I chose to return to the car.
On my way back, I was moving fairly fast and there was a family walking in front of me. There was a little girl and her mother(?) lagging behind a little bit. As I was getting pretty close, the lady whispered to the kid and said something along the lines of “I’ll race you” and proceeded to run back up to the group. Further on, I found a bench and sat down to let them get further ahead. Unfortunately, the little girl was having issues with rocks in sandals so I caught back up. This time they were stopped and just said, “let this guy go past”.
It really reminded me of this:
I just wanted to get back to my car with A/C.
I’m glad I stopped at this spot to take this picture. It was a nice view.
@Pylinaer Sorry you didn’t get to do all you planned, but from the looks of it, you still had a pretty good time. Happy you had a fairly good trip and you’re safe and sound.
Grats! That’s the rule btw… you can go with not having one, but you can’t go with having only one . Always need more!