The effects of sunbathing behaviour in winter.

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Even in winter it is possible to monitor the domes from Formica species like F. rufa and F. polyctena. The nest´s structure keeps warmth inside the nests. This becomes vissible in winter. Because the ants isolate their nests the roofs of the domes are colder than sthe soil around the nest causing the effect you can see below. Once the ‘dome’ has openend for sunbathing, they become an easy target for natural enemies.

meteo-mier (2) All snow melted, expect on the ant´s dome wich is colder. This does also mean that the nest is inhabited because the dome´s structure is structure is intact.
meteo-mier (3) Snow as an indicator of temperature distribution in the anthill
meteo-mier (4)  An abandoned nest with some snow on it. It could suggest that the nest is in use again and will be active next spring.

 

Tag: meteomier (mier is Dutch for ant)

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