This network is devoted to conversations on the natural history, behavior, ecology, and evolution of any and all members of the order Hymenoptera: ants, bees, sawflies and wasps. Feel free to share your work, your questions, what your students are doing, what you are reading, and anything related to Hymenoptera.

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  • Looking for Feedback or idea:

    I want to run a project I am about to start by you to get insight and feedback.

    So, some years ago I was part of a group in Texas that wanted to sample ants across the entire state to get a good species list. There are good species lists for several states in the USA but not for Texas which is a large state with many different habitats. Unfortunately, the man who proposed the project took a different career path and this group kinda dried up.

    So, I want to revive it a bit but I am only one person in north center Texas, just west of Fort Worth.
    I am consulting with other myrmecologists but would like your input as well.
    I am planning to start with 3 counties: Parker, Wise, and Tarrant. I choose these because they are where I am and I have access to property here (accessibility could be an issue in Texas). The Fort Worth Nature Center is in Tarrant County and I already have some ant species data on that area. I also have two assistants who can help but they do not know ant identification. I also need to start small, I think.

    My plan is to do sampling with several methods. But I am also thinking of doing something along the lines of the School of Ants, which you may have heard about.
    This would involve people signing on to capture ants using a large (50 mL) centrifuge tube with some pecan sandie as bait. They set the tube out in their yard or other area for an hour and then close the tube, put it in the freezer and send to me to identify with collection information.
    I teach at a small college in Parker county -- so I could ask my colleagues, who may live in various places, to participate.
    But also, the college usually has a STEMania event for 4th grades to introduce them to science and related areas. I am guessing that because of COVID-19, we may not do this activity this fall. Perhaps, the College could use the collection of ants as a way to connect with these classes.

    This would be a start.
    What do you think?
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