Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Hairy Wood Ants (Formica lugubris) , Irish woodland wildlife.

Irish wood ants 8
Hairy Wood Ants( Formica lugubris)
Wildlife and Nature photography : Nigel Borrington

Hairy Wood Ants (Formica lugubris) photographic project

Recently I been involved working on a project around Ireland to photograph nests of Irish Wood Ants, this has been one of the most interesting photo project I have ever worked on.

These Ants are on the international endangered species list and exist in locations that are kept reasonably private, just to find and get to see these nests themselves is a task and an amazing feeling.

When you get closer to the nests for the first time you will notice just how large they are (3 feet off the ground) and how many Ants that each colony contains, each nest can hold tens of thousands of Ants, the entire surface of the nest is on the move with Ants coming and going from small entrance holes. This flow of movement is 24 hours long during the months that the Ants are active.

They create a clear trail through the woods as they clear a path, travelling both outwards from the nest and returning again with food for the Queen Ant living deep in the ground under the nest itself.

It is thought she lives in a protected area some two meters underground.

In order to protect themselves and nest with its queen, they can shoot out acid some four feet from their bodies.

I will be working on this project most of this summer and look forward to each return, watching these wonderful Wood Ants is an amazing experience and working around them with a camera is great fun.


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11 responses

  1. Thank you for the insight into this fascinating world, albeit slightly uncomfortable πŸ˜‰

    July 3, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    • Hello Donna πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Thank you , yes I understand not for everyone this one , But I found them so interesting πŸ™‚

      July 3, 2014 at 9:45 pm

  2. Great series. Keep us posted!

    July 3, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    • Hello Victor πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Will do , very pleased you enjoyed !!!!

      July 3, 2014 at 9:45 pm

  3. Gorgeous captures Nigel! =: )))

    July 4, 2014 at 7:35 am

    • Hello Anne πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Thank you , very pleased you enjoyed πŸ™‚

      July 4, 2014 at 5:16 pm

  4. What interesting little critters, Nigel. Do they bite? How did they like having their photo taken? πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Fascinating. This must have been great fun to shoot – so many of them!

    July 4, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    • Hello Sharon πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      I don’t think they do bite Sharon no , but they spit acid and I think this will sting you yes !!!!

      Thanks for the comment , very pleased you enjoyed the post !!

      July 4, 2014 at 5:19 pm

  5. poppytump

    How fascinating Nigel and what a brilliant set of photos !
    I’ve always liked watching ants at work .. they really do look like a little Army … a very protective one at that .. acid spurts with a range of four foot . WOW .

    July 4, 2014 at 1:56 pm

  6. Really great photos πŸ™‚ ❀
    All the best,

    July 4, 2014 at 10:50 pm

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