Arizona Jan-Feb 2018 Home Page
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 Arizona Road Trip 2018 Home Page      Train Links       Ant Links       Why I Love Ariz  
(Including Lower Salt River, Superstition Mtns & Riparian Preserve)
Click on the following parts to open different image pages from this road trip.
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    Home       Part 1       Part 2       Part 3       Part 4       Part 5       Part 6       Part 7       Part 8       Part 9       Part 10  
    Also See Images Taken In This Beautiful Area During Cloudy Jan & Feb Of 2017!  
Cameras Used On This Trip: Nikon D-3200, Nikon D-40x, Nikon D-90, Sony HX-50, Sony T-10
© W.P. Armstrong 10 February 2018

Superstitions 2018

During February 2018 the Superstitions were extremely dry. There was no sign of spring annual wildflowers, just dry grasses from the previous year. Some images on this page and on Part I were taken a year ago when this area had rain, wildflowers and beautiful clouds. It also had a lot more ant species, including the remarkable army ants in 2016. Along the Lower Salt River where I found many ant colonies in previous years, footprints in the thick layer of dust reminded me of images from the surface of the moon! However, I must say that the "supermoon" over the Superstitions on 31 January 2018 was absolutely phenomenal (see Part 3).

  More Images Of Drought In The Superstitions   
Thick Layer Of Dust Along Lower Salt River

Superstitions 2018

One of my goals on this 2018 trip was to find and photograph an Arizona trapjaw ant (Odontomachus clarus). Due to the extreme drought conditions in the Superstitions I think the odds of finding one is very unlikely. There is probably a better chance of finding this remarkable ant during the monsoonal rains of midsummer.

  See Remarkable Trapjaw Ant From Costa Rica  

Click On Image To View Larger Image On Part 1.

Table Of Contents

     Part 1:  Scenic Images (1) (From 2017)

     Part 2:  Scenic Images (2)

     Part 3:  Scenic Images (3)

     Part 4:  Freight Trains (1)

     Part 5:  Ant Species (1)

     Part 6:  Ant Species (2)

     Part 7:  Ant Species (3)

     Part 8:  Miscellaneous (1)

     Part 9:  Miscellaneous (2)

     Part 10:  Miscellaneous (3)

Superstitions 2017

Superstitions 2017

A note to viewers of this page: The primary objective of this road trip was to photograph interesting ants and beautiful scenary in this lovely part of Arizona. Since I was a little too early for ants during cold, stormy weather, I decided to concentrate on scenery with massive clouds.

  SEINet Plants Of The Superstitions by K.C. Rice  

In January (2016) I made a noteworthy ant discovery in the Superstitions. I found a minute army ant colony of the genus Neivamyrmex under a rock. Based on its minute size and several other distinguishing characteristics, it appears to be the seldom observed species N. nyensis; however, According to Neivamyrmex authority Gordon Snelling (Personal Communication, 26 Jan. 2017), it is N. leonardi! A nearby rock had an equally small species of Forelius, but army ants are easy to distinguish because they do not have eyes. Since they are blind, they must trail closely behind each other, like following the car in front of you in dense Fresno ground fog.

Superstitions 2016

Army ant worker (Neivamyrmex) from under a rock on Superstition Mountain. Based on the description and key to Neivamyrmex in (and small size), it appears to be N. nyensis, a seldom observed species; however, According to Neivamyrmex authority Gordon Snelling (Personal Communication, 26 Jan. 2017), it is N. leonardi!

More About Army Ants (Subfamily Dorylinae)

Because of their reduced or nonexistent eyes, army ants are blind and follow closely behind the ant in front of them. Imagine the following scenario: You are running as fast as you can, following a pheromone scent trail behind your sisters. For some reason your group becomes separated from the main foraging trail. You are blind and must rely on the recognition scent of the sisters in front of you. Eventually a new pheromone trail is laid down, but you are running in a continuously rotating circle. Your situation is critical because you are in an endless loop and will eventually die of exhaustion. This is precisely what happens to army ants in tropical America. See following image and video:

  Army Ant Encounter In Superstitions (January 2016)