Last spring I had the pleasure and entertainment of some of my favorite ants setting up camp in the exterior lining of my front window. Pseudomyrmex is one of the groups of ants that truly displays the close relationship to wasps in their form. I have never been stung, but I’m told it’s fairly painful. Luckily, like many insects, they are not particularly aggressive towards humans unless truly provoked. In general these ants responded to my getting too close with the camera by dropping off the wall to the ground, a fairly common escape behavior. It was fun to watch the workers as they hauled home their catches and try to identify the prey item.
Mirids (Miridae), commonly(and rather vaguely) known as ‘plant bugs’ were all over the place at the time, and seemed to be a fairly common catch. My personal favorite was the small critter seen below, whose large curved jaws identify it as a neuropteran larvae, one of the net-winged insects. It’s likely a lacewing larvae, but–as a number of antlions had set up pits in the sand below the window–I am personally fond of the idea that this is a case of ant eating antlion. Sweet revenge!