Monday, 12 October 2009

Rickia wasmannii in the UK

Did anyone else notice the photograph on Plate 8 of the 'Ants of Surrey', captioned 'A rare variety of M. sabuleti with unusually shaped hairs? I'd had the book for ages and not paid any attention to it until a few weeks back. The unusually shaped hairs looked remarkably familiar to me.

I emailed John Pontin, to see if he had any specimens of these ants. After a bit of a mix-up over my address (which has changed since the last BWARS newsletter, by the way) I finally retrieved the two specimens he sent to me. They are covered with Rickia wasmannii, as I suspected, more so than the specimens I collected in Bavaria. This fulfils my ambition of finding it first in the UK, even if I didn't collect it. It also means probably two more papers to write (one for the mycologists, one for the myrmecologists).

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