Fabiano, congratulations! This spectacular series was chosen as our Spotting of the Day last night! What a beautiful golden ant. Thanks for sharing and welcome to the community. We look forward to seeing many, many more beautiful species through your lens.
We've shared the news with our Facebook and Twitter friends too:
Amblyteles armatorius feeding on nectar of Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa). A large and attractive ichneumon wasp (or "ichneumon fly"), with the black and yellow colouration of many aculeate (stinging) wasps, but instead a member of the large, stingless 'Apocrita Parasitica' group of the Hymenoptera. Presumably it is a Batesian mimic, enjoying a degree of protection by resembling dangerous models. Ichneumon wasps, with a few exceptions, are parasitoids of insects and other arthropods. Most exist in the larval state within the bodies of caterpillars of butterflies and moths. A. armatorius is known as a parasitoid of moths in the family Noctuidae and has also been reported specifically as parasitising the caterpillars of the Emperor Moth (Saturnia pavonia) At first glance, A. armatorius might be taken as one of the spider-hunting wasps, but the long antennae are an external characteristic of the Ichneumonidae. As noted above, it is stingless. The female has a shorter, more oval abdomen and lacks the long, protruding ovipositor of most of the ichneumon wasps. The distinctive, bright yellow, dorsal spot at the base of the thorax is seen in both sexes. The great majority of ichneumon wasps are much smaller, black, inconspicuous insects.
For the developers at New York start-up Networked Organisms, smartphones are the butterfly nets of the 21st Century. Their tool, Project Noah, lets people upload photos of plants and wildlife around them, creating a map of the natural world and contributing to scientific research in the process.
Bespectacled scientists of yore would carry around hefty field guides, made up of hundreds of pages of text and photos. But these days, smartphone owners have a lighter option: an app called Project Noah, which aims to help people identify plants and animals as well as collect data from "citizen scientists" about where certain species are located.
Project Noah enables us to be part of a more focused online community where we can learn more about wildlife around us and contribute to scientific research. It pulls participants into deeper, more meaningful engagement by enabling people to go on “missions” to collectively map changes based on sightings.
A modern invention that may also hold the key to saving species in the future. Project Noah is a global study that encourages nature lovers to document the wildlife they encounter, using a purpose built phone app and web community. In addition to the virtual "collection" of species, Project Noah encourages citizen science by linking up with existing surveys including the International Spider Survey and the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network.