Many people see ants as either a hazard in the garden or a nuisance in the house, but anyone who spends time in the bush also knows ants as ubiquitous in the landscape.
Ants are absolutely everywhere, in their many varieties, in their millions. They go about their business with endless energy and purpose, for the most part barely noticed by us. But look down in mid-step just about anywhere and you will see at least one ant, busy and focused, on an ant mission.
What is that mission exactly? The very fact that there are millions of ants within every regional environment tells us they must absolutely play a key role in the ecosystems. Yet they are not a popular subject of study.
Enter student Micheal Mowat, who is keen to find out more. Micheal is doing some of his University internship hours with Parklands this summer. He has a passion for ants, particularly bull ants.
Usually large and aggressive with typical reddish colouring, there are about 90 known species of bull ant in Australia. They live in urban areas, forests, woodlands and heaths. Locally, bull ants are believed to be in decline, as their woodland habitat is also in decline.
Micheal is particularly enjoying interacting with ants in the regional parklands at this time of year, as ants are hatching and flying as we enter summer.