Ant Course 2008

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Ant Course 2008

Post by Benoit Guenard on Thu Aug 21, 2008 6:33 pm

I just came back from the Ant Course in Venezuela. This is why I was not able to administrate the forum and unfortunately, we had some spam.Sorry about that.

The ant course this year was organized at the Henri Pittier National Park in the province of Aragua. We stayed at the biological station which is an ancient hotel/palace built in the 30's but abandoned for years and years. The 120 rooms that composed this building are now mostly inhabited by bats, lezards and plants that colonized the place. In summary, the decorum was fantastic for 35 myrmecologist student and a dozen of instructors. I hope I could show you some pictures soon.
The station was on a slope of a mountain that offer us a wonderful view. The cloud forest surrounding the station, we did not have to go very far to collect our favorite creatures.

The organization of the Antcourse was wonderful and I would like to thanks the two main leaders: Brian Fisher and John Lattke, as the different intructors: Inge Ambrecht, Leeanne Alonso, Beto Brandão, Fabiana Cuezzo, Fernando Fernández, Bob Johnson, Jack Longino, Corrie Moreau, Christian Rabeling, Andrew Suarez, Walter Tschinkel, Phil Ward and Edith Rodriguez.
All of them did a fantastic work to share their passion and knowledge and it was a great pleasure to share discussions, beers and dances with them. The atmosphere between the different members was wonderful and we all belong to the same colony.

About the ants:
Several excursions were planned, some of course around the station, and some at two different sites away from the station. At any case, we had a lot of success.
It will be long to enumerate all the ants found, but here are some of the most exciting catch of the Antcourse 2008: Acanthognathus, Acropyga, Amblyopone, Centromyrmex, Cylindromyrmex, Leptanilloides, Probolomyrmex, Thaumatomyrmex,...

Once again, congratulations for all those wonderful moments.
I strongly encourage any ant student to apply for the next editions.
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Re: Ant Course 2008

Post by ana on Fri Aug 22, 2008 6:08 pm

Hey Benoit, and everybody else..
I m writing from wierd internet caffe in Poerto Colombia (that would be in Venezuela). It s a diffrent world down there, then the one we had in Rancho Grande. Much warmer. A lot of colors, noise, music, people, dogs, fruits..
You know, Benoit, when I was reading your post I could hear your voice very clear- with your funny accent altogether. All of us definetly had intensiv socialisation in this 10 days Wink
Well, I better go to write some e-mails to my old friends, while I still remember them.

Last question- did anybody had any problems whit ant collection on airports?? Like- "Pins can be lethal weapon, Miss!"

Lots of hugs

Ana Jesovnik (girl from Croatia with the strange brace)

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Re: Ant Course 2008

Post by Laurent C. on Mon Aug 25, 2008 6:01 am

Sounds you had great time there,

I wish I could do this course one day,

We will wait for the pictures!

Laurent C.

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Re: Ant Course 2008

Post by Benoit Guenard on Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:45 am

Hi,

I have finished with a first set of pictures:
Acanthognathus: http://www4.ncsu.edu/~bsguenar/Pics%20Acanthoganthus%20sp1%20Venezuela.html
Brachymyrmex: http://www4.ncsu.edu/~bsguenar/Pics%20Brachymyrmex%20sp1%20Venezuela.html
and Thaumatomyrmex: http://www4.ncsu.edu/~bsguenar/Pics%20Thaumatomyrmex%20atrox.html

Ana, of my group of people, I did not hear anybody having trouble to pass the ants to the customs. Only Jack had some trouble to pass is microscope but finally succeeded.
I hope you have appreciated your extra days in Venezuela, some of us had to go back to work Neutral

Laurent, I hope for you too. It is a great experience for a myrmecologist, maybe next year in Arizona? or in two years, Brian Fisher would like to do it in Borneo? Sounds really exciting!
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Re: Ant Course 2008

Post by Antonio on Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:45 am

Hi Anna and Benoit, I'm so glad that you enjoy the course and part of my country (that was the idea Wink ). Regrettably many of us has to return to real life (with a pile of work), but with beautiful memories of all of you. However, we already know that exist some that bind us, ants!!!!. Cheers for all!!!, and remember Venezuela es su casa.

Ahhh!!!, Anna nos quedaron varias canciones por bailar Very Happy . Un abrazo.

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Re: Ant Course 2008

Post by Antonio on Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:49 am

Benoit, all your pictures are really amazing. I’ve never saw life pictures of Brachymyrmex. Great!!!

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