Skaife's ant

Skaife's ant

Observation - Skaife's ant - Southern Africa. Description: The only ant named after the legendary Stephen Skaife, the entomologist who pioneered insect studies in Africa and who was the driving force behind the creation of the Cape Point Nature Reserve [take note, SanParks]. An indigenous survivor in my suburban

The only ant named after the legendary Sydney Skaife, the entomologist who pioneered insect studies in Africa and who was the driving force behind the creation of the Cape Point Nature Reserve [take note, SanParks]. An indigenous survivor in my suburban garden, infested as it is with Argentine ants, Skaife's ant is not even in the iSpot dictionary - can you believe it! What a shocking lapse! All the Camponotus werthi [Black sugar ants] you find in the Peninsula are probably subsp skaifei. The ant was first improbably collected on Kerguelen Island by the explorer Dr Werth [who was what? - no info], but it turns out that Werth only found them in his lodgings and it's probable that they travelled to Kerguelen with him from Cape Town, as they have never been found there again. Widespread in southern Africa, Skaife realised that the Peninsula representatives had blunter, wider heads and fatter petiole flanges than the type, and the subspecies has been recognised by every reasonably respectable myrmecologist ever since.