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The American Southwest is a hot spot for North American ant diversity, with over 350 species of ants known from Arizona, and a variety of ecologically interesting taxa—including leafcutters, harvester ants, army ants, and honeypot ants. In this 10-night course, participants will gain knowledge of the outstanding diversity, ecology, and behavior of southwestern ants. This course is designed with curriculum that complements rather than competes with the California Academy of Sciences Ant Course, which is also held at the SWRS once every three years and focuses heavily on the taxonomy and systematics of ants. The main focus of this course will be the ecology and behavior of ants.
The course will include lectures, field trips, field experiments, and labs. Participants will obtain hands-on experience in experimental techniques with both field and captive ant colonies. The course will also cover current topics in ant behavior and ecology research. Students will leave the course with a small collection they create and may have the opportunity to set up a captive laboratory colony.