Gathan Beaga

garden oddities

Out in the garden today: emptying the rat-infested compost bin, and generally cleaning up (while R. did the real heavy work of digging the vege garden, heh heh!).

While removing all the long grass at the edge of the path I came across two interesting little animals.

Here’s the first:

what the hell is this?

I think it’s a harvestman of some sort: it’s an arachnid, but not a spider. It’s black, with some orange stripes. But the coolest feature is the huge… jaws? palps? Whatever, they’re fracking huge compared to the rest of it. I’ve posted the original nine photos I took of it on Flickr here. Have a look close up.

What exactly is it?

The second’s not quite as cool:

what kind of ant is this?

Down this path somewhere there’s a nest of these ants, which are a reddish colour and about double the size of the common black ants we usually see here (each gradation on the ruler is 0.5 mm). There are also some smaller red ants around too, I don’t know if they’re from the same mob or not.

I still have this one running around in a glass jar. Any ideas? Should I be worried about it being an exotic pest?

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