More Gifts From the Ants.

While testing the idea of harvester ants as a rangeland health monitor species, small crystals from the ant colony mounds were collected and sorted.  Below are small (~3 mm) specimens of chalcedony found outside colony entrances.  The image was taken using a digital dissecting microscope.  While the second image is the same grouping but photographed under UV light with a camera.  Note several of the chalcedony pieces fluoresce with a greenish light.  This behavior was also noticed in larger chalcedony specimens collected from the high New Mexican desert around the Painted Pony Resort.

Chalcedony specimens collected from the mounds surrounding harvester ant colonies.
The same grouping of chalcedony but under UV light.


  1. Beautiful! Wonder if I would look better under UV light!!

  2. Thank you. I find it difficult to photograph under UV light and have been working on my technique. Capturing the florescence as opposed to the reflected UV light is problematic and demonstrates the limitations of my equipment (inexpensive point and shoot camera).