So what does it take to track down the elusive ant? Most have small colonies, which as I emphasize in the book means they move slowly, and that adds to the difficulty of seeing them. In many, the workers are tiny as well, in some cases barely visible as dots.
What it takes then is perseverance and a sharp eye. None does better than Lloyd Davis, now retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Lloyd can sit happily for hours, scooping up litter and soil from the ground and going through it bit by bit with a pair of high magnification jeweler's lenses, hunting for specks that move.
I've had the good fortune to travel with Loyd in Ecuador and in Ghana. Here he is with fellow ant enthusiast David Donoso on that first trip hot on the prowl of elusive ants at Tiputini Reserve.