Ladina Ribi's hand-drawn bull ant.

Ladina Ribi's hand-drawn bull ant.

When ants go marching

They are considered by some to be an annoying pest, they can bite and there's no shortage of them around the ANU campus.

But the common ant is something that insect illustrator Ladina Ribi loves to draw.

During her career, she has drawn wasps and bees but has most recently focused on the tiny six-legged creature, creating about 20 drawings to be used for teaching purposes at the ANU Research School of Biology.

The time taken to draw each ant varies.

Ribi says the hairier the specimen, the longer it can take.

A typical drawing can take three-to-four days. 

Ribi has been at ANU for six-month periods during the summers for the past 12 years with her husband, Professor Willi Ribi.

The other half of her year is based in her native Switzerland.

She also draws fruit and designs on Christmas cards, but finds ants interesting subjects to draw.