Myrmecos

Archives for December, 2007

2007: The Year in Ants

This week the blogosphere is busy recapping 2007 with lists of top stories in politics, news, and celebrity haircuts. In all the hoopla surrounding year’s end, somehow everyone seems to have forgotten the ants, even though the, um, fast-paced world of Myrmecology has made plenty of discoveries this year. In no particular order, here is…

Photo Technique: Post-Processing

Photos posted to myrmecos.net rarely go straight from the camera to the web. Through some combination of errors related to exposure and the innate properties of digital sensors, raw images can be a surprisingly poor match to what is seen through the viewfinder. Raw images are often relatively flat in appearance, with colors that are…

Waiting on Weevils

If you’ve got weevils to identify, patience is a virtue.¬† At current rates of taxonomic description it’ll only take 650 more years to name all the weevil species.

Holiday Ants

Blogging will resume after Christmas. Happy Holidays!

The Ants of Paraguay

Paraguay may be the world’s most important country. Never mind that it is economically isolated and geopolitically forgettable. Rather, I measure importance by less trivial metrics, and by that of course I mean ants. Paraguayan ants have changed the world. Many of the world’s worst pest species evolved on the broad plains of the Paran√°…

The Current State of Ant Taxonomy…

…reviewed by Phil Ward here: Ward, P.S. 2007. Phylogeny, classification, and species-level taxonomy of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 1668: 549-563. Abstract: The current state of ant systematics is reviewed. In recent years substantial progress has been made in identifying the major clades of ants and the relationships among them. Earlier inferences about ant phylogeny based…

New Species: Trachymyrmex pomonae

Trachymyrmex pomonae Rabeling & Cover 2007 Arizona Nothing warms the heart more than a new ant species close to home! An all-star team of ant specialists, headed by Christian Rabeling at the University of Texas, describe the Arizonan species Trachymyrmex pomonae in Zootaxa this week. This spiny little red insect is part of a New…

This is unnerving.

An image search for one of my favorite ants, the Atta leafcutters, returns a jarring juxtaposition of terrorists and ants: Google Search: “Atta”

Giant Silk Spider

† Nephila sp. Giant Silk Spider Panama † details: Canon 100mm macro lens on a Canon 20D f/2.8, 1/200 sec, ISO 400 handheld, natural light levels adjusted in Photoshop

New photos on myrmecos.net

† † Leafcutter ants are the most conspicuous insects in Central and South America. Every photographer who happens across their bustling trails seems to take pictures of them. The world really does not need any more photos of leafcutter ants, but I can’t help myself. They’re pretty. My latest attine indulgences can be viewed here:…