Myrmecos

Archives for February, 2008

Scaphinotus petersi – Snail-Eating Ground Beetle Arizona Ground beetles- the family Carabidae- are a spectacular evolutionary radiation of terrestrial predators. The elegant, flightless beetles of the genus Scaphinotus prefer snails and slugs. photo details. TOP PHOTO. Canon 100mm f2.8 macro lens on a Canon 20D f/18, 1/250 sec, ISO 100 inside a white box studio,…

Elsewhere on the blogs…

I’m waiting for my PCR reagents to thaw, so in the meantime here are a few links for your perusal: The folks at NCSU insect blog make fun of we ant peoples’ curatorial habits. Bug Girl takes on some anti-pheromone paranoia in California. Carl Zimmer on the awesomeness of cephalopod camouflage.

  Does ant activity cycle by an internal clock, or is their activity cycle a response to changing environmental cues? A study in Insectes Sociaux weighs in on the side of environment. Penick & Tschinkel experimented with applying light and heat from different directions and at different times of day to fire ant mounds.  It…

The rise of microstock photography has many established photographers wringing their hands and gnashing their teeth over how microstock companies are destroying the business. What is microstock? It is a relatively new internet-based business model that licenses existing images for scandalously low prices. Traditionally, images are licensed through highly selective stock agencies for amounts in…

Lutrochus arizonicus – Travertine Beetle Arizona, USA Here’s an odd sort of beetle of whose existence I was entirely ignorant until a few showed up in our lab. My primary research these days is with the Beetle Tree of Life group, and the travertine beetle is just one of many Coleopteran wonders I’ve been introduced…

New (and final?) Notes from Underground

The latest edition of the myrmecological newsletter is online here. It may well be the last, according to editor Gordon Snelling: We have close to 200 members and I can count on two hands the people that have regularly supported Notes by sending in material for publication… I feel like I am banging my head…

Hide and Seek?

 Formica accreta, Northern California I wish I could say I knew what these ants were doing.  Hiding from the photographer, perhaps?  Formica of the fusca species group are notoriously shy insects, but not all of these ones seemed to be equally spooked. photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x  macro lens on a Canon D60. f/13,…

Valentine’s Day Gift Idea: Syphilis

Not the real thing of course, but look how cute the plush version is: The company GiantMicrobes has a delightful line of plush plagues and pestilences. I’ve pasted a few more below, but you really should visit their site.

Darwin’s Birthday

Today is Charles Darwin’s 199th birthday. Aussie blogger John Wilkins provides an eloquent summation of Darwin’s significance: So remember Darwin not as the discoverer of anything, but as the guy who set off a fruitful, active, complex and ultimately explanatory research program in biology, which continues to become ever more active. Don’t make him a…

Ant Course 2008: Venezuela

Ant Course 2008 is scheduled for Venezuela this August. The Ant Course, now in its 8th year, gives students an introduction to myrmecology with a decidedly taxonomic focus. More than just an academic exercise, the course serves as a meeting place where newcomers can mingle with an all-star cast of instructors, a superb social networking…