Archives for March, 2008

Fry & Laurie on the inanity of academic discourse: [youtube=]

Chauliognathus lecontei – LeConte’s Soldier Beetle Chiricahua Mountains, Arizona Soldier Beetles are named for their bright colors. Larvae are predaceous, but adults are commonly seen feeding from the nectar and pollen of flowers. photo details: Canon 100m f2.8 macro lens on a Canon 20D f/6.3, 1/250 sec, ISO 200 indirect strobe in white box

The bearded ladies

In our front yard we’ve got a busy nest of Pogonomyrmex rugosus seed harvesting ants. Warming weather brought them out for the first time last week, and every now and again I go out to see what they’re up to. Lots of digging, it seems. Pogonomyrmex is greek for “Bearded Ant”, named 150 years ago…

St. Paddy’s Day

O’Pogonomyrmex – A little known and rarely-seen Irish harvester ant

Moreau’s Pheidole Phylogeny

Pheidole creightoni major worker, California After reading a couple times through Corrie Moreau’s hot-off-the-press Pheidole evolution paper, I am pleased to give it a thumbs-up. The paper is behind a subscription barrier, so I have distilled the results into an informal summary:

Rain in the desert

Raindrops on Opuntia cactus Tucson, Arizona photo details: Canon 100mm f2.8 macro lens on a Canon 20D. f/7, 1/100 sec, ISO 100 hand-held, natural light contrast boosted in PS

Friday Beetle Blogging: Clown Beetle

Hololepta Clown Beetle (Histeridae) Arizona If Oscars were awarded for Most Aesthetically Pleasing Sculpturing on an Insect, hister beetles would make the short list. Especially Hololepta, which not only shows the trademark histerid shininess but also has a flattened, paper-thin body. Michele Lanan, who collected this beetle for me, noted that it seems designed to…

How DEET works

DEET is the main ingredient in most insect repellents. Slather it on and it’s like magic; the mozzies just fly on by. Nothing else is as effective. In spite of its utility, DEET is pretty nasty stuff. Depending on where you are in the world, you might be healthier just letting the bugs bite. It…

New Species: Coprophanaeus caroliae

Coprophanaeus caroliae Edmonds 2008 Dung Beetle – Bolivia Source: Edmonds, W.D. 2008. A new species of Coprophanaeus Olsoufieff (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) from Bolivia. Zootaxa 1723: 42-46.

Myrmecologist and artist Andrea Lucky sent me this picture, depicting her controversial view that Adam Ant was really a Myrmecia.