Myrmecos

Archives for April, 2008

Invasive Ants on your Walls

If you’re having trouble filling that bare wall over your desk, the Bohart Museum of Entomology has just the thing: a new line of insect posters. The invasive ant poster above was designed by Fran Keller from auto-montage images by Eli Sarnat, Jasmine Joseph, and Anna Lam.

Help redesign myrmecos.net

Myrmecos.net is 5 years old. It has grown from a few dozen photographs to about 4,000, and in recent years 1,500 people visit the site every day. In spite of the site’s high profile, myrmecos has not changed in any fundamental way since it first went online in 2003 (archived versions are accessible here). The…

Missy Higgins

Jo-anne has made a project of reorienting me towards a more Australian temperament. Her tactics are subtle but persistent. If I send her off to the video store, for instance, she comes home with some Aussie movie or another. The most insidious of her methods includes buying CDs of Australian bands and playing them until…

Weekend Links

The New York Times has a piece on Ansel Adams. Spot the fake smile! Get your fix of Cicada Mania. And finally…Polar Bear Tacos?

Roy Snelling’s species

A few of the many species described by Roy Snelling: Myrmecocystus tenuinodis Snelling 1976 Stenamma dyscheres Snelling 1973 Neivamyrmex wilsoni Snelling & Snelling 2007

Eusattus dilatatus – dune darkling beetle (Tenebrionidae) California, USA Sand dunes are an unusual habitat, and the creatures found on them are equally odd. One of the more charismatic dune endemics is Eusattus dilatatus, a large darkling beetle found in southern California. This scavenging insect has long legs for digging and a waxy cuticle to…

In memory of Roy Snelling

Yesterday I received the sad news that Roy Snelling, one of the most significant figures in modern myrmecology, has passed on. He was on an expedition in Kenya and apparently suffered a heart attack in his sleep. Roy’s prolific career as a curator at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County produced dozens of…

An Odd Ant

Proceratium californicum San Mateo Co., California From Antweb: This rarely collected ant is known from valley oak (Quercus lobata) riparian woodland in the Central Valley and from adjacent foothill localities (oak woodland; chaparral; grassland). It is presumed to be a specialist, subterranean predator on spider eggs. Alates have been collected in April and May. photo…

Areolate In 1979, Rick Harris wrote a definitive paper illustrating the various terms used by taxonomists to describe the intricate patterns on the insect exoskeleton. His guide is tremendously helpful to those of us who struggle to decide if those ridges on the head of an ant are strigate or costate.  Via Sifolinia, I now…

Beware the Cow-Killer

Velvet ants- which aren’t really ants at all- are wingless wasps that parasitize ground-nesting bees. They are attractive insects, bearing bright colors and cute frizzy hair. But in case you are ever tempted to pick up one of those cuddly-looking little guys, let the photo above serve as a reminder about what lies at the…