Archives for May, 2008


[youtube=] We went down to the Rialto last night to catch a benefit concert by Calexico. Best show I’ve seen in ages. They pull off an unexpected blend of mariachi, folk, and straight-up rock, including a Neil Young cover featuring two full mariachi bands and a slew of guest vocalists on stage. Calexico is perhaps…

Olla v-nigrum – Ashy Grey Ladybird Beetle Arizona Here it is: the very first ladybird beetle featured on the Friday Beetle Blog. Instead of a boring ol’ red and black one, I’ve chosen a stylish and tasteful beetle colored in grayscale: the Ashy Gray Ladybird. These have been arriving in some numbers at my blacklight…

Mixed feelings about honey bees

Spring is swarm season for honeybees, and the feral population in Tucson is booming. We’ve got not one but two new colonies nesting in dead trees in our yard. I didn’t do anything to attract them, they just moved in on their own. My feelings about honey bees are mixed.

Myrmecology makes Slate Magazine

Scott Solomon, who researches fungus-growing ants, has a brief piece in Slate Magazine on the Paratrechina Crazy Ants invading Houston. I’m not convinced that this ant is anything different from Paratrechina fulva, a common South American species and the oldest name in that species complex. People have been calling the Houston invader “P. cf. pubens“,…


Lycaena xanthoides – Great Copper California A butterfly larva peeks through a hole it has eaten in its Rumex host plant.


Apparently either Jo-anne or I share a name with, or similar to, someone on the U.S. government’s secret terrorist watch list.  I can’t say which of us it is; no one at the airport is authorized to tell us that. All I know is we were prevented from checking in at the Tucson airport on…

Carpophilus sp. Sap Beetle, Nitidulidae Arizona The Opuntia prickly-pear cacti have been flowering the past few weeks. Every time I poke at a blossom I find several chunky Carpophilus beetles. photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon 20D f/13, 1/250 sec, ISO 100, twin flash diffused through tracing paper

A New Genus of Ant

Opamyrma hungvuong Yamane et al 2008 Vietnam It isn’t every day we get a whole new genus. In this week’s Zootaxa, Seiki Yamane, Tuan Vet Bui, and Katsuyuki Eguchi report the discovery of Opamyrma, an amblyoponine ant from central Vietnam. The full article is behind Zootaxa’s subscription barrier, but detailed specimen photos are already up…

The L.A. Times on Roy Snelling

Roy Snelling, 73; renowned entomologist was an expert on ants.

E. O. Wilson on NOVA

I’ve just received the following notice about an upcoming NOVA show on the life of biologist/myrmecologist E. O. Wilson: NOVA is excited to partner with organizations that share our passion for scientific discovery as we spread the word about upcoming shows. On Tuesday, May 20, we invite you to join us for a look at…