Myrmecos

Archives for July, 2008

My, what big eyes you have…

Harpegnathos saltator – Jumping Ant I thought I would have to travel all the way to India (the horror!) to photograph one of the world’s most charming insects, the jumping ant Harpegnathos saltator. But I recently learned that myrmecologist Juergen Liebig, a professor at Arizona State University, maintains dozens of captive colonies in his lab…

…documented in detail at the Photoshop Disasters Blog. The number of major corporations guilty of egregious image manipulation errors is surprising.

Moving to Illinois

The more avid readers (that’s you, mom!) may have noticed a lack of activity on the blog of late.  Life has intruded.  Next week I will be leaving my job at the University of Arizona and taking a new one in Illinois.  This means tying up loose ends on the beetle project, saying goodbye to…

Cotinus mutabilis – Fig Beetle Tucson, Arizona A few weeks ago we started noticing these giant green scarabs flying about Tucson.  They’re about the same size and clumsiness in the air as carpenter bees, but brilliant green in color.  My wife- a bit of a bug geek herself- was given a few for her birthday…

Check this out: ant innards

Oecophylla weaver ants are exceptionally cooperative subjects for photography, allowing for plenty of experimentation with lighting while the ants preen and pose. While developing the photographs from South Africa I discovered that strong backlighting allows a crystal-clear view of the tracheal system: Oecophylla longinoda, St. Lucia, KZN, South Africa The tracheae are visible as dark…

Trouble on the Internet

Apparently both WordPress and Smugmug host images through Amazon’s servers, and Amazon failed in a spectacular fashion this morning.  The outage took down both www.alexanderwild.com and many of the images for this blog, so if things appear to behave oddly, that’s what’s happening.

Flight of the Conchords

Funniest show ever. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUVagbFcSUU]

ICE 2008

I’ve had a week to digest the International Congress of Entomology (ICE) meeting held earlier this month in Durban, South Africa. Thousands of diverse presentations happening in 15 parallel sessions cannot easily be summed up in a single blog post, so I’ll stick to a few of my own impressions of the conference. First, the…

Apatides fortis (Bostrichidae), the Horned Powder-Post Beetle Tucson, Arizona These robust wood-boring beetles have been common at my blacklight in early monsoon season. Good thing, too.  We collected a few for the Beetle Tree of Life study, and they’ve been one of the easier beetles to produce DNA sequence for our project. photo details: Canon…

Leptogenys attenuata In spite of the southern winter, the coastal forests of Kwazulu-Natal had plenty of ant activity to keep me occupied last week. In addition to the beautiful Polyrhachis I posted earlier, here are portraits of a few of the species I encountered.