Archives for August, 2008

Image Gallery Updates

Dorylus helvolus, KZN, South Africa Last night the internet arrived at our new house. I’ve celebrated the occasion by tackling the backlog of photo uploads. Over at the South Africa photos are starting to go up. The first batch covers Dorylus helvolus, a subterranean predatory ant. Meanwhile, the fine art galleries at have…

Pelidnota punctata – Grapevine Beetle Champaign, Illinois Here it is: the first insect I’ve photographed since moving to Illinois last week.  I’ve been posting a lot of scarab beetles recently, but can you blame me?  They’re so pretty. photo details: Canon 100mm f2.8 macro lens on a Canon 20D ISO 100, f/11, 1/200 sec, indirect…

Our first paper from the Beetle Tree of Life study has been published. Here’s the citation: Wild, A. L. & Maddison, D. R. 2008. Evaluating nuclear protein-coding genes for phylogenetic utility in beetles. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2008.05.023 My co-author David Maddison once summarized the point of the paper as “Hey guys! New genes!”

I Am Ant, Hear Me Roar

This shot wasn’t too difficult.  The ant was following my finger about menacingly, as seen here, so I only needed to lift my hand just above the viewing frame to get her to pose.

Ant News Roundup

Asphinctopone differens Bolton & Fisher 2008 A new species from the Central African Republic Bolton & Fisher Revise Asphinctopone (Zootaxa) Shattuck Revises the Indo-Pacific Prionopelta All imported Fire Ants in the U.S. are descended from 9-20 initial foundress queens [summary in ScienceDaily] ZooKeys: A new open-access journal for biodiversity & taxonomy

Ant Vs. Finger

The New Digs

Our yard here in Champaign is about the size of a postage stamp, but it is in an older part of town and the ant fauna isn’t half bad. In moving up from Tucson I’ve traded my desert harvester ants for a more midwestern fauna. Here’s what I uncovered yesterday in a few minutes of…

Cicindela lemniscata – White-Lined Tiger Beetle Arizona, USA This one is for Ted, who has an excellent blog about Tiger Beetles. photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon 20D ISO 100, f/13, 1/250 sec, flash diffused through tracing paper.

Nomadic Mushroom-Eating Ants

Euprenolepis procera (photo by Witte and Maschwitz) This is cool. A new paper by Volker Witte and Ulrich Maschwitz details a previously unknown behavior for ants: nomadic fungivory.  Here’s the cite and the abstract: Witte, V. and U. Maschwitz. 2008. Mushroom harvesting ants in the topical rain forest. Naturwissenschaften, online early. Abstract: Ants belong to…

The Insectarium

I am minutes away from shutting down this computer to pack it away for the long trip to Illinois tomorrow, but before I do that let me point out the New York Times’ review of what may well be the most ambitious arthropod exhibit ever: The New Orleans Insectarium. If any of you have the…