Myrmecos

Archives for September, 2008

The World’s Largest Ants…

…are queens in the African driver ant genus Dorylus, captured on video here: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXkEpqoM6oA]

Portrait of a Predator

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

A wasp in intricate detail…

Here are some shots from my training session this morning at the Beckman Institute‘s Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM).  I haven’t used SEM for years- wow!  Great fun.  Click on each image to enlarge.

Creature Comforts: What is it all about?

Via The Other 95% comes an absolutely charming animation set to the British public’s opinion on evolution. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIY4zwYBfrU] If the style looks familiar, it’s from Nick Park, the creator of Wallace and Gromit.

How to Identify Queen Ants

Atta texana queen and worker Ant queens are those individuals in a nest that lay the eggs.  They’re pretty important, of course, as without reproduction the colony dwindles and disappears. Understandably, ant-keepers have an interest in making sure their pet colonies have queens.  Conversely, pest control folks trying to get rid of ant colonies need…

An Announcement: Graduate Student Positions

The lab I work in at the University of Illinois has recently acquired funding for several graduate student positions.  If you are considering a career in taxonomy, genomics, phylogenetics, biodiversity, tropical ecology, or parasitoid wasps, click here for information about the positions. Ponder the following: you’d get your graduate degree from one of the finest…

Friday Beetle Blogging: The Japanese Beetle

The ever colorful Popillia japonica has been in North America for nearly a century.  In spite of an unmistakable charisma, the charms of this unintentional visitor are largely lost among the ruins of chewed up rose bushes, grape vines, and raspberry plants left in its wake.  This beetle is a serious pest, and I don’t…

Busy, busy, busy

Can’t devote much to blogging at the moment, but since we’re feeling sorry for the dipterists this week here’s a fly for you to look at: Maybe one of you fly folks could explain in the comments why Cecidomyiids are so cool.  Aside from looking like little fairies, that is. photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm…

Battle of the Pavement Ants

While walking through the park yesterday, I happened across a sidewalk boundary dispute between two colonies of Pavement Ants.  As is their habit, these little brown ants opted to dispense with diplomacy in favor of all-out warfare. Incidentally, if I had to pick one thing that annoys me about the purely molecular systematists, it is…

Relevant to our earlier discussion, google search statistics suggest “flies” should be able to hold their own against “ants” in the public eye. Caveat: additional meanings of “flies” (such as, the conjugate of the verb ” to fly”) may overestimate the fly tally.