Myrmecos

Archives for September, 2008

New weaver ant photos at myrmecos.net

Oecophylla longinoda Go see!

A Song for your Sunday

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ubTQfr_tyY] The BBQ Song.  Once this gets in your head, good luck.  It won’t come out.

Why Ants are Cooler than Flies

Dipterist Keith Bayless exposes a pernicious case of media bias: Six new families of Diptera were described from newly discovered species in the last 6 years! None of these flies received the press coverage given to Martialis. There are a variety of explanations for this, including that 1) The fly descriptions were published in lower…

Random associations of photo and story

Speaking of bad science reporting… Not the right ant. Nope. Camponotus?  You’ve gotta be kidding. It isn’t Lasius, either. Nor Ectatomma. (And isn’t that Corrie Moreau’s copyrighted photo?).

The New York Times on Martialis

The New York Times has a short piece on the discovery of Martialis and the story behind the name. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/18/science/18ant.html The annotated specimen photo seems an effective way to point out key parts of the insect. I’ve got to say, I’m continually impressed by the extra effort the NY Times puts into their science reporting. …

The Ants of Paraguay now up at Antweb

Yesterday, the above photograph was uploaded to Antweb’s databases.   Platythyrea pilosula is the final species to be imaged for the Ants of Paraguay project, marking the end of a sporadic and meandering study that I started in 1995 as a hobby during my stint in the Peace Corps.  After combining several years’ worth of…

Here’s something that bugs me.  Instead of emphasizing the real significance of the find, a discovery like the “Mars ant” Martialis heureka is usually condensed down to  “Wow, this ant is weird!”. I’ve pasted below a sampling of leads: Newly-Discovered Bizarre Ant – Boing Boing ‘Ant From Mars’ Discovered in Amazon Rainforest – Fox News…

Eureka! Heureka! An Astonishing New Ant!

Martialis heureka Rabeling & Verhaagh 2008 drawing by the inimitable Barrett Klein for PNAS Most scientific discoveries these days emerge through carefully planned and controlled research programs.  Every now and again, though, something unexpected just pops up in a distant tropical jungle.  Martialis heureka is a fantastic discovery of that old-fashioned kind.  This little ant…

New Pheidole photos up at myrmecos.net

Go see! Incidentally, you might want to surf back here to Myrmecos Blog on Monday afternoon.  There’s been a very, very exciting discovery…

The Prettiest Midwestern Camponotus

Camponotus castaneus Champaign, Illinois I photographed this ant’s nest yesterday afternoon.  A couple hundred large, orange ants with piles of silken cocoons under a board in the park next to our house.  I feel vaguely guilty about this now, as the soggy remains of Hurricane Ike are blowing through town this morning and everything is…