Myrmecos

Archives for January, 2009

The most-studied ants, an update

My earlier list of the most-studied ant species contained a few omissions.  Here is a more inclusive list: Ant species sorted by number of BIOSIS-listed publications, 1984-2008 The Top 10 Species Publications Solenopsis invicta 984 Linepithema humile 343 Lasius niger 250 Formica rufa 167 Atta sexdens 163 Formica polyctena 160 Solenopsis geminata 151 Myrmica rubra…

A mysterious tramp: Pheidole moerens

Pheidole moerens is a small, barely noticeable insect that travels about with human commerce, arriving without announcement and slipping quietly into the leaf litter and potted plants about town.   As introduced ants go, P. moerens is timid and innocuous- it’s certainly no fire ant.  The species is now present in the southeastern United States, a…

A public appearance

I’ll be giving an hour-long seminar on insect photography this coming Monday, February 2nd, as part of the University of Illinois Ecology and Evolutionary Biology “Ecolunch” series.  Here are the details: Alex Wild at Ecolunch “Insect Photography: A How To For You Too” *** February 2, 12-1pm 176 Burrill Hall 407 S Goodwin Ave University…

Look! Pretty!

Cicindela has been playing with scanners and saturniid moths, to great result: The original file must be huge!   Worth noting that Cicindela is taking a lead from Joseph Scheer, who first perfected the technique.

Location, location, location

This young black widow (Latrodectus hesperus) set up shop above the nest entrance of a colony of Pogonomyrmex harvester ants.  It’s an all-you-can-eat buffet, allowing the spider nearly unlimited pickings as the ants come and go. The spider’s mottled coloration is typical of young widows; they don’t acquire the striking black and red warning garb…

New page for myrmecology announcements

Owing to a volume of incoming specimen requests, I’ve added a tab in the top menu for Myrmecology News to hold items like specimen requests and miscellaneous ant-related announcements so they don’t scroll off the bottom of the blog too quickly. If you’ve got something to post, please email me, alexwild -at- illinois.edu (but replace…

Ted Schultz writes: Postdoc Scott Solomon has arrived here at the Smithsonian to work on the systematics and phylogenetics of Trachymyrmex and Acromyrmex ants and fungi. Scott has spent a fair amount of time collecting in South America, but we want to be sure that we have an exhaustive representation of species as well as…

Specimen Request I: Solenopsidini

Rachelle Adams writes: I have begun a one year postdoc molecular project focusing on the species in the Solenopsidini tribe with Ted Schultz and Seán Brady at the Smithsonian, Washington DC. Due to the vastness of this tribe and its taxonomic challenges, I want to thoroughly sample each genus currently classified in the tribe as…

Sunday Night Movie: The Atta City

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozkBd2p2piU] Tonight’s selection was suggested for your viewing pleasure by Jack Longino.

In thinking about where the myrmecological community ought to devote resources in the age of genomics, it occcured to me that putting some numbers on where researchers have previously concentrated their efforts might be useful.  So I went to BIOSIS previews and quantified the number of publications in 5-year intervals from 1984 to 2008 recovered…