Myrmecos

Archives for January, 2009

Excellent news

…for we caffeine addicts.  I’m going to go pour myself another cup.

The Giant Tiger Beetle Amblycheila cylindriformis is a tank of an insect, at 35mm in length the largest tiger beetle in North America.   Unlike the more familiar day-active Cicindela tiger beetles, the flightless Amblycheila lumbers about at night, catching hapless insects in its massive jaws. Photographing Amblycheila was difficult on account of the insect’s shiny…

Black backgrounds in macro photography?

Dalantech over at the No Cropping Zone writes: From time to time I see people argue about the backgrounds in macro images, and about how dark backgrounds don’t look natural –whatever the heck that means. Seriously what’s natural about macro photography? Do you see all the detail in a bee’s compound eye or the tiny…

Feeling too skinny?

I know you’re terribly bored with ants, ants, ants all the time here at Myrmecos Blog.  So that’s why we’re bringing you something different.  It’s an ad from the 60′s letting you know about an exciting new product for putting on a few pounds: For some reason it was lying around the entomology office this…

Wednesday links

Not much time to blog today. Instead, some links: Roberto Keller has wonderfully detailed SEMs of the clypeal pegs  of amblyoponine ants. Douglas Adams’ Jeremy Lee’s view of Australia is spot on, except for the bit about snakes, which are worse than Adams Lee thinks.  (h/t John Wilkins) The New Scientist lists their most stunning…

Touring the Audubon Insectarium

New Orleans, January 2009 The first major public exhibit to open in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina was the Audubon Nature Institute’s Insectarium.  We took advantage of a lull in our schedule last week to make the pilgrimage to what turns out to be a surprisingly ambitious operation.  It well exceeded our expectations.

A mystery ant

Over at the Ant Farm Forum they’re playing a round of Name That Ant*. This week’s challenge was posed by MarekB and is a particularly tough one.  Go on over to try your hand. *This sort of activity is certainly not geeky.

A textbook image: ant castes

Here’s an image I should have taken years ago.  It’s a stylized shot of the different castes in an ant colony, perfect for a textbook illustration of the morphological distinctions among males, gynes, and workers.  Better late than never, I suppose. photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 20D ISO…

Sunday Night Movie: Ha!

This is what happens when society teaches people to hate and fear insects: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7GNXTw1YPQ&eurl]

The Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x Macro Lens

Only one lens can take this shot If you’ve paid attention to insect photography over the past decade, you’ll likely have noticed that a single lens, Canon’s MP-E 1-5x macro, has come to dominate the market.  Every professional insect photographer I know owns one, and many of the dedicated amateurs do as well.  Indeed, some…