Myrmecos

Archives for June, 2009

Slow Blogging Ahead

For reasons that aren’t clear to me, but are possibly related to the onset of summer bug season, traffic here at myrmecos blog has surged over the past few weeks.  We’re now getting more daily visitors than do my galleries at myrmecos.net. I’d like nothing more than to entertain all the new readers with thoughtful…

Update on the oddity

I hadn’t anticipated that my keen readers would try to guess the *species* of the aforementioned oddity, but since the guessing has headed in that direction I’ll post this hint, which shows the much more commonly seen worker caste of our little mystery bug. Stakes are now at, um, 15 points. Yeah.

An Avian Moonwalk

Well.  I’m off to host a photography workshop.  But in the meantime I can’t resist passing along this video. In honor of Michael Jackson, of course. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-wtO7pjJKk] ht: nyt

An oddity

This odd little beast crawled out of a leaf litter sample from a mesic oak/pine forest in Florida. Ten points to the first person who picks what it is. (Not sure what you’ll do with ten points.  But hey.  You’re all a creative lot.)

Attine genomes: for real this time

A few months ago we learned via an unintentionally leaked press release that a team of researchers lead by Nicole Gerardo and Cameron Currie had won a Roche Applied Sciences grant competition.  The team will be sequencing the complete genome of 14 players from the ant/fungus/microbe co-evolutionary system, including three attine ants from different genera.…

Alaus oculatus (Elateridae) – The Eyed Elater Illinois One of North America’s largest beetles, the eyed elater is more than an inch long.  Alaus oculatus is widespread in the deciduous forests of eastern North America where their larvae are predators of wood-boring beetles.  Other species of Alaus occur in the south and west.  This individual…

The Phantom Ant of the Florida Dunes

Paratrechina Nylanderia phantasma Archbold Biological Station, Florida Here’s an ant I almost didn’t notice.  Paratrechina Nylanderia phantasma is one of the least known insects in North America, active at night and restricted to a particular type of sandy soil in Florida.  Workers are only a couple millimeters long and the color of sand.  In the…

For the record…

…when I disappeared to Argentina recently, I was with my wife. Here she is, collecting ants in the mountains near Tafí de Valle: photo details: Canon 17-40mm f4.0 L lens on a Canon EOS 20D ISO 400, 1/250 sec, f11.0, with circular polarizer & gradient filter on-camera fill flash

Shortly before I left for Florida, my post on the taxonomy of Strumigenys spurred a comment from an anonymous colleague: I wouldn’t be so bold as to publish so many evaluations of ideas without the backing of formal peer review. I wouldn’t be as concerned about the validity of my criticisms, but rather the perceived…

An Ant Lion in Action