Archives for September, 2009

Steve Shattuck’s Aussie Ant Photos

I discovered while googling about this morning that Australian ant guru Steve Shattuck has been uploading some very nice photos to flickr.   With any luck we’ll be seeing some of these in a new incarnation of the Australian Ants book.

The 2009 NCES Photo Contest

The North Carolina Entomological Society has announced their annual photo contest.  The deadline to submit your best arthropod shot is October 19th.

The importance of aperture, redux

Compare: I wouldn’t say that either image is better.  The first is dreamier, more abstract, more interpretive.  The second is crisp and illustrative.  Quite a difference for a small tweaking of camera settings! Most of my insect photography falls in the small-aperture realm of the second image, but on reflection I probably ought to play…

Sunday Night Movie: Odonate Bullies

Another gem from Miniscule. [youtube=]

A: Check your house for any signs of ant-art. If, for instance, your garage sports a giant blue Azteca, you might have developed a myrmecological fixation. On the other hand, if you consider yourself an ant-lover but lack any obvious ant adornments, you’re falling behind.  Pick up some paint and get to work! (This garage…

The intrepid students of IB 468 caught this beautiful black burying beetle during a field trip to Dixon Springs, Illinois.  They were kind enough to let me photograph it before it went to the collection. Rather than me blathering on about this insect’s biology, I’ll direct you instead to the N. orbicollis wikipedia page.  Wikipedia…

The Mystery of the Headless Ant

While in Florida earlier this year I turned over a leaf to find this gruesome scene: A worker of the Florida Carpenter Ant (Camponotus floridanus) stationed along a leaf vein among a herd of scale insects.  Except, without a head. I honestly don’t know what happened to the poor ant.  Any ideas?

James Trager writes in this week with a request and a photo: I have been interested in Polyergus (“Amazon ants”, see here) since childhood, when I first had the good fortune to observe them on summer afternoons in northern New Mexico. After decades of intermittent field observations and microscopic examination of specimens of these ants…

FAQ: The Illinois Aphid Swarm

We’ve had plenty of traffic here at the Myrmecos Blog as bewildered midwesterners look for answers about the swarm of tiny insects that has descended on our cities this week.  As best as we can tell, here’s the scoop. Q: What are the annoying little bugs that are swarming Central Illinois this week?

More fun with istockphoto

Mimic recognition fail: (explanation)