Archives for September, 2009

Sunday Night Movie: Army Ant Roll Call

[youtube=] (From BBC’s “Walk on the Wild Side“)

A Flurry of Soybean Aphids

It’s been snowing aphids the past few days here in Champaign-Urbana. Trillions of them are drifting across town, settling out on our garden, getting caught in our hair. I’ve never seen anything like it. I recently learned that this sternorrhynchan storm is composed of soybean aphids (Aphis glycines). That would explain all the aphid biomass.…

We’ve fledged a monarch!

It’s been ages since I hatched out monarch butterflies.  But old habits die hard, and we’ve been raising a monarch caterpillar on our kitchen counter for the past few weeks. This morning the orange and black product of our labors crawled from his chrysalis, inflated his wings, and flew off to an uncertain future. photo…

Friday Beetle Blogging: The Horned Passalus

Friday Beetle Blogging returns this week with portraits of an unusually social beetle.  The horned passalus Odontotaenius disjunctus lives in groups in rotting logs, where adults practice a form of parental care.  I photographed this individual last weekend in southern Illinois, but the species ranges from the tropical forests of Central and South America Texas…

A Plague of Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are back.  The resurgence of these blood-feeding pests is perhaps the biggest entomological story of the past decade.  Take a look, for instance, at the Google search volume for “bed bugs” over the past few years: Why am I telling you all of this? I’ve just posted a new online bed bug photo…

…and creates a visual representation of the Pyramica page history over at iphylo: This is a continuation of an issue I blogged about a couple months ago.

Specimen Request: Cerapachyines

Marek Borowiec writes in this morning with a request for ant specimens from the subfamily Cerapachyinae: Dear Colleagues, I am currently working on the ant subfamily Cerapachyinae. I plan to work on both alpha-taxonomy as well as phylogeny of these ants. In the course of my study I will need as much material as possible.

How to Identify Belostomatids

I don’t know how I missed it when it came out, but The Dragonfly Woman has a post up on how to identify the three North American genera of giant water bugs.  Check it out.

A feast of honeydew

Cameras do not see the world the same way as do human eyes.  Sometimes extra technological trickery is needed to make a scene appear as real in a photograph as it does in life.  The above image is one of those cases. I found these ants beautifully silhouetted on a sun-soaked leaf next to a…

Elsewhere on the bug blogs

Ainsley Seago draws a fungus beetle Rick Lieder shoots a firefly at sunset Clay Bolt mows with the dictator Doug Taron hibernates his butterflies Bug Girl gets a car crush