Myrmecos

Archives for November, 2009

Mayr’s Trap-Jaw Ant, Anochetus mayri

Anochetus mayri is an ant most North American myrmecologists will not have encountered in the field.  This toothy exotic is a small brown insect, less than half a centimeter long, known in the United States only from scattered locations in suburban Florida.  I photographed one this summer on a collecting trip to West Palm Beach.…

Sunday Night Movie: Bohemian Rhapsody

The definitive muppet version: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgbNymZ7vqY]

The Life and Times of Mingus the Cat

November 2009 edition.

Myrmecos Blog at Two Years

Myrmecos Blog appeared online two years ago today.   While I’m obviously the guy writing most of the posts, the reason we’re still on the air isn’t me and my bloviating.  It is all of you guys- the readers, the guest bloggers, the commentators. Without the life provided to the site by the many participants,…

Notoxus desertus – Antlike Flower Beetle Pyramid Lake, Nevada This furry little beetle comes with its own sun visor, a horn-like structure that projects over the head from the pronotum.  I photographed this Notoxus along the shores of Pyramid Lake where it was feeding on pollen. Photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on…

Happy Thanksgiving!

Now stop playing around on the internet and go spend some time with your friends and family.

Giant Water Bug

I’m so used to taking photos of fast-moving ants and beetles that a sedentary insect comes as something of a relief.  Instead, the challenge with this Belostoma giant water bug was lighting the shot. Aquariums are prone to reflections and dust on the glass.  I arranged a diffused flash above the tank, positioned behind the…

Wanted: Azteca, ASAP

An urgent bleg to Myrmecos readers: If you have recent collections of Azteca ants suitable for molecular work, and you can mail them out within the week, please consider sending me any samples you can spare.  I’d be especially grateful for species like Azteca instabilis, A. trigona, or A. velox that do not live in…

Sunday Night Movie: The Pistol Shrimp

from the BBC’s Weird Nature [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XC6I8iPiHT8]

The textbook version of the leafcutter ant and its fungus is a simple story: attine ants cultivate an edible fungus in their nests.  They are obligate farmers, eating only the fungus, and the fungus is a specialized cultivar found only in ant nests. It’s a nice tale, but as researchers probe deeper they continually uncover…