Myrmecos

Archives for November, 2009

Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus Goldenrod Soldier Beetles Illinois, USA Here at Myrmecos Blog we aim for a family-friendly atmosphere.  Except for beetle sex.  Sometimes we just can’t resist. (There’s also plant sex going on here too, if you’re into that sort of thing…) Photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 50D ISO…

Public opinion

This tree depicts how colony size evolves in ants.  The purple/blue colors represent small colonies with only a few to a few dozen ants, while the yellows and oranges represent species with enormous colonies of tens or hundreds of thousands of individuals.  What’s exciting about this rainbow-colored figure? If you were expecting ant evolution to…

Ugly Bugs?

Andy Deans of NCSU rightly rakes ASU over the coals for their Ugly Bugs contest: Denigrating insect species, broadly labeled here as bugs does a disservice to those of us who fight daily to convince a skeptical public…

Photo tip: focus on the eyes

I’ve had several people ask me recently where to focus when taking insect photos.  Here’s my advice. Aim for the eyes. Compare: The second photo should be more appealing than the first.  Indeed, the first looks out of focus.  Strictly speaking, though, this isn’t true. The top photo shows a much greater percentage of the…

Survivor: Invasive Ants

from an interview with Survivor contestant Kelly Sharbaugh: When your name showed up, you looked flabbergasted, shocked, dumbfounded. All of the above. I had no idea that Russell had the idol. When [host Jeff Probst] said my name, I was like. “What just happened? What did I do?” I was so emotional because I was…

Sunday Night Movie: Penguin vs Ostrich

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmk1dToZYGo]

Bug-Blogging Galore

Over at IB401, the entomology students are blogging faster than a swarm of locusts in a candy shop*: Caterpillars I have known Beetle’s Threat to Baseball Ants on Stilts Pink Mantids! Keeping a Praying Mantis Fig Wasp Beats Deforestation Hungry Crickets Drop by and leave them some comments! *or, whatever.

Edrotes ventricosus (Tenebrionidae) – Dune Beetle California, USA In arid environments around the world, darkling beetles in the family Tenebrionidae are among the most prominent insects.  Their thick, waxy cuticles excel at retaining moisture.  Edrotes ventricosus is a dune inhabitant in southern California. Photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS…

Ross Crozier is gone

Ross Crozier last week at the Chicago Field Museum I learned this morning that pioneering ant biologist Ross Crozier has passed away.  This is terrible news, and entirely unexpected. Ross- a soft-spoken Australian- ushered social insects into the age of molecular biology.  He karyotyped hundreds of ant species.  He sequenced the honeybee mitochondrial genome.  He…