Archives for December, 2009

The Best of Myrmecos 2009

Earlier I listed my pick of the best insect photos of the year taken by other photographers. Now it’s my turn. In 2009, I snapped 8000 exposures to produce 805 processed, saleable images of live insects. Below are my favorites.

Ho, Ho, Ho!

The best insect photos of 2009

In 2009 the world’s macrophotographers- both amateur and professional- continued to capture breathtaking images of the arthropod microscape.  I’ve been bookmarking insect photos from around the web that catch my eye, and after spending some time this week reviewing the candidates I’ve selected nine favorites. Wow. These are the images from fellow photographers that most…

The trouble with MrBayes

Sorry for an uncharacteristically technical post.  But, I’ve produced an excellent example of a problem that’s been plaguing the widely-used phylogenetics program MrBayes and thought it might be of interest to the handful of systematists who read this blog. I’ve been running analyses on the Azteca y’all sent after my desperate plea last month and…

Sunday Night Movie: Powers of 10

A classic science film from the ’70s: [youtube=]

I love the internet

Feeling nostalgic this afternoon for my Peace Corps days, I did a Google Earth fly-by of my adoptive community, Colónia Once de Setiembre. Not only does Google show the site in high-resolution, the images are clear enough to see a patch of trees I planted with my neighbor in 1997. Judging from the shadows, our…

Another piece of the Camponotus hyperdiversity puzzle was published this week in BMC Evolutionary Biology. The reasons behind the tremendous richness of Camponotine ants- a worldwide group of conspicuous insects containing more than a thousand species- are unknown, but recent explanations have focused on the nutritional relationship between the ants and their endosymbiotic Blochmannia bacteria.…

Back from ESA

We’ve returned from the 2009 Entomological Society of America meeting in Indianapolis. More on this later. For now, here are slides from two presentations I gave yesterday: Character Evolution in Heterospilus Origin of Pheidole obscurithorax Both talks report from ongoing research, so I should caution that neither of the studies has seen peer-review.

Metallic Green Bee, Agapostemon sp.

Agapostemon sp. – Halictidae Fairport, NY, USA Photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 20D. ISO 100, f/13, 1/250 sec, twin flash diffused through tracing paper

Online Copyright Registration

A couple years back I posted a short bit on how to register photo copyright with the U.S. government. That turned out to be the last time I filled out a registration with pen and paper. For all subsequent submissions I’ve used the new ECO system at Let me disabuse you of any preconception…