Myrmecos

Archives for January, 2010

You may know Michel Gondry as the director of off-beat films like “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”. Gondry has also made a great number of music videos, including this mesmerizing time lapse of a cross-country drive: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3A-unBigvoY] music is “Behind” by Lacquer

Sharing a seed

Pogonomyrmex badius Harvester Ants Archbold Biological Station, Florida, USA Photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 50D. ISO 100, f/13, 1/250 sec, diffused twin flash

And now, some arachnids

Arachnids (you know, spiders and mites and things) never had much of a presence in my photo galleries.  While I could chalk their absence up to an obsessive focus on formicids, the reality is that I’m mildly arachnophobic.  Photographing spiders makes me squirm, so I don’t do it very often. Oddly, it really is just…

The eggs that weren’t

I did not expect everyone to nearly instantaneously solve yesterday’s termite ball mystery.  I’m either going to have to post more difficult challenges (from now on, nothing will be in focus!) or attract a slower class of reader. As you surmised, those little orange balls are an egg-mimicking fungus. It is related to free-living soil fungi,…

Mark this on your calendar: February 27 is the 27th annual Insect Fear Film Festival. Hosted by the entomology graduate students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the festival showcases two (usually terrible) arthropod movies.  This year’s delectable offerings are The Black Scorpion (1957) and Ice Crawlers (2003). If bad movies aren’t your thing,…

These aren’t eggs…

…they’re something far more interesting. Ten points to the first person who identifies the orange balls.  These were photographed inside a termite nest in southern Illinois last fall.

NOVA follows the Monarch Migration

Tomorrow’s NOVA on PBS covers the great orange butterflies on their migration to Mexico: Orange-and-black wings fill the sky as NOVA charts one of nature’s most remarkable phenomena: the epic migration of monarch butterflies across North America. NOVA’s filmmakers followed monarchs on the wing throughout their extraordinary odyssey. To capture a butterfly’s point of view,…

Sunday Night Movie: My Directorial Debut

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hMGbHcvHIo] Here’s something new. Instead of trawling youtube to find the Sunday Night Movie, I’ve made my own. Click above to watch the compressed version, or if you have a speedy connection click here to see it in full HD glory. I spent the afternoon experimenting with the video capabilities of the new Canon EOS…

Camponotus floridanus

Photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 50D. ISO 100, f/13, 1/250 sec, diffused twin flash

E. O. Wilson writes fiction…

…and it’s about ants, of course: The Trailhead Queen was dead. At first, there was no overt sign that her long life was ending: no fever, no spasms, no farewells. She simply sat on the floor of the royal chamber and died. As in life, her body was prone and immobile, her legs and antennae…