Archives for January, 2010

The problem with “Basal”

Earlier I chastised Christian Peeters and Mathieu Molet for misinterpreting the term “basal” in a phylogenetic context.  What was that about?

What could be better…

…than matching ant shirts? Courtesy of these guys. Thanks! (and yes, that’s what we here at Myrmecos international headquarters look like).

Basal Ants?

Let me preface this post by saying that Christian Peeters is one of my absolute favorite myrmecologists.  If lost in a remote African jungle and stalked by ravenous leopards, for example, Christian is the first ant guy I’d pick to help get me out of the predicament. Having said that, this paper in Insectes Sociaux…

Macromite reveals the secrets…

…to his spectacular SEM images.


Ant Ecology now available

Surfing around the bookstores this morning I see that the much-anticipated Ant Ecology book is out. At $129.00 it’s not something the casual reader is liable to pick up. Nonetheless, Ant Ecology is a beautiful volume reviewing the state of the field, and scientists who work on ants should probably own a copy. Or at…

Saturday links

Christopher Taylor on the evolution of insect wings Get your fix of the Daily Parasite. Remember Phase IV, the classic ’70s ant sci-fi film?  You can now watch the entire movie online. Macromite is back. Entomologists telling jokes, at Bug Girl’s blog.

The beak of the assassin

Photo details: (top, middle) Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 50D. ISO 100, f/13, 1/160 sec, diffused twin flash (bottom) Canon 100mm f2.8 macro lens on a Canon EOS 50D. ISO 200, f/11, 1/160 sec, diffuse overhead flash


I don’t have anything to add about the horrific earthquake that hasn’t already been said elsewhere. But, I’ve added a donation button to the right sidebar for Doctors Without Borders, an excellent non-profit group already working in Haiti when the quake hit. They are apparently operating out of makeshift clinics in the absence of functioning…

The other ant-fungi

If I were to mention an ant-fungus mutualism- that is, an ecological partnership between an ant and a fungus that benefits both- most biologically literate people might think of the famed leafcutter ants and the edible mycelia they cultivate.  But that is just one example. Several other fungi have entered into productive relationships with ants,…