Myrmecos

Archives for February, 2010

If you peel back the bark of an old stump in the forests of western North America, there’s a good chance you’ll find some of these attractive tank-like insects. This is Ostoma pippingskoeldi, a predatory beetle in the family Trogossitidae. They lurk about under bark searching for soft-bodied prey, including the larvae of other beetles.…

An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles #1

The inaugural blog carnival celebrating the Beetles is now online- go see!

Does E. O. Wilson ever sleep?

due out in April 2010

Stick Insect Photo Gallery

I’ve created a new gallery to hold my photographs of stick insects.  Check it out here: Stick Insect Photos

Answer to the Monday Night Mystery

I am impressed. Several of you* figured out the mystery behavior: reflex bleeding, a defensive response employed by some arthropods with especially nasty hemolymph to deter predators. A couple of you even pegged the identity of the mystery arthropod, a blister beetle in the genus Epicauta. Here’s the uncropped photo: Five points each to Tim,…

The Myrmica Phylogeny

The online early section of Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution this week has the first comprehensive phylogeny of a rather important genus of ants: Myrmica. Myrmica is ubiquitous in the colder climates of North America and Eurasia, with a few seemingly incongruous species inhabiting the mountains of tropical southeast Asia. The genus contains about 200 species,…

Monday Night Mystery

What’s going on here? Five points for naming the organism, and five points for the behavior.

We here at Myrmecos Blog don’t care to voice our opinion of talk show host Glenn Beck. But we are rather enamored of dung beetles, those gorgeously ornamented insects who prevent the world from being buried in feces. Thus, we were pleased to find the following Facebook project in our inbox this weekend: Can This…

From the amazing BBC series Life in the Undergrowth: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weQ0yrl4ypE]

Last summer I replaced the old covering on our porch roof. When I peeled back the rotting shingles, I was greeted by a frenzy of frenetic brown ants- thousands of them- running about every which way. Dozens of fat queens scurried for cover. It was an impressive display of formicid infestation, reminiscent of the swarms…