Myrmecos

Archives for March, 2010

Leptomyrmex darlingtoni, Australia A big day for ant evolution! The Ant Tree of Life research group (AToL) has published their dolichoderine phylogeny in the journal Systematic Biology. Dolichoderines are one of the big ant subfamilies, comprising just under ten percent of the world’s ant species. These are dominant, conspicuous ants noted for having ditched the…

Ladybird in the sun

Hippodamia sp. Ladybird beetle Tucson, Arizona Photo details: Canon 100mm f2.8 macro lens on a Canon EOS 20D ISO 100, f4.5, 1/320 sec, ambient light

The death of career photography?

The New York Times on the changing face of the photography business: Amateurs, happy to accept small checks for snapshots of children and sunsets, have increasing opportunities to make money on photos but are underpricing professional photographers and leaving them with limited career options. Professionals are also being hurt because magazines and newspapers are cutting…

Answer to the Monday Night Mystery

Who were those magical mystery insects? The ant is Prenolepis imparis, recognizable by the attractive hourglass constriction in her mid-thorax. Congrats to Julie for the answer. The ant’s hapless prey was, as Ted McRae proferred, a hackberry psyllid Pachypsylla celtidismamma (Hemiptera: Psyllidae). The hard part was figuring out what the heck sort of group the…

Fire Ants 1, Australia 0

Have Australians lost their fight against imported fire ants? Despite $215┬ámillion being poured into eradication programs nationally, fire ants have claimed territory in an arc from Logan City, between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, to near Grandchester, about 80km west of where the first outbreak was found at the Port of Brisbane in 2001. Authorities…

Monday Night Mystery

“Ah, an easy one!” you might think. But no. I’m only handing out 4 points for identifying this common Illinois ant species. I’m more interested in this ant’s quarry, for six points: 2 each for order, family, and genus. First correct guess in each category gets the points. The cumulative point winner at the end…

While photographing a Lasius alienus colony in the park yesterday I noticed a red, round mite hanging off the leg of this worker ant. I’m glad we humans don’t have parasites like these. Perhaps if we’re really nice, Macromite will tell us something about the little guy. Photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens…

Sunday Night Movie: Henri

Termite photo gallery

I’ve moved some of my better termite photos to a new gallery at alexanderwild.com. Go visit.

No, not really. I’m just kidding. Wouldn’t it be great to have an ant field guide, though? Off and on for the past couple years I’ve been playing with concepts. A potential format is this (click to download pdf): The salient features, in my opinion: Targeted at the general naturalist, so less technical than the…