Myrmecos

Archives for March, 2010

Tenebrio molitor, pupa Tenebrio molitor is a darkling beetle known more for its immature stages than for its adults. It is the ubiquitous mealworm. You can buy these granivorous beetles at any pet store as food for fish, birds, and reptiles. The above shot of a developing pupa requires two sources of light. A flash…

And now, a cockroach

Blatta orientalis Oriental Cockroach The key to this image is the soft lighting. A strobe fired into a white box produces an even white light, allowing us to see the subtler tones and textures on the surface of this common pest insect. You could almost sell this roach on ebay. Photo details: Canon 100mm f2.8…

Answer to the Monday Night Mystery

What was that dashing bug in pastel colors? As so many of you picked, it’s a palmetto planthopper. Order: Hemiptera Family: Flatidae Genus: Ormenaria Species: rufifascia Points are awarded as follows:

Learn beekeeping!

What am I doing this summer? Good question. I’m teaching Integrative Biology 496: Introduction to Beekeeping. If you are a University of Illinois student and would like to learn about the biology of Apis mellifera and how to manage a small apiary for honey or just for fun, please consider this 8-week class.  Enrollment is…

Monday Night Mystery

Tonight’s mystery is a straight-up Name That Bug: One point for picking the order, two points for family, five points for genus, and five points for species. [added in edit- you’ve got to be first in any one category]. And guess what? We’ve finally decided what to do with all these hard-earned Myrmecos Points! At…

The Nature Blog Network is the web’s largest congregation of natural history enthusiasts and one of the finest places to find new bloggy reading. This week NBN interviews me as part of their Featured Blog series: What’s the best thing about blogging? Blogging is instantaneous. I can respond to new scientific papers as I read…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21OH0wlkfbc]

A few dead insects…

I had an assignment this weekend to shoot preserved insects as if in a museum display collection. Dead bugs aren’t normally my thing, but there’s something to be said about subjects that stay put and allow me to arrange lighting without scurrying off. I pinned the insects in foam-bottomed trays and reflected the strobe off…

This week was warm enough to go insect hunting in the yard, so the Friday beetle is back with new material.  I snapped a few shots of this little staphylinid under a brick, figuring I’d identify it later. That turned out to be a more complicated process than I’d anticipated.

If I had to pick the most annoying insect in Illinois it’d be Harmonia axyridis. This lady beetle was introduced to our continent as a control agent for aphids but became a pest in its own right. It consumes not just aphids but all manner of other insects, including beneficials like native lady beetles. Swarms…