Myrmecos

Archives for April, 2010

This velvety worm-like creature may not look like a beetle, but it is. Beetles are like butterflies, passing through a complex metamorphosis on the way to adulthood, and this insect is the larval stage of a soldier beetle. photo details: Canon EOS 50D camera Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens ISO 100, f/13, 1/250sec

What Happens to Women in Academia?

Earlier, while noting greater rates of pseudonymous blogging by women, Morgan Jackson raised the topic of why the majority of tenure-track science positions go to men. It’s a striking pattern, especially considering that at the graduate student level women predominate in many fields- including entomology. The obvious culprit is that women face discrimination in hiring…

A Bed Bug…

…just for you. Cimex lectularius, the common Bed Bug More photos from this series are posted here. photo details: Canon EOS 50D camera Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens ISO 100, f/13, 1/250sec

The phylogeny of bug blogging

What happens if you score bug blogs for various characters and crunch them through a phylogenetic analysis? Morgan Jackson investigates: Although Morgan’s exercise was tongue-in-cheek, he did uncover a pattern worthy of further exploration: The last thing I want to comment on is the huge skew between male and female insect bloggers. Of the 58…

Answer to the Monday Night Mystery

What was that odd squishy-hairy thing in yesterday’s SEM? It’s the tip of the foot of a muscid fly, showing the adhesive pads (called pulvilli) that allow the fly to cling to surfaces. Here’s a slightly less magnified view: Points are awarded as follows: -Two for JasonC., for being the first to pick that it…

Spring!

Forget the heavy pro-grade camera gear for a moment. This shot was taken with a $300 Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 digicam. These small cameras do wide-angle macro exceptionally well, and their tiny sensors and lenses give them a small-world perspective that SLR cameras struggle to replicate. Here, I placed the camera on the ground underneath a…

Monday Night Mystery

Tonight’s mystery* takes us down into the magical world of scanning electron microscopy. Five points for picking the organism and five for picking the structure. As usual, only the first correct answer in each category collects the points. The cumulative points winner for the month of April gets to choose either 1) any 8×10 print…

Who’s Wrong on the Internet?

Today, it’s the New York Times. Consider this Q & A: Q. Can the tiny ants that visit me every spring hop like a flea? Sometimes I look down and suddenly there one is, working its way across my anatomy. A. It is possible. Several of the estimated 10,000 to 14,000 identified species of ant…

Strumigenys rogeri in the leaf litter In 1982, a small journal called The Coleopterists Bulletin carried a two page note by beetle expert Terry Erwin that increased- by an order of magnitude- the estimated number of species on the planet. Erwin crunched some back-of-the-napkin numbers based on the tree specificity of arthropods he’d collected in…

If ants were to drop acid I’m not sure what they’d experience. But this entrancing short film by Jörg Brönnimann is as good a guess as any: ant-views from Jörg Brönnimann on Vimeo.