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Category archives for illinois

Monday Night Mystery

Alright, Sherlock.  What’s going on here? Five points each for the identity of the big round thing, for the insect at the top, and for the insect at the side. Ten points for describing the story. And a freebie point to anyone who comes up with an idea for what to do with all these…

Insect Fear Film Festival- this Saturday

Speaking of bug horror movies: If you can make it to Champaign-Urbana this weekend, the 2010 Insect Fear Film Festival will feature The Black Scorpion (1957) and Ice Crawlers (2003). The grad students are assembling art displays, face painting, and an impressively large arthropod petting zoo. The’ve even shipped in live horseshoe crabs, as well…

Mark this on your calendar: February 27 is the 27th annual Insect Fear Film Festival. Hosted by the entomology graduate students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the festival showcases two (usually terrible) arthropod movies.  This year’s delectable offerings are The Black Scorpion (1957) and Ice Crawlers (2003). If bad movies aren’t your thing,…

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

More Ice Abstracts

Yesterday afternoon, perhaps tired of keeping up with the subzero temps, our furnace up and quit. We were able to keep the house somewhat above freezing until the repair guy installed the replacement bits this morning.  We’re all fixed now. But the outage wasn’t without a bright side: the ice crystals on the windows grew…

Winter abstracts

Ice on the windows: Photo details: Canon 100mm f2.8 macro lens on a Canon EOS 50D. (top) ISO 250, f/4, 1/320 sec; (bottom )ISO 160, f/5, 1/500 sec

This colorful beetle came from our back yard.  It’s a ground beetle in the genus Chlaenius, recognizeable from its pubescent elytra and pungent defensive secretions.  Like most ground beetles, Chlaenius makes a living as a predator. The beetle’s metallic sheen is not the result of a pigment but of fine microscopic sculpturing on the integument. …

The intrepid students of IB 468 caught this beautiful black burying beetle during a field trip to Dixon Springs, Illinois.  They were kind enough to let me photograph it before it went to the collection. Rather than me blathering on about this insect’s biology, I’ll direct you instead to the N. orbicollis wikipedia page.  Wikipedia…

FAQ: The Illinois Aphid Swarm

We’ve had plenty of traffic here at the Myrmecos Blog as bewildered midwesterners look for answers about the swarm of tiny insects that has descended on our cities this week.  As best as we can tell, here’s the scoop. Q: What are the annoying little bugs that are swarming Central Illinois this week?

For those of you accessible to central Illinois, I will be hosting a free insect photography workshop next Sunday at the University of Illinois Pollinatarium.  The workshop is offered in celebration of the 3rd annual National Pollinator Week. Details are as follows: Insect Photography Workshop Free to the public 2:00 pm, June 28th, 2009 at…