Insects

Myrmecos

Category archives for Insects

A: If, at birthday parties, the featured game is “pin-the-stinger-on-the-bee.” your intrepid blogger, circa 1985 You may thank my mother for sending along this, um, interesting photo.

They looked like little flowers, or miniature suction cups, but yesterday’s mystery was neither. Here’s a more recent view: Arilus cristatus, a newly hatched wheel bug nymph with eggs Ted MacRae of Beetles in the Bush picks up 6 points for guessing that they were Reduviid eggs, and MarekB gets 4 for nabbing the genus…

Cocoon

An amazing photo posted this week at Antweb shows a developing male Cerapachys ant inside the silken cocoon: (Image by Erin Prado)

How the Aphid got its Pink

A pleasingly pink pea aphid (Acrythosiphon pisum) A long time ago, on a host plant far, far away, an aphid became infected with a fungus. And then it did something unusual: it incorporated some fungal genes into its own genome. New research by Nancy Moran and Tyler Jarvik, published yesterday in the journal Science, used…

Podabrus sp. Soldier Beetle Urbana, Illinois Last week we featured a larval soldier beetle. Today we have an adult of the same family (Cantharidae), in the genus Podabrus. photo details: Canon EOS 50D camera Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens ISO 100, f/13, 1/250sec

Answer to the Monday Night Mystery

What was that dazzling sequence of nucleotide bases? Here’s a more holistic view: Aedes albopictus, the Asian Tiger Mosquito The gene was ribonucleotide reductase, which is essential for DNA synthesis. If you followed the BLAST results back through to the paper where this sequence was published, you’ll see that the researchers were interested in this…

Sunday Night Movie: Swimming Ants

From “Life in the Undergrowth“, perhaps the finest insect documentary ever made, a scene featuring Australia’s intertidal ants: A few years back I traveled through northern Queensland with myrmecologists Phil Ward and Gary Alpert. Having heard about the aquatic abilities of these ants, we searched for them in a mangrove forest just outside the Cairns…

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

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…

Polistes dominula, the European Paper Wasp captured with an iPhone As an insect guy, the first question I ask about any camera is: Can I shoot bugs with it? To my great disappointment, the answer for most cell phones is no. Cell phone cameras are normally fixed to focus at distances useful for party pictures…