Nature

Myrmecos

Category archives for Nature

Monday Night Mystery

Ok, bug experts. Who is this charming little insect? Points will be awarded for the first correct guess: five for family and five for genus. The cumulative points winner for the month of July will win either 1) any 8×10 print from my insect photo gallery, or 2) a guest blog post on the (safe-for-work)…

Monday Night Mystery

Ok. Now you guys have asked for it. Apparently the mysteries haven’t been quite obscure enough. So here you go. A real challenge: One point for order, three points for family, three points for genus, and three for species. Points are awarded for the first correct guess in each category. The cumulative points winner for…

Monday Night Mystery

Something took a bite out of this leaf: What was it? Three points for the taxonomic order of the culprit, five for family, and two for explaining the natural history. Points are awarded only for the first correct guess in each category. And maybe some extra ones if you get creative with the natural history.…

Soccer in Paraguay

Apropos of Paraguay’s victory in this morning’s world cup match against Slovakia, here’s a photo I took almost 15 years ago: This is a local match in the Paraguayan community where I lived as a Peace Corps volunteer. Our team, from Colonia 11 de Setiembre, beat Ype Jhu 2-1. But that’s not why I’m sharing…

A Dagger Fly, Victorious

A dagger fly (Diptera: Empididae), eating a fly it caught.Shawnee National Forest, Illinois Among the insects, one lineage in particular excels in the air: Diptera, the flies. These animals have evolved a gyroscopic control system that’s faster and more efficient than the standard insect sensory system, and as a consequence the flies are the most…

Asaphidion yukonense

I haven’t posted any ants for awhile. So here is a pair of little carpenter ants from the back yard: Camponotus nearcticus Camponotus caryae Most people in North America think of carpenter ants as the big hairy black things that damage houses by chewing through older and dry-rotted wood. That’s certainly true of Camponotus pennsylvanicus,…

Glischrochilus sanguinolentus Bell Smith Springs, Illinois Just for you guys, here are some portraits of a colorful sap beetle in the family Nitidulidae I encountered in southern Illinois last weekend. It’s a charming little insect, especially the cute, clubby antennae. The challenge with shooting shiny insects such as Glischrochilus is lighting the insect without glare.…

Audubon’s Ted Williams explains that staged images have taken over the animal photography business and argues that these ubiquitous phonies give the public an inaccurate view of nature: Audubon has sent me to lots of wild places over the past 31 years, but I’d seen only one wolf and three cougars (a litter) until December…

Oberea flavipes, phlox stem borer beetlesIllinois Here’s a boring beetle. That is, the larvae bore. They make their living carving tunnels through stems and consuming plant tissue. This pair was hanging out in the phlox in our back yard, apparently plotting the demise of our summer flower garden. photo details: Canon EOS 7D camera Canon…