entomology

Myrmecos

Tag archives for entomology

Monday Night Mystery

Tonight’s challenge is this rather unusual insect. What is it? Points will be awarded to the first person to pick the order (3), family (3), and genus (3). Plus, a bonus point for explaining what is unusual about this insect’s life cycle. The cumulative winner for the month of June 2010 will get their choice…

Mystery #1 I admit, I like to pick on iStockphoto, the pioneering company behind the high volume/low cost microstock model of media licensing. There’s nothing wrong with microstock. After all, the thriving web-based market for cheap images is a ripe opportunity. But buyers get what they pay for, and they should be aware that a…

Answer to the Monday Night Mystery

What was the mystery? It’s a unique-headed bug in the enigmatic family Enicocephalidae. These soil-dwelling insects are predators of other arthropods. They are of phylogenetic interest as a potential sister lineage to the remaining Heteroptera, the true bugs. Enicocephalids aren’t terribly common- I can count on one hand the times I’ve seen them in the…

Anthrenus sp. carpet beetle Urbana, Illinois Little Anthrenus beetles are one of the most common insects across the northern hemisphere. Adults can be found in flowers feasting on pollen, and the detritivorous larvae are often inhabitants of homes and buildings. If you’d like to see one of these yourself, check your window sills- there’s a…

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…

Monday Night Mystery

Ok, so we all know this is a wasp.  But what’s with the lumps near the tip of the abdomen? Ten points for identifying the lump, and five points for anyone ambitious enough to put a name on the wasp, too.

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…

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,…

Back from ESA

We’ve returned from the 2009 Entomological Society of America meeting in Indianapolis. More on this later. For now, here are slides from two presentations I gave yesterday: Character Evolution in Heterospilus Origin of Pheidole obscurithorax Both talks report from ongoing research, so I should caution that neither of the studies has seen peer-review.

The annual Entomological Society of America meeting is next week (Dec 13-16) in Indianapolis.  I’m giving two presentations- one on Pheidole and one on Heterospilus- that the sadistic conference organizers scheduled for the very last day when no one is around.   So if you are attending and happen to miss your flight out, consider heading…