Over at Compound Eye I’ve posted photos of a remarkable Australian ant-mimic spider:
Welcome to 2012! You look like you need something to read:
- The always-thoughtful Marlene Zuk weighs in on the semantics of insect slavery.
- Ever had that eerie feeling you’re being followed by a dragonfly? Chris Goforth examines the science.
- Fireflies. Wow.
- Rob Dunn 0, Kangaroo 1
- Ed Yong’s best science reporting of 2011 contains a suspiciously high representation of insects.
- I’ve started uploading insect photographs from Australia. I’ll be blogging some of these here and over at Compound Eye, but in the meantime consider these a preview. Plenty more to come.
Also, we have a date and place for this year’s BugShot insect photography workshop: 23-26 August at the Archbold Biological Station in Florida. Full details & registration information will be posted by February; consider this a pre-announcement.
I’m off to give a short chat on South American beekeeping to the Central Illinois Beekeeper’s Association. In the meantime, here’s what the internet has to say about bugs:
- Bug Eric on the Cross Spider
- Ted MacRae photographs an adorable mangrove isopod
- DragonFly Woman has 5 edible insects
- Rick Lieder’s Magic Midge
- Antweb’s Ant Blog has been aflutter with activity
- Waspthulu at Bug Girl’s blog
- The Home Bug Gardener spots a lovely set of beetle antlers
- Roberta attends the School of Ants
- Matt catches a predatory Bee Wolf in action
- Chris notes Google’s ineptitude with moth identification
- Rusty documents Deformed Wing Virus, a bee disease associated with heavy mite infestations
Need some new reading? Here are blogs I’ve started following over the past month:
Context & Variation: Kate Clancy is an Anthropology professor here at the University of Illinois, and C & V provides thoughtful scientific coverage of human behavior & reproductive issues.
Honey Bee Suite: Pacific northwest beekeeper Rusty’s blog carries timely apiculture tips along with various bee-related news.
Living with Insects: Jonathan Neal teaches entomology at Perdue, and his blog is a frequently updated trove of insect natural history.
Up Close with Nature: Kurt (aka Orion Mystery) expertly captures the Malaysian bug fauna.
Photo Naturalist: I can’t imagine a better site to introduce the art of nature photography than this excellent blog, co-written by Steve and Vic Berardi.
If you haven’t seen the amazing SEMs of insect eggs in this month’s Nat Geo, or read the accompanying text by ant guy Rob Dunn, you’re missing out…
Bear in mind that some of the beauty- the color bits- are added later. Scanning Electron Microscopy cannot record color, so the striking hues are interpretations of the artist.
- What good are bugs? Ranger Rick has the answers.
- Ed Yong on the evil sexual strategies of male water striders.
- Chris Grinter spots a billboard-sized taxonomy fail.
- What is Aerial Plankton? The Dragonfly Woman explains.
May Berenbaum, entomologist extraordinaire, considers the modern bed bug resurgence in today’s NY Times:
I had been a professor of entomology for 15 years before I saw my first live bedbug. It crawled out of a plastic film canister that had been mailed to me by a distraught student in the Boston area who had no idea what it was. I was so thrilled to see a live bedbug, I showed it off to every graduate student I ran into that day: Cimex lectularius — a small, flat, wingless, brown ectoparasite that hides in cracks and crevices in human dwellings and emerges under cover of darkness to feast on human blood.
That was in 1995, and none of my students had laid eyes on Cimex lectularius either.
The magical mystery lump from last night? As many astute readers noted, they are insects in the enigmatic order Strepsiptera. They live as parasites in the bodies of other insects. Considering the host species (Isodontia mexicana, a sphecid wasp), the streps are probably in the genus Paraxenos. Here are a couple more shots:
I’ve created a new gallery to hold my photographs of stick insects. Check it out here:
What’s going on here?