Sunday, December 14, 2008

award winning photo of fairy fly

this image has received acclaim for the photographer capturing this fairy fly's wings. national geographic released a short article about it here.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Secret Society Of Superorganisms

NPR recently did a nice very interview of E.O. Wilson and Bert Holldobler on their new book on "superorganisms."

Beyond the audio, they also have a nice slideshow that they put together for the peice!

As many of you know, I am a big proponent of the superorganism concept; if you'd like to read a recent paper on the topic I wrote, feel free to check it out, available HERE.


Sunday, December 7, 2008


As the semester finishes up and you are getting your insect collections together, something to think a bout more long term: pet management. Yes, even though your insects are dead, your collection can still (most unfortunately) generate insect pests.

Why mothballs in the insect cases? We talked about how dermestid beetles might try to infiltrate and eat your specimens - last night I found some first hand evidence of this phenomenon in a collection box I had neglected to protect. The pictures below show the damage:

my poor bee mimic! You can see the pupal cases littered around as little yellow flecks...

my carpenter bee too.....

the monarch as well!

And here is the culprit, at least one of them, that was sitting on the outside edge of the box. Protecting your insects from thee guys is something to consider if you want your lovely collections to survive in perpetuity...


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Ants at Work

Some remarkable footage of what ants can do - in this case recycling the biomass of a dead garden gecko in a matter of hours.


Friday, December 5, 2008

super ants taking over world

the ant species lasius neglectus is taking over Europe and wiping out native ant species as well as local plants.
The species originated in the black sea region has invaded more then 100 areas across Europe and is on the move. read more at