Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Some interesting photos


Buggy recipes


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mushi No Zu

Drawings from a Japanese scroll, MUSHI NO ZU (Illustrations of Microscopic Insects), published in 1860. From the top: Silverfish(Thysanura), Mosquito(Diptera), Flea(Siphonaptera), Louse(Phthiraptera).


BBC Home Making: Termites


Sunday, November 14, 2010


A group show in New York last spring, featuring artists who use insects in their work.

Here is a link to the show's site: Entomologia

They have some info on all 14 artists and some really nice images of the show.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010










Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Master of the Killer Ants

If you've ever found yourself watching Nova on PBS, then perhaps you've seen this episode about the Mofu people in Cameroon who get help from army ants to protect their homes and crops from termites.

Watch the full episode. See more NOVA.

Slave-making ants target the strong not the weak

I thought this would be appropriate. Have some fun.


Monday, November 8, 2010

The weight of butterflies=heavy

more hymenopteras

very interesting article shown to me by momo the great.

does anyone remember this movie?
antz = woody allen as an ant in new york

love, jeff pak

Friday, November 5, 2010

into the Field (literally)

This week's class found us among at the Field Museum in the company of its the 14 million or so insect specimens and its abundant exhibits.

We visit the current The Romance of Ants exhibit about the life and work of the assistant curator there, Dr. Corrie Moreau. Luckily Alexandra Westrich who illustrated the graphic novel that is the centerpiece of the exhibit was also there to show us around.

After that as well as a tour of some of the more charismatic insects in the collection (yes, there are walking stick insects as long as your arm) lead us to then see some of the creatures at work - to the bird collection where dermestid (flesh eating) beetles were busy cleaning a variety of different skeletons, including a primate skull (!)

As you can see from the photos, it these tiny beetles live in a odorous environment to say the least...

Corrie then  talked about the work her and others do in the Pritzker Molecular Biology labs, including sequencing the DNA of the ants from far and wide: Madagascar, Australia, and perhaps most exotic of all - Florida.

It was an excellent visit. We didn't get to see all 14 million specimens, but we made a dent with a least a few hundred - no doubt the best ones.



Mutualism on 30 Rock

There was a good line on 30 Rock last night about Liz Lemon's relationship with her boss, Jack Donaghy. A great example of mutualism!


It's a symbiotic relationship. I'm a mighty great white shark, Lemon, and you are a remora, clinging to me with your suction cup head. I give you a free ride and in exchange you, uh... eat my parasites.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mike Libby creates these lovely hand crafted steam punk insects, i thought you all might enjoy;




His Insect Lab can be found here

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

dorky fun!


bee brainz

This is a recently published article about how bees use advanced math to determine the shortest path from food source to food source. I posted it because it reminded me of what we learned about how ants use trigonmetry to find their way back to their nest. Interesting!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Maggot Art?

Apparently so!
Entomologists are now getting these larvae to paint - or rather getting students to get the larvae to paint - with their very own bodies.

And little article about the project, Maggot Monets.

The idea has clearly taken off, being exhibited at the US Science and Engineering Fair this week, but it has been going on so a while now, as the Maggot Art website attests to.

They say the paint is non-toxic, but do the maggots really do OK with this goop on their bodies? I worry about latex in their tiny trachea...


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cockroach King on the Bedbug Menace


The Midwest's finest news source, The Onion, can always be relied upon for the latest entomological buzz, including this article on the worry cockroaches are feeling over the emergent bedbug problem throughout the US.

The article reports cockroach King Leopold stating:

"We must not allow this ignoble parasite to usurp our rightful place as the most feared and reviled pest in all the land," continued Leopold, raising four of his six legs to the sky and shaking his scepter. "Scurry forth, my countrymen, and let our unmatched ability to repel be known!"

I have doubts on the taxonomic identity of the "maggot" shown in the interview section here - suspect it is a beetle larvae for some reason pretending to be Dipteran youth?


the eyes have it

current image

Yes, this is pretty much almost a second pair of huge eyes on the top of this mayfly's head, called "turbinate eyes." Given they live for only 24 hours, can you think of why natural selection may have favored the evolution of this trait?

taken by Laurie Knight, Tonbridge, Kent, UK, Turbinate eyes of male mayfly (10x)
Check out another nice photo of this other-worldly morphology here.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

a small small world (with many insects)

Well This year's Nikon's Small World Photomicrography Competition had many stunning images submitted this year with a whole host of fantastical winners, including quite a few from - you guessed it - the insect world. Check out some of them below:

The Grand prize Winner! Seems like Nikon judges favor a certain aesthetic formalism?
current image
Jonas King
Vanderbilt University, Department of Biological Sciences
Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Anopheles gambiae (mosquito) heart (100x)
current image
Charles Krebs
Charles Krebs Photography
Issaquah, Washington, USA
Ichneumon wasp compound eye and antenna base (40x)

current image
Riccardo Taiariol
La Spezia, SP, Italy
Wasp nest (10x)
Dr. Tomas Cabello
Universidad of Almería
Roquetas de Mar, Spain
Apterous Aphis fabae (black bean aphid) female with offspring inside the body (40x)

To see many of the other stunning winners, browse the gallery!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Humans do the darndest things...

I debated whether or not to post this. Perhaps it's a bit risque. But I figured, since we've been learning about sexual behavior and patterns of insects, and since one of our new orders this week was Phthiraptera, I might as well go for it.

There is a website called and it offers just that. You can order a vial of lice for the purpose of getting revenge on your ex by setting them loose on their bedsheets or underwear drawers. Although, really, you could get revenge on anyone this way. Those little guys don't discriminate.
I just found it entertaining to compare the sexual behavior of insects, which is completely driven by procreation, and that of our own species, often driven by...let's go with, pride.

Monday, October 11, 2010

katydids believe in clean feet

The little fellow caught at Chevalier Woods still hopping and clicking away - he seems to like black locust leaves particularly.....


One of these things is not like the other...

Friday, October 8, 2010


i am most fascinated with hymenopteras. mainly because of ants. i think ants are crazy. you dont mess with ants or they will mess you up by the tens of thousands. they build cities underground that we have no clue about, and they take on anything they can eat. im also terrified of hymenopteras. bees, wasps, and hornets. i havent been stung many times in my life, but the times i have were very unpleasant.

love, jeff pak

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Colony collapse

A team of entomologists and military scientists have discovered a possible explanation for the 'colony collapse' that has affected 20-40% of bee colonies in the U.S.

article can be found HERE.

New insects discovered!

A team of scientists were doing their thing up in an isolated mountain range in Papua New Guinea and discovered new mammals, plants, and insects. Here are some notable ones:


(this guy uses his spiny legs for defense by raising them up in the air)


...and apparently Shrek!

More images and lists of the discoveries can be found HERE