Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Spooky Bugs

Nothing better than when your students come to entomology class dressed up in insect themes for Halloween!

Thanks to Justin for taking and posting these photos, of me, Rex, and Melissa


The Eagleman Stag Animation

Monday, October 22, 2012

9,000 butterflies killed


hexapod fashions


bug ink

I came across this specimen on a Tumblr site. Quite beautiful, no? Can you name the Order of this critter - or perhaps this demands the creation of a new on?   Insect tattoos are popular among the inked folk, and as you might expect, Lepidoptera and Odonata abound... Some other examples:


Sunday, October 21, 2012

human DNA from maggots ~

A report just came out on grubs doing that much more in helping identify the circumstances and details of death. Sure, different flies' life cycles might help with the timing and location of death, but what about those really tough cases when you might not be able to even ID a body, or the body is gone but the grubs remain?  

Turns outs since maggots ingest the human cells, they also obviously ingest the human DNA as well, and scientists have just been able to isolate such DNA for the purposes of identifying a mystery body!

Read the press blurb here


Monday, October 15, 2012

Urban bugs ~

For all you guys still trying to round out your collection, don't neglect the already dead bugs around and about the city - photographer Xavier Nuez certainly doesn't in his photo series glam-bugs.

Dead bugs can sometimes be "re-hydrated" to be pined out and  go into a collection so why not catch a few?


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Video of Lord Howe Stick Insect Nymph Hatching

So after reading the article about the stick insects found on Balls Pyramid, I did a little research, just to get a bit of context and I stumbled upon this video of one of the nymphs in the zoo hatching!

When it first emerges, it seems like just a strange green glob, and even after the majority of it's body is out, the rest of it is all legs, and (well, to me) it got a little frustrating watching it struggle to pull them out. 

Lord Howe Island Stick Insect hatching from Zoos Victoria on Vimeo.

Originally seen in an npr article.

Also, in case you were wondering what Balls Pyramid looks like, it really is all cliff:

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Litter Bug

By artist Mark Oliver, who creates and names his own bugs made out of everyday objects.

For more: Here

-Tim L

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Ant Colony Revealed.

 Over the course of three days, scientists pumped 10 tons of concrete into an ant hill.  After letting it set, the colony was excavated, revealing a structure of staggering complexity covering 50 square meters and running 8 meters deep. The ants who built this particular colony moved out 40 tons of earth in the process of construction, with each worker carrying three times his own weight in soil on each trip. According to the video, it is the ant equivalent of building the Great Wall.
A vast complex city-state with tubular roads and air vents and bulbous extensions, it looks space age in the contained environment manner of Charles De Gaul International airport with its connected travel tubes and pods.  It calls to mind Frank Herbert’s Dune with its underground drug mining society and giant worms.  These are the Invisible Cities that Italo Calvino didn’t write about. 

- Alexandra

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Songs of Swoon

We've been talking a lot about insect calls, mating, and sexual selection the last couple of weeks. Indeed, interest in chirping crickets and katy-diding katydids is literally in the air. Here is a brief reflection by Diane Ackerman last week in the NY Times.

(illustration by Celyn Brazier)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Praying Mantis Eggs

I got a female praying mantis a few weeks back and it was pretty pregnant with a large abdomen, so I decided to keep it alive. Well, she laid her eggs on the inside of a shoebox and plastic wrap. I'm going to put the eggs somewhere hopefully safe outside.

-Tim L.