Google keeps suggesting I’m looking for “Hegemony”, but I’m not. This is Hegemona, a large darkling beetle we encountered in Belize: These insects are large- about an inch long- and appear nearly black in the field. Under soft lighting, structural colors in the elytra emerge spectacularly. I suspect the bright alternating stripes serve to warn [...]
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You may have noticed a slight change today in the appearance of Myrmecos. In the interest of highlighting this blog’s visual character, I have widened the main column and compensated for the enlargement by dropping one of the two sidebars. Zing! The photographs are nearly 100 pixels wider than before. What do you think?
Smugmug, the host for my image gallery alexanderwild.com, has been down all morning. The problem is apparently serious and resolution may take a while. I apologize for the inconvenience. If there was a particular image you were looking for this morning and now you can’t get to it, email me. *update 12:15pm; we’re online again!
Ants are considered beneficial insects for their roles as predators, scavengers, and dispersers of plant seeds. But when the seeds belong to a pest plant, the ants’ role may change to that of accomplice in an unwanted biological invasion. Moni Berg-Binder, a student in the Suarez lab at the University of Illinois, is studying the [...]
and gives us a list of photography’s advantages over specimen collection: You don’t need permits to take images. You can take images of wildlife and people (you can’t “collect” those!). Storage of images takes a lot less room than storage of an insect collection. It takes less time to prepare an image than a specimen [...]
…We had reached the top village, we had sifted great quantities of Wasmannia-free leaf litter, and we had learned the local lore about the Kakamora dwarf people that lived in the forest and granted magical powers to those with the prowess to catch one. Meanwhile, the full week of wet shoes and socks was causing [...]
Cephalotes pusillus is ever-present in cerrado. In fact, I have never encountered another ant that is so abundant in a natural system, tropical or temperate. They are generalist nesters and can be found in almost every piece of standing dead-wood and many live trees. The workers are particularly robust, even for Cephalotes, and will often bulldoze their way to foods already [...]
High adventure is both the blessing and the curse for the intrepid collector of ants. The tropical rainforests of Melanesia are a veritable Shangri La for those in quest of ants never before scoped at 40x magnification, but to reach that promised land of riches… one must be prepared to sacrifice. It feels as if [...]