Sexy, Sexy Beer Bottles

The 2011 Ig Nobel ceremony took place yesterday at Harvard’s Sanders Theatre. The award is sponsored by Improbable Research, an organization that gathers fascinating, odd, and outright hilarious research papers that triumph the idea that not all science is boring. Among this year’s distinguished recipients was fellow entomologist and blogger David Rentz, who received the . . . → Read More: Sexy, Sexy Beer Bottles

Net-Winged Beetle

These large and interesting Lycidae beetles (Lycus fernandezi) were abundant in south eastern Arizona a few weeks ago. Constantly flying between flowers and moist sand they were making for easy photography targets. I thought to myself “here is a great opportunity to catch a beetle taking off!”.

Wait for it…

Lycus fernandezi (Lycidae)


. . . → Read More: Net-Winged Beetle

Take that, vertebrates!

I’ve known for a while that beetles and other inverts occasionally have vertebrates on their menu, but I didn’t really know how large of an animal they could subdue! Even when the odd mantis grabs a hummingbird the size difference is not as substantial as is shown below. This impressive video was . . . → Read More: Take that, vertebrates!

Blue Oak Ranch Reserve

A few weeks ago I was invited to join a Berkeley entomology class out in the field for the weekend. Our destination was the Blue Oak Ranch Reserve; one of the newest reserves to the University of California system located just outside of San Jose on Mount Hamilton (map below). It was a . . . → Read More: Blue Oak Ranch Reserve

Mystery Revelaed

OK – a few apologies for not having full images *yet* of the larvae in question (I will in a few days!). Over the weekend I was out with a group of Berkeley students on Mount Hamilton and PhD candidate Meghan Culpepper collected a few species of Scaphinotus and a some larvae! So the specimen . . . → Read More: Mystery Revelaed

Muppet Monsters

I stumbled upon (not on stumbleupon) these colored SEM images on the Telegraph webpage today. I especially love this image of a Calliphoridae larva (Protophormia sp.) that seems more out of a C-rated science fiction movie than nature. It reminds me of both a freakish Star Wars character and a Muppet at the same . . . → Read More: Muppet Monsters

Thankfully, I’m not a beetle

Because I would have been subjected to this. Talk about animal cruelty! OK, just kidding, but this story is a bit ridiculous. The article states that the scientists had used the voice of Limbaugh because it was “readily available”, not because they hated him. Well that turns out not to be true, they chose Rush . . . → Read More: Thankfully, I’m not a beetle