Another week on Sunday: a collection of bug-related items that came into view during the last week.
♦ The first video is by Dr. Stefan Lüpold, of Syracuse University, the second-place winner of the 2012 Nikon Small World in Motion competition:
Sperm of two different males (green and red) competing within the female reproductive tract of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Competition between sperm is a widespread phenomenon throughout the animal kingdom and a powerful evolutionary force driving species diversity. However, it has been nearly impossible to study the fundamental biological processes associated with such sperm competition, occurring whenever sperm from different males mix inside of females. The very recent development of genetically modified fruit flies that produce sperm with either green- or red-fluorescent heads (as seen in the movie) is now allowing us to answer important biological questions.
Now wouldn’t an outline of the process behind this amazing video be interesting?
♦ Why Evolution is True shows off some remarkable insect photography by Linden Gledhil. Featured are an amazing set of photographs of butterfly scales. Wonder how he does that? ( Hint: Cognisys.) Check out Linden’s Flikr page for more amazing photographs and information.
♦ What? No GPS? Dung beetles caught using the stars to navigate.
♦ Chinese Mantids have been observed gutting toxic monarch caterpillars. Is this a way to remove toxins or could there be another reason? Check out Not Exactly Rocket Science for more.
♦ Ted MacRae is the most consistently productive photographer and bug-blogger out there, producing post after post of quality material on a regular basis and thus earning himself a dedicated fan base. Has this gone to his head? No! Go visit his blog to see what a cool down-to-earth fellow he is!
♦ I love these
guys flies, and I would like to get a chance to photograph them. Flying around like fuzzy hypodermic needles, the Greater Bee Fly uses its long proboscis for sipping nectar. This seemingly innocent activity is a cover. Visit Bug Eric to learn more about the parasitical side of these needle-nosed fuzzies.
♦ Chris Buddle over at Arthropod Ecology gives us the low-down on arctic spiderlings, and why sometimes it’s not spiders emerging from the wolf spider egg sacs. (Cool Bug Geek photograph included!)
♦ ESC Blog has a new post, this time by Sean McCann: Tropical fieldwork in France: the Nouragues station in French Guiana. Sean is a newcomer to blogging, so go give him a warm-hearted welcome at his new home at Ibycter!
♦ And for an image to warm the heart… Wanderin’ Weeta is a Canadian blogger living on the west coast, a naturalist down to her roots. In her latest post she features some images from her recent perambulations. Amoung them is a delightful picture of a child on a rocky shore, displaying unabashed curiosity. Go check it out at Fog and Winter Sunlight. (Am I sentimental, or what?)
♦ Think that worms in the lawn are a nuisance? Think again. How about four-foot (1.2m) long worms in your leg? Carl Zimmer tells us about the Guinea worm and writes the obituary.
♦ The World Health Organization has released the following video on the Guinea worm and how it is being eradicated: That’s all folks! Have a great week.