"...mysterious and little known organisms live within walking distance of where you sit. Splendor awaits in minute proportions.”
E.O. Wilson (Biophilia)
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DISCLAIMERI am a photographer, not an entomologist. I do my best to have professionals assist in identifying the subjects of my photographs. However, positive identifications can not always be done unless the specimen is dead and viewed under a microscope. If you do find an error, or have doubts about the identification provided, please let me know in the comments or by email.
Category Archives: Entomology
♦ Let’s open this Week on Sunday with video by Stanislav Snäll and John Hallmén, working in the field and showing some simple flash diffusion methods:
♦ Swedish photographers John Hallmén and Stanislav Kind are professional photomacrographers who run the website Makrofokus, an excellent resource for those wishing to learn more about focus stacking. Be sure to follow the MakroFokus Facebook page for regular updates on their work!
♦ And on the science side of things, a fascinating video documentary on insect dissection. Such complexity – and even beauty - within!
Lots of great information in this video, and a look into the cool technology science is using to explore bug wonder!
♦ The last week was spent in continued spring cleaning in our home garden , with a mid-week break taking the Small-group Macro Workshop down to the great people at the Crop Diversification Centre South in Brooks, Alberta! We had a great time looking at how to get the most out DSLRs and then, after a yummy lunch (in which someone forgot to bring the buns!) , we had a session on the many paths to making macro. We even had time to wander around the grounds to practice with some equipment set-ups. Thanks to Shelley for inviting me down, and to Scott, Simone and Mike for participating.
* I also received a bonus cutworm specimen – chock full of parasites - like the one in Shelley’s timelapse video below.
Until next week!
Thanks to Dr.Felix Sperling at the U of A for accumulating all the upcoming bug talks that will take place in the next few weeks.
It all starts Wednesday evening!
February 13 2013; 7 pm Royal Alberta Museum, 12845 102 Ave.
Dr. David Evans Walter, Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute
Talk: “Dancing on the Head of a Pin: Unravelling nature, one mite at a time”
February 14 2013; 4 pm (refreshments at 3:30) Tory Breezeway 1, Univ. Alberta
Dr. Jeff Oliver, Oregon State University
Talk: “Why Fisher and Wright are still important to you: from rapid species discovery to deep time phylogenomics.”
February 15 2013; 12 noon, Biosci M-149, Univ. Alberta
Dr. Katy Prudic, Oregon State University
Talk: “Ecology on the tangled bank: How variation in local interactions affects the evolution of animal signalling” (as illustrated by the evolution of butterfly wing patterns)
February 16 2013 (Sat.); 1:30 – 4 pm, Earth Science Bldg. 2-36, Univ. Alberta
Feralia Symposium, organized by John Acorn, Dept. RenR, Univ. Alberta
Symposium: “A Butterfly Atlas for Alberta” – including 6 talks
February 27 2013; 7 pm Royal Alberta Museum, 12845 102 Ave.
Matthias Buck, Royal Alberta Museum, Assist. Curator, Invertebrate Zoology
Paper Wasps: The adventures of species discovery in the 21st century
Overwhelmed with work this weekend, so this Week on Sunday is short.
♦ Just out earlier this week, science blogger Carl Zimmer’s TedEd talk on the jewel wasp (Ampulex compressa) and the parasitic relationship with cockroaches…
This talk is based on the research: Gal, Ram; Rosenberg, Lior Ann; Libersat, Frederic (22 November 2005). “Parasitoidan organism that lives in or on the body of a single host individual, eventually killing that host. wasp uses a venom cocktail injected into the brain to manipulate the behavior and metabolism of its cockroach prey“. Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology 60 (4): 198–208. doi:10.1002/arch.20092. PMID 16304619.
♦ And also just released, this video teaser of an upcoming docu-drama on Alfred Russel Wallace, the lesser known compatriot of Charles Darwin who independently conceived the theory of evolution by means of natural selection. Wallace was a naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist and biologist, but for our purposes he was a bug-collector extraordinaire, who traveled throughout the Amazon and the East Indies in search of specimens.
There is a sort of Alfred Russel Wallace renaissance taking place now, and this year we will be celebrating his life and scientific legacy, as 2013 is the centenary of his death.. His writings can be found at Wallace Online, and his correspondence has also recently become available at Wallace Letters Online. You can stay up-to-date at the George Beccaloni’s Alfred Russel Wallace Correspondence Project‘s website, and at his Wallace 100 blog. Wallace’s collections can be seen at the Natural History Museum’s online Wallace Collection. And finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention Charles H. Smith, who was foremost in the effort to keep the memory of Wallace alive, at The Alfred Russel Wallace Page.
So much out there to delight the lover of the history of science! Until next week…
Last week a began setting-up for taking images through a second-hand microscope that I obtained many years ago. This is not a great photograph, but it is my first attempt at a focus stack using images made through a microscope. I have since found out a few ways that should improve the quality, but I thought I would post this to see if any Dipterists out there could figure out the ID from just the genitalia. Any takers?
Originally I was going to name this post “Name these Stacked Genitals”, but I don’t really want to compete for popularity with the Beetle-poop Geek.
More details on the equipment/techniques (and lack there-of) later.