Another week, another collection of buggy delights:
◊ Ants are fascinating in themselves, but nature ups-the ante (so to speak) when it comes to the evolution of mymecophiles. Check out The Bizarre, Beetle-Biased World of Social Insect Exploitation at Scientific American blogs.
◊ And again from Scientific American blogs, a new weta species discovery, a weta that is already under threat.
Wotsa Weta? They’re the big flightless relatives of crickets and grasshoppers (Order Orthoptera) that live in New Zealand. Weta are the icons of the Weta Workshop and Weta Digital, the companies involved in special effects for the new The Hobbit. The Unexpected Journey movie that was released last week)
◊ Ed Yong over at Not Exactly Rocket Science features another post on bugs, this time on the fossil of an 110 million year old trash carrying lacewing larva. See the science at: De La Fuente, Delcios, Penalver, Speranza, Wierzchos, Ascaso & Engel. 2012. Early evolution and ecology of camouflage in insects. (Pay-per-view 🙁 )
Ed also does a post on the amazing diversity of arthropods found in a small forest reserve in Panama. Check it out at Massive bug hunt reveals 25,000 arthropod species in a Manhattan-sized forest. Based on another pay-per-view article at Science, and see a slide show at National Geographic.
My! Ain’t Nature splendorous?
◊ A little spider does something amazing on the web. Not in Charlotte’s distinguished hand, mind you, but an amazing bit of weaving here! See New Species of ‘Decoy’ Spider Likely Discovered At Tambopata Research Center (Hat-tip to BugGirl)
Look at that stabilimentum for a moment…it has eight legs! Does this mean spiders can count?
◊ And to close, a visit to Biodiversity Photography, for those who are interested in extended tropical photography workshops that have a distinct macro slant. While I can’t personally vouch for the workshops provided here, this is certainly the place I would start investigating would I ever have the chance to do an Amazonian photography trip!