Here's your 9th edition of Segments: big stories about small animals.
- Dinner or date? …Arachnological-style! A terrific write-up on SpiderBytes about a recent paper on spiders, vibrations and risk of predation. In this work, Catherine & crew "...were interested in how a dancing male spider avoids a potentially deadly case of mistaken identity". Vibratory communication among spiders is truly a fascinating area of study.
- Matthew Cobb writes a wonderful piece over at Why Evolution is True on "Fertility signals in ants, bees and wasps have deep common origins". I also really like his discussion of the problem in how the media portrays the story, and how the fault might be with the authors as well as journalists.
- Spiders making fake spiders. Nature never ceases to amaze.
- You are ready for a wasp, right? Here's a beauty from Adrian Thysse:
- Insect soup: is metabarcoding a silver bullet for biodiversity & conservation biology? I remain skeptical… but this is pretty darn interesting.
- Two Canadian entomologists in Honduras, looking for … birds.
- Looking in drawers: Sometimes you don't need to leave a museum to get a lot of awesome science done! Here's a new beetle genus discovered in the London museum.
- Fossils and flies: New species of big-headed flies, from the Eocene epoch fossil beds. As the lead authors describes, "Big-headed flies are a group of bizarre insects whose round heads are almost entirely covered by their bulging compound eyes, which they use to hunt for mainly leafhoppers and planthoppers, renowned common garden insect pests". Yeah, they are cool.
- On the topic of old stuff, that's the theme for this 'tweet of the week'.
- What happens to ant communities when you experimentally warm them for 20 years? Here's a paper on that topic. Bottom line: as with many ecological studies, the results are not straightforward, nor as predicted…
- Alien moths are coming for your nuts. Ah, Bug Girl, that's the best headline of the week
- Listen up, everyone: not all aphids are pests!! These insects really are lovely, pear-shaped, pea-sized, pleasurable pals of ours.
- This is a great write-up about how the slingshot spider was discovered in South America. It's really nice to have the personal anecdotes surrounding these kinds of discoveries
- I brought some neat things back from Kenya, but this is one of my favourites: A spider, Tusker (beer) style: