Segments (9)

27 January 2014 by Christopher Buddle, posted in Insects, Natural History, Segments, Spiders

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.
  • You are ready for a wasp, right? Here's a beauty from Adrian Thysse:
Ammophila sp. wasp (Family Sphecidae)

Credit: A. Thysse. Ammophila sp. wasp (Family Sphecidae)

  • 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'.

Screen Shot 2014-01-25 at 9.35.52 AM

  • 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…
  • Listen up, everyone: not all aphids are pests!! These insects really are lovely, pear-shaped, pea-sized, pleasurable pals of ours.
  • I brought some neat things back from Kenya, but this is one of my favourites: A spider, Tusker (beer) style:
Spider, Tusker style

Spider, Tusker style


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