Posts Tagged ‘hymenoptera’

Mesquitebug Nymph - Image taken using Marian's point and shoot camera during a day of hiking at El Charco del Ingenio Nature Reserve, just outside of San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico, June, 2011. Click image to enlarge.

Results from the 2011 ESA International Insect Photography Salon arrived this morning. I love this particular salon. It allows me to see how a subset of four of my images stack up to those of many of the world’s best arthropod photographers.

I diverged completely from my normal international nature photography strategy, entering a set of images four images that have never been entered in a PSA competition before.

Aren’t I reckless? No, I don’t think so either, but this is as reckless as I get…

I was pleased to see three images receive honors.

Results follow:

Mesquitebug Nymph 14/15 points (see above)

Sonoran Desert Ant 14/15 points

I photographed this ant in the Sonoran Desert (my VERY FAVORITE place) during the 2011 Invertebrates in Education and Conservation Conference (July, 2011). Click image to enlarge.

Pollinating Megachilid 13/15 points

This megachilid was thoughtful enough to pose for me at the University of Illinois Arboretum's Idea Garden, August, 2011. Click image to enlarge.

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Bumblebee (Bombus sp.). Click image to enlarge.

Bumblebees, the only native social bees, are able to fly at cooler temperatures than other bee species. Buzz pollination allows them to be particularly effective in the pollination of plants such a tomatoes, blueberries, cranberries and eggplants.

They, like honeybees, have shown recent worldwide population declines. The cause? Like honeybee decline, a pathogen is partly involved, but inbreeding caused by habitat loss is a major concern and potential contributing factor.

Professor Sydney Cameron of the University of Illinois, performed a three-year study of 382 sites in 40 states and examined more than 73,000 museum records. Her team found the relative abundance of four species declined by up to 96 per cent and that range of the species surveyed geographic ranges have contracted 23 to 87 percent.

Genetic tests indicate the four studied bumblebee species are inbred while other tests implicate the pathogen Nosema bombi as a causal agent.

Read more at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1343979/Bumblebees-risk-wiped-96-decline-species.html#ixzz1Vmnft9kM .

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One of the many pollinating sawflies that appeared in our yard this week. Click to enlarge.

Sawflies, largely herbivorous hymenopterans characterized by the broad connection between the abdomen and thorax, get their name from the sawlike ovipositors the females use to cut into plants to lay their eggs.

The caterpillar-like larvae have six or more pairs of prolegs on the abdomen, unlike lepidopteran larvae that possess five or fewer pairs of abdominal prolegs.

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Pear pollinating wasp - click image to enlarge.

The beginning of warm weather has ushered in the opening of pear flower buds, attracting a variety of pollinating wasps and flies.

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Summer invertebrate interactions. Click to magnify.

This week I received funding (in its entirety!) to attend the 2011 Invertebrates in Education and Conservation conference in Rio Rico, AZ. Six days of non-stop morning presentations and afternoon/evening  fieldwork! This is by far my favorite professional conference.

The first full day will be comprised of ten hours in the field followed by a presentation by Mark Moffet, second day consists of morning presentations followed by an afternoon and evening in the field, workshops including a native bee workshop, a forensic entomology workshop, a day behind the scenes at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum and the Sonoran Arthropod Studies Institute, immersion with entomology folk from all over the world… It doesn’t get much better than this!

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HUGE ant from southern Illinois

One of my students brought in one of these large ants from  a recent trip to Southern IL. Since I am home and we are in the process of rain becoming freeze rain, I will wait until I have access to my field guides at school to attempt to classify this ant. It is huge – close to an inch in length!

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Ant photographed during the 2010 National Writing Project Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL.

Alex Wild, author of Myrmecos, recently presented a seminar regarding bee macrophotography for the Illinois State Beekeepers Association.

The PowerPoint is online and is excellent. It is accessible at http://www.alexanderwild.com/Other/Better-Bee-Photography/14529191_y6ZG7#1079273547_kSVcX. It is well worth viewing.

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