A wiley wasp

[The following is an invited post by Alex Wild of Myrmecos blog]

Little did Ted know that giving me the keys to his beetle blog meant I’d be able  to use his own soapbox to convince everyone that Hymenoptera (the ants, bees, and wasps) are just waaaayyyyy cooler than Coleoptera.

Exhibit A:

Leucopsis sp. ovipositing into a solitary bee nest

Meet Leucospis. This colorful insect, about a centimeter in length, is a parasite of wood-nesting bees and wasps. In this photo she is drilling down through a leafcutter bee nest to lay her egg in one of the bee’s sealed cells. There, her larva will consume the developing bee.

Leucospid wasps aren’t terribly common, so I was rather surprised to see this one on my front porch in downtown Urbana.

Collecting in Australia’s remote McIlwraith range

The following is an invited post by Alex Wild of Myrmecos Blog:

Myrmecologists Gary Alpert & Phil Ward mucking about with magnetic termites. Cape York Peninsula, Australia, 2004.

Ted MacRae so graciously guest blogged for me last week, so I figured it’s time to turn this around and send one Ted’s way. One of the great joys of Beetles in the Bush is Ted’s photojournalistic coverage of various insect collecting adventures. In that vein, I will recount an Australian expedition with famous ant guys Gary Alpert and Phil Ward from back in 2004. I never blogged the trip because, hey, I didn’t blog back then.

Continue reading