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Arthropoda has moved

I am moving my blog off of wordpress.com and joining the Southern Fried Science blog network. Arthropoda can now be found here. Please update your blogrolls and RSS feeds for my new address. I hope to see you all at my new home.

Salamanca

In case you where wondering about the current lack of updates here; I am presently at the International Congress of Neuroethology in Salamanca, Spain. The city is absolutely beautiful and the conference so far has been jam packed with awesome science. It is giving me a lot of inspiration for my work and future articles on this site. I’ll be back to posting normally next Monday.

Not a bad spot for a conference.

Carnival of the Blue #39

You want it? Come and get it, Punk.

It is my pleasure to host this month’s edition of the Carnival of the Blue. I absolutely love the ocean, and I am impressed with how well my fellow bloggers are able to convey their own genuine sense of maritime wonder through writing. Without further ado, let’s put on our mask and fins and dive headlong into the best of July’s ocean blogging…

Mike Lisieski has a great review about Cephalopod polarization vision on his new-ish, but awesome, blog: Cephalove. I feel a little dirty linking to something about Cephs other than videos of them getting demolished by mantis shrimp.

John at A DC Birding Blog, brings us a post about a research program tracking a beach-nesting shorebird, the Piping Plover. Bonus: Adorable Plover chicks.

David Shiffman (WhySharksMatter) at Southern Fried Science celebrates the 4th of July with a great post about the early history of marine biology in the US of A. Pioneering American naturalists Agassiz and Bache support the strong correlation between awesome facial hair and awesome science.

Speaking of great facial hair, Dr. M at Deep Sea News brings us an article about a fish that can rock one mean stache. Unsurprisingly, the lady-fish are helpless to resist the allure of such refined, unadulterated manliness – err fishliness.

Kevin Z, also at Deep Sea News, injects some science into a news story about a Lions Mane Jellyfish that broke up and stung 100 different people on a New Hampshire beach: Thus becoming the single most exciting event in the state’s history.

POE Zen Faulkes at NeuroDojo reports on some sloppy popular science fear mongering and lazy taxonomy surrounding a recent study about the effects of various drugs on an Amphipod Crustacean.

Chuck at Ya Like Dags? raises a series of questions about fishery management and the dogfish and skate populations in Georges Bank, a crucial American fishery. Could population increases be the result of invading Canucks?

Here is a second contribution from David Shiffman; read this article before you start feeling too warm and fuzzy about dolphin-safe tuna. Find out about the monumental hidden costs of keeping non-endangered dolphins out of tuna nets.

Angelo Villagomez at Saipan Blog takes us on a guided tour of the Smithsonian’s offsite collections warehouse in Silver Springs (a true naturalist’s Mecca). He finds that it differs considerably from Dan Brown’s depiction of the facility in his novel, The Lost Symbol.

Speaking of the Smithsonian, here is the first ever Carnival of the Blue submission from their new Ocean Portal Blog. Christine Hoekenga sees though popular misconceptions, and tells us why sharks should be revered rather than feared.

Susannah, at the Wanderin’ Weta Blog visits Canada’s Crescent Beach to brave the Molluscan hordes. Don’t panic, and remember to bring a towel so you can clean up after the snail orgies and parasitic flatworms.

Hannah Waters at Culturing Science contributes an excellent article about dimethylsulfide (DMS). She uses awesome hand drawn figures to illustrate this inconspicuous compound’s integral entanglement with ocean ecology.

Al at Deep Type Flow goes for a swim with a Whale Shark, and shares with us the feeling of pure wonder that he experiences. His dance with a giant highlights the sense of awe that grounds so many of us in marine science.

Finally, you can check out some photos and videos I took of two species of mantis shrimp: Gonodactylus platysoma and Gonodactylus chiragra. I am especially proud of the slow-motion video of G. chiragra striking the wall and knocking himself across the tank.

The next edition of the Carnival of the Blue will be hosted by Angelo at the Saipan Blog. The theme for his carnival will be ‘Carnival of the Blue XL: Top of the Food Chain Edition’, and he is looking for posts about predation, especially by sharks. Start submitting your great ocean blogging to the Carnival of the Blue automatic submission form.

Thank’s once more for allowing me to host this great carnival. I hope to see you all again soon, out in the Wild Blue.

Photo: Kate Feller

It’s a trap!

Yesterday, I was poking around a small bush of white flowers looking for insects to photograph. I noticed this butterfly hanging from the bottom of a flower, rather than sitting on top:

What are you doing under there?

I panned around to underneath the flower and found out why:

Unlucky butterfly.

The butterfly had been snared by an ambush bug (Phymatinae), which is a subgroup of assassin bugs (Reduviidae). I think the above animal is a nymph belonging to the genus Phymata. These bugs hang out underneath flower petals until unweary pollinators visit. They then lunge out and snare their prey with their enlarged raptorial appendages, piercing the exoskeleton with a syringe like rostrum.

Here is an adult of the same, or a similar, species. About one of every three flowers in this bush had an ambush bug laying in wait below.

Phymata sp

'Come a bit closer my pretties.'

If any insect-gurus can identify this exact species, it would be much appreciated.

Leave it to the Scots…

This is the most epic bottle of beer I have ever seen. 55 percent alcohol, $760 per bottle, and packaged inside a taxidermied rodent. I’m getting a hangover just looking at it:

What hath man wrought?

Is this sort of abomination commonplace in Scotland?

Of Protostomes and Deuterostomes

Here is a cute cartoon about evolutionary divergence and bittersweet reunion by Abstruse Goose:

Via PZ posting at the Panda’s Thumb.

Is there something in my teeth?

Today, I took my first shot at fo-macro photography using a 50mm reverse-mounted lens. I think I had a little success despite obvious issues with the built in flash. I like this shot of a damselfly, Argia apicalis (Zygoptera), munching on some sort of bug.

Om-nom-nom

Munch Munch Sluuuurp


I have moved.
Arthropoda can now be found here.

Michael Bok is a graduate student studying the visual system of mantis shrimp.

Flickr Photos

Fire in the Eye

View from atop South Island

Turtle and remora

Lizard Island lagoon panorama

Coral

Wind surfer over the reef, taken from atop South Island

Another Lizard Island Sunset

Odontodactylus latirostris

Mandarin

Lowest tide I have seen at Lizard Island  (-0.11 m)

More Photos

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