Curator of Entomology at the University of Texas at Austin. Blogger at Scientific American. Photographer down in the dirt.

Beetles - Alex Wild Photography

Critical Use Is Fair Use — Over at the Carbon Brief climate blog, Christian Hunt shares a series of climate reporting images so overused he never wants to see them again. For example: Hunt's bestiary of clichéd imagery (Polar bears on ice? London underwater?) is worth a visit. But that's not why I mention it.

Harpegnathos - Alex Wild Photography — Harpegnathos is a south Asian genus of slender, large-eyed ponerine ants. These charismatic insects are capable of jumping several times their body length. Both workers and gynes can mate and lay fertilized eggs, leading to internal power struggles within the nest that are an active subject of research.

Build a World-Class Insect Imaging System for under $6,000 — Compound Eye has been quiet of late. My silence is for a good cause, though! The past few months have been hectic as I transitioned from freelance photography in Illinois to a new job: Curator of Entomology at the University of Texas in Austin. The move has meant a blogging hiatus.

Photographing Uncooperative Insects: The Time-Out Trick — And now, the technique I find most useful in the studio for calming an overly active insect. I call it the time-out trick. It goes like this: Place the insect on a flat surface, confine it with an upside-down petri dish (you can buy them here) or a small glass, and wait.

Pollinators - Alex Wild Photography — Plants must mix gametes from different individuals to reproduce sexually, like animals, but unlike animals, plants cannot move to find mates. Many have come to rely on animals to spread pollen for them, growing attractive flowers with bright colors and pleasing odors to advertise nectar.

Photo Tip: Help The World See Your Hairy Fly By Using A Black Background — The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American. Email Print Alex Wild is Curator of Entomology at the University of Texas at Austin, where he studies the evolutionary history of ants.

Flies - Alex Wild Photography — Flies are the most underappreciated of the major insect orders. While they are best known for pests like the domestic house fly and their association with mosquito-borne diseases like malaria, in truth the harmful species are a small minority.

Leptomyrmex - Alex Wild Photography — Leptomyrmex is a large, leggy, often colorful genus restricted to eastern Australia, New Guinea, and New Caledonia. The skittish movements and long legs of these distinctive insects give them the common name "spider ants". Some workers in each nest specialize as living storage containers called repletes, their abdomens greatly distended.

So Your Company Has Been Found Using My Photos Without Permission. What Next? — In August I hired ImageRights International, a reputable copyright enforcement agency, to assume the routine handling of commercial infringements of my professional work. There are a lot. Starting in September 2014, companies began receiving letters from ImageRights' partner law firms seeking to resolve these infringements on my behalf.
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Jul 06, 2015

Am I criticizing the earlier phylogenies? Yes, I am. Most designed sampling around a "here's what we had in our freezer" approach.

Jul 06, 2015

Of the several big beetle phylogenies published recently, ours differs primarily in the careful, targeted selection of included taxa.

Jul 06, 2015

In case you missed it, I published a big paper on beetle evolution today with an international team of beetle geeks.…

Jul 06, 2015

Shark Week is upon us. And as a shark scientist, I both love and hate it.… by @WhySharksMatter, of course.

Jul 06, 2015

What's that cicada you're hearing? Check your mystery singer against David Marshall's cicada audio library.…

Jul 06, 2015

"I could not bear to look at one more student smiling at his or her crotch"… On cell phones and teaching.

Jul 06, 2015

It's Monday again. What does that feel like? Here's a photo of biologist Yaya Bautista getting stung by a bullet ant.

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