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

The Autumn Statement was a missed opportunity to radically rethink the role of the state — WE'VE become accustomed to scratching our heads during speeches by politicians, wondering how the policy measures announced can possibly reconcile with the language used. Yesterday was no exception, with the chancellor making seemingly endless announcements of spending increases, alongside U-turns on reforms to tax credits and cuts to police, as part of a speech designed to reassure us that Britain will live within its means.

Azteca - Alex Wild Photography — Azteca is a genus of aggressive, tree-dwelling dolichoderine ants found throughout the new world tropics. Some species have evolved specialized relationships with the plants that house them.
Nov 13, 2015

A disturbing number of my Azteca ant photographs look like this. They're bitey little gals.…

Megalomyrmex - Alex Wild Photography — Megalomyrmex is a genus of slender myrmicine ants found in wet Neotropical forests. Some species, such as M. symmetochus pictured below, are specialist predators or parasites of fungus-growing ants.
Nov 09, 2015

The great and terrible Megalomyrmex, a little-studied ant from the New World tropics.…

This Photo Is Not Free, But How Much Should It Cost? — In January, landscape photographer John Mueller sparked a lengthy debate about the economics of art with a simple observation: It cost me $6,612 to take this photo. $12 in gas to go from work to this spot and then home. The camera I took this with cost $2500.

Honey Bees & Beekeeping — Bee eggs and young larvae. The milky substance is a glandular secretion from the heads of adult bees that is fed to larvae.

Death by Fungus - Alex Wild Photography — Among the most spectacular threats faced by insects are pathogenic, insect-killing fungi. Some of the more specialized fungal species invade the brains of their hosts, altering the insects' behaviors to direct them to a favorable spot for development and spore release.

Lasius - Alex Wild Photography — Lasius is a genus of formicine ants abundant across the north temperate zone in North America and Eurasia. These small, robust ants tend to be either dark in color and surface-foraging, or pale in color and subterranean.

To make money from science photographs, specialize — A reader emails: I have been doing nature and wildlife photography for some years now, mostly as an advanced hobby, and have been expanding my efforts in arthropoda and macro work. I am at some disadvantage in this regard since I am one of dem unedumacated types who has to look up nearly everything he finds.
Sep 23, 2015

To make money from science photographs, specialize.… An older post, still relevant.

Worker Ants - Alex Wild Photography

Oecophylla - Alex Wild Photography — Oecophylla is a genus of large arboreal ants of the African, Asian, and Australian tropics. These conspicuous insects are weaver ants, creating nests by pulling living tree leaves together and securing them with silk produced by the ants' larvae. Colonies are territorial, covering several trees and containing dozens of nests.
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Nov 29, 2015

@kmagnacca @ClausWilke Sure, but the bugs that the U.S. media is currently freaking out about are not common house-dwellers.

Nov 29, 2015

RT @UTAustin: When monarch butterflies fly over the ocean, are they lost or are they taking a shortcut?

Nov 29, 2015

RT @bug_gwen: Spectacular Chagas Disease fail at CNN. No, they don't transmit Chikungunya. But that also starts with a "C," so...

Nov 29, 2015

@ClausWilke In nature, kissing bugs live in dank places like armadillo burrows. They only inhabit human dwellings of similar qualities.

Nov 29, 2015

...the vector doesn't like modern houses. Chagas is a rural poverty, mud-hut problem. Suburbia is a inhospitable for the bugs.

Nov 29, 2015

It's true that Chagas disease is under-reported in the U.S., it's a terrible disease, and that the vector is fairly common. But...

Nov 29, 2015

I'm glad other entomologists are dealing with the inaccurate media coverage of the "kissing bug" story. Because I just cant even with that.

Nov 28, 2015

Which is to say, scientific knowledge is our best weapon against disease.

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