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

Acromyrmex - Alex Wild Photography — Acromyrmex is the more diverse of the two leafcutting ant genera (the other is Atta). These distinctive spiny insects cut fresh vegetation to feed to a specialized fungus that grows only in ant nests. The fungus serves as the ants' food source and in return is cultivated and dispersed by the ants.

Insect Sex - Alex Wild Photography

How Ant Slaves Overthrow Their Masters — Every summer, a pitched battle of wills unfolds within the acorns and hollowed-out twigs of the Northeastern United States. A dark, bulbous-headed ant called Protomognathus americanus invades these tiny abodes and plucks the pearly brood of ants in the genus Temnothorax.

You are what you eat: IU biologists map genetic pathways of nutrition-based species traits — BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Biologists at Indiana University have significantly advanced understanding of the genetic pathways that control the appearance of different physical traits in the same species depending on nutritional conditions experienced during development. In many animals, nutrition -- not genetic differences -- controls the appearance of certain physical traits.

Nikon Announces Winners of 2011 Small World Competition — While science journalists' attention remains focused on the Nobel prizes, another set of awards- rather diminutive in scope- were also released this morning. Nikon has announced the 2011 winners of its prestigious Small World Photomicrography Competition. The contest, now in its 37th year, received over 2,000 entries.

Hymenoptera: Bees, Wasps, and Sawflies — Hymenoptera is a diverse order of insects that contains wasps, bees, and sawflies. Many species are parasitic on other insects and are important in biological control of pests. Several groups have evolved complex social behavior, particularly in the bees and ants.

UK steel is globally insignificant and unviable: Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to shoulder its losses — With the Port Talbot steelworks up for sale, Tata saying the value of its operations are "almost zero", and a £485m pension deficit, prospects for the plant's thousands of workers look grim. But while this is certainly a local tragedy, some perspective is needed.

Budget 2016: Cutting Corporation Tax to 17% is good news — With the EU referendum less than 100 days away and the outlook for the global economy looking somewhat gloomier than it was when he delivered his Autumn Statement in November, big changes at George Osborne's eighth Budget were never likely, and sure enough they did not materialise.

Ants - Alex Wild Photography — Eastern black carpenter ants (Camponotus pennsylvanicus). Inside their nest, workers feed, lick, and move the queen. Illinois, USA

Osborne’s latest pensions raid: Flat rate tax relief would be both irrational and unfair — Private pensions have always been a soft target for cash-hungry chancellors. Nigel Lawson made pension funds restrict the size of their surpluses under threat of losing their tax-exempt status. Gordon Brown abolished Advance Corporation Tax in the great pension raid of 1997.
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Aug 27, 2016

@michaelandresen or even better, it lures them in from neighbors but doesn't catch them.

Aug 26, 2016

RT @dllavaneras: Day 26 of the #SpeciesADayChallenge: Crossed off the very top of my bucket list! A female Pelecinus polyturator

Aug 26, 2016

Dear people without Netflix, How do you even live? Curious, Alex

Aug 26, 2016

RT @CT_Bergstrom: In which our largely ignored modeling paper is deemed a "key theory of evolution" -- moments before its execution.

Aug 26, 2016

Today's Mangenda: -Reply to all Today's Vagenda tweets with "Well, actually..." corrections.

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