Monthly Archives: January 2009

Done with dung, meat please!

“No feces for this species.” “Carnivorous dung beetle shuns dung and decapitates millipede.” “Little dung beetle is big chopper.” “Dung beetle mistakes millipede for dung.” These were some of the clever headlines that I had to compete with in coming … Continue reading

Posted in Coleoptera, Diplopoda, Scarabaeidae | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Christmas in January

One of the ironies about collecting insects is that the winter months can be just as busy as the summer months, sometimes more so. Despite the lack of insect activity during these short, cold days, I actually find myself at … Continue reading

Posted in Buprestidae, Coleoptera | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

We Are Here: The Pale Blue Dot

This has been around for awhile, but its message is more relevant now than ever. The Pale Blue Dot is a photograph of the planet Earth taken in 1990 by Voyager 1 from a record distance of 6.4 billion kilometers … Continue reading

Posted in [No taxon] | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Lions in South Africa

Joerie, Joerie, botter en brood, as ek jou kry, slaat ek jou dood. Doodlebugs, joerie, shunties, toritos—these are but a few of the many colloquial names given to amusing little creatures that many people know simply as antlions (or translation … Continue reading

Posted in Myrmeleontidae, Neuroptera | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Welcome new insect/invertebrate enthusiasts

Some of you may have noticed my greatly expanded (and categorized) sidebar links listings.  I’d like to welcome the following insect & invertebrate-focused sites, all of which offer unique perspectives on the fascinatingly diverse world of spineless creatures.  Rather than … Continue reading

Posted in [No taxon] | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

The “buzzard signal fly”

During our time at Geelhoutbos farm in South Africa’s Northern (now Limpopo) Province, we spent most of our time in the foothills below a magnificent north-facing escarpment of the Waterberg Mountain Range. We were here to collect Buprestidae (including the … Continue reading

Posted in Diptera, Platystomatidae | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Tyrant ground beetles

I return to my Afrikaans theme with a distinctive group of ground beetles (family Carabidae) called tyrant ground beetles or spotted ground beetles (tribe Anthiini). I think I prefer the former. This tribe is largely restricted to Africa and is … Continue reading

Posted in Carabidae, Reptilia | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Review of Calodema and Metaxymorpha

Insects are not only the most diverse group of animals in the world, they are also among the most beautiful.  Beetles, of course (with apologies to any lepidopterists that may be reading this), are responsible for a hefty slice of this … Continue reading

Posted in Buprestidae, Coleoptera | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments