Showing posts from June, 2012

Crabronid wasp

It may be quieter around here in summer, but new opportunities for natural history study buzz by more often too. I was lucky enough to block the particular location where this wasp wanted to bury a paralyzed fly at the bus stop near the UW Medicinal Herb Garden last week, so I got to take a few good pictures of her and talk about the amazing world of parasitoids with members of the university public. (I caught the next bus.) Although she looks rather like a standard Polistes paper wasp, paper wasps make relatively large paper nests hanging in sheltered locations like your eaves or utility shed and bring caterpillars to their young there. Dragging a fly into this crack didn't fit that scenario very well. So I turned to the amazing community at -- I gave them the pictures to post as part of their guide, and they figured out where they should go. Experts there have identified the wasp to subtribe Crabronina so far. Crabronids are called "digger wasps" an…

Weekend links: innovative methods

The eternal cycle

I have a lot of data. That's a good thing. At times, I feel extremely ambitious about analyzing it: Very soon, however, I implode under the volume of the task: Who feels me on this? Artwork modified from original work found at the following source: - Octavio Campos

Sunday sense of wonder


Science Positive Awards 2011-2012

Thanks to all our contributors for a fantastic first (partial) year! We've already reached 50 posts, including high-quality original research, links to current and interesting science on the web, and reviews of books and papers. At the Spring Fling on Friday, I awarded three personalized certificates with accompanying gift codes for Amazon. The Lucky Contributor prize, drawn randomly from all posts, went to an early adopter, Marie Clifford, for her gorgeous cross-section of a paper wasp brain at Mushroom Bodies. This kind of research image is incredibly cool for everyone in the department to see, since we don't always know what everyone's working on in such a large group, and it gives a great idea of the variety and beauty of our department's work to outside viewers too. The Prolific Poster award recognizes a biograd who consistently contributes to Scipos over the award period, and Emily Grason's ongoing series of posts, Species Species of the Week Week, is f…

Weekend links: it's baby season