Habrocerus waggles its tail

Habrocerus capillaricornis for some reason waggles it’s abdomen up and down quite frequently. I have absolutely no idea why, but they do and it’s absolutely adorable.

I had been keeping colony for over five months when I was observing this and took a video, which I just posted a YouTube. Check, check it out, dudes.

Everyone should try and keep ’em. They readily reproduce and super cute.

The Gift

I got a wonderful little gift from Rick Hoebeke at the University of Georgia today of several Reticulitermes associated aleocharines, including Trichopsenius, Xenistusa and Anacyptus.

Xenistusa is a new genus for my collection and I’m super excited to put it and the rest of the specimens under the microscope later.

Many thanks, Rick!

New video on Leptusa larval behavior

The video demonstrates some Leptusa (probably pusio) larval behavior. Larvae and adults were collected under oak bark in the fall. I’ve been keeping the larvae in the hopes of seeing whether they spin a cocoon and to confirm the adult association, but because I’ve been keeping them inside and they likely need a period of cold diapause, they were slowly dying off. In the mean time, I took the opportunity to take some videos.

An interesting observation I was able to make was on their “dabbing” behavior using the abdominal defensive gland—originally described by Dettner (1993). The highly pigmented nozzle-like end to the gland is used to dab defensive secretions onto aggressors. I am currently coauthoring a paper where we discuss this morphology as a potential synapomorphy for the homalotine-groups of aleocharines, and I’ll update you guys on it further when it is published.

“Good Taste”

Aleo brawlers


The brawlers of the aleocharine world – half the males are after the benjamins, the other half are perfectly fine getting what they can get.

Unfounded celebration of Darwin?

So, I see a lot of people celebrating Darwin on Facebook, but I have to ask: how many of these people have actually read On the Origin of Species? My guess, none of them. It’s cool that you appreciate his work, we all do, but unfounded celebration of his work is pretentious and just social media self appraisal. His work exists to be studied and tested, not for self glorification in a social media context. Without reading his magnum opus, how can you truly praise him in a public manner?

Do these folks truly understand the motivation behind his work? A common misconception I observe are people that think he was the father of evolutionary thought – are you one of these people? If you are, go back to school and read his book.

Taro, out!

P.S. I really want to post this on Facebook to prove a point, but there are too many fragile graduate students out there that can’t handle the criticism, so I’ll keep my mouth shut. But, seriously, don’t celebrate what you don’t understand. You’re making people like me, that have actually read his works, look like a chump. You’re scientists: I hope you don’t cite in your pubs, works that you haven’t actually read.