There’s a recent post over there at Bug Girl’s Blog commenting upon sex duration time in stick insects. As Bug Girl noted, there’s quite some confusion at the starting point (a tweet) as to what may be considered actual mating from pairing duration, and even the numbers don’t seem to match between the sexy factoid and the litterature available source.
Archive for the ‘Insects’ Category
Amazonia. If you want chickens, there are several possibilities. One is to go to the next grocery, one that have a freezer (that is, at least a medium size grocery), and buy there a frozen chicken. You may also buy a live one to your neighbour, but that’s more expensive and you have to kill it yourself (and pluck and empty the beast, that’s more work but it’s not impossible).
Or there’s the other way. I’m going to tell you… (more…)
Happy new year to you all. Joyeuse nouvelle année tout le monde!
May Seeds Aside reappear* on a regular basis… :-)
* I don’t know if that’s the correct orthograph, but I damn like it!
Just kidding, but so noisy my little boy was frightened first. Then he think they make great animals…
Not the least idea about the species name, but maybe some reader does?
In an outgoing edition of Trends in Ecology & Evolution*, you may find an interesting exercise in estimating the probable cost of the (quite huge) task of describing the whole animal kingdom (the whole “current”).
The basic assumptions are based on current lifetime species descriptions by professional systematicists, their salary (as I understand, correcting by the time allowed to fulfill other academic tasks such as teaching and administrative work needed), integrating the cost of forming and recruiting young taxonomists, and weighted by the actual needs for specialists (broadly defined following three categories: vertebrates, insects and other-non-vertebrate-organisms).
Then based on a rather generous estimated of species waiting to be descripted (6.8 billions), the estimated cost of having described the whole current animal species on earth is… (more…)
Hum, it’s been a long time ago… Well, I promised anyway, so here we go. This post is still about bioblitzing. I keep up with blitzes, because this is what walks naturally look like in the family. And this time, I walked the shore until I reached this small island. Not a remote wild place, but definitely not the place people would really go a blitz! So once we’re done I can add a bold line in my résumé that I produced a listing of species of an entire island. There might be another post in the coming weeks when I’ll tell you about a sister species that I blitzed the very following day. It’s amazing because they each correspond to a different stage of the “heath to forest” community succession. But it’s slightly more remote and I almost had been stuck for a whole sea cycle. But let’s go back to Tanguy Island. I finished the easy part: the final stages with Bracken ferns and even the Pines understorey (they would probably be Oaks inside the land, but sea shores go Conifers). (more…)
I’ve been reorganizing a bit my Flickr sets, and now pictures for Blogger Bio Blitzes are grouped in sets. So I provide here backlinks to previous blitzes, both pictures and posts.
The reason I do that, is that apparently there’s been no Blogger Bio Blitz this spring so far, or I’ve not seen the ads or something else. And while I like the idea of blogging bio-blitzes, and since I’ve been some place in June, and had time and was willing to, and did it actually, I’m on my way preparing two posts on these blitzes from June, on two neighbouring islands (so I can pretend some level of exhaustive plant species listing, except for grasses as always :).
If you can’t wait for the posts, there’s a first set of pictures here. You can always try to guess where the blitz took place (hint, French Brittany –Gosh, there’s a quite big hint not even hiding after the link… So try to find the islands names!). Answer in a few days…
Orthoptera are well known for preferentially eating plants rather than pollinate them. Indeed, even when they are off to a flower, they’re eventually chewing bits at best, or uncaringly eat the whole plant. Hoppers chills are thus really signs of scare to most plants.
Except one of course. Not that it produces noxious chemicals, but that it uses an orthopteran species as a pollinator. Yep, I’m not talking bees, flies, butterflies. Nor bugs, which are also not classically recognized as potential pollinators. Orthoptera this times.
Of course, one would expect such a species to be sort of a special family. Bingo, orchids! You bet… So very recently, a undescribed cricket species, was confounded as a pollinator of a very rare (and endangered of course) orchid: Angraecum cadetii (from Mascarene Archipelago). The Genus produces species with pale or white flowers, so you would typically expect pollinators to be nocturnal. Which is correct for this species. Not only are they drinking nectar and leaving the flower going with a set of pollinia, but they are also not bad pollinating once they carry the gametes load. This time pollen really hop to one plant to the other.
This is the first time an orthoptera is shown to actively pollinate a plant, which is neat. But there’s more in the study*. What I find of special interest is that these yet-to-be-named cricket is that they actively forage for fresh flowers (that is, the quite recently open, filled with nectar and thus sweety scenting), usually the latest open on an inflorescence, which also means that they tend to look for flowers of another (neighbouring) plant, and therefore probably limit self fertilization in the orchid. And that’s pretty cool for the host plant, even if these consequences need further consideration (well, proof yet needed, I hope this is what the authors are going to tell us next!).
* C. Micheneau, J. Fournel, B. H. Warren, S. Hugel, A. Gauvin-Bialecki, T. Pailler, D. Strasberg, and M. W. Chase (2010).
Orthoptera, a new order of pollinator. AOBPreview published on January 11, 2010. (i.e. to appear soon in Annals of Botany).