Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Pheidole Key

Amy Mertl has put her key to the Pheidole of Tiputini, Ecuador on her website. I just got finished looking it over and it is awesome. Check it out.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Pheidole pics

I have just updated my research webpage with links from my Pheidole page to my labmate Amy Mertl's webpage. She has been working hard on the Pheidole of Tiputini and has lots of lovely pictures and is also working on a key which is driving her loopy. Check it out at

Preliminary Solenopsis Key Online!

Well, I finally managed to get my key online. It can be found here. It takes a little while to load -- give it a chance. There are no pictures and no actual species names, just morphospecies, but it does show all the characteristics that I used. Perhaps that will be useful to someone. In a few weeks I plan to have pictures of characteristics and species to make it more useful. If anyone decides to try it out, I would love any and all feedback. Thanks! If you are confused by the Lucid3 program, you can email me or check out Lucid's help page.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Reader comments and...(wait for it)....Solenopsis!

By the way, I am super excited to see that actual people not related to me are reading this blog. Thank you so much for the comments! I am finished with my Solenopsis but want to wait a week to put up my results so that I can have them verified by Stefan. No doubt there will be a few adjustments. But I know how frustrating it is to deal with Solenopsis, so I am hoping to also include a key I have been working on and some photos of the characteristics I used. Not sure how useful this will be, but it certainly can't hurt. I have been using a program called Lucid3 which is fantastic. It really helped me keep track of my morphospecies and figure out when I had accidentally made two groups of the same ant. I will put this program up on my website, too, as soon as I figure out how to do that. I ended up with 29 morphospecies, one of which was S. virulens and one of which was all the queens I didn't want to deal with. Characteristics I used (briefly -- I will put more detail later): color, opacity, mesosomal length, scape length, distance from scape to vertex, head shape, head width, size and shape of clypeal carinae and clypeal teeth, size and shape of first and second funicular segments, pilosity of mesosoma and head, mesosomal shape, severity of metanotal groove, propodeum shape, petiole shape, and punctation.

Ants of Tiputini Poster

When I got fed up with the Solenopsis, I would go back to work on my Ants of Tiputini poster, which I have been working on for awhile now. It is finally finished and I am super proud of it. Every ant pictured was collected and photographed by me. And it took me forever to get the spacings and the layout just right (algebra was involved). I used to say to myself, why are there no good ant posters out there? I would love to have a cool ant poster on my wall. Well, now I do. If anyone else is interested in this poster, it is for sale at my webstore, The Gigantiops Destructor Store.