Anyone for fried lice?

As many a mainstream media outlet has noted, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has recently released a 200 page book which lays out the case for encouraging entomophagy – especially amongst somewhat resistant Westerners. ‘Edible insects : Future prospects for food and feed security’. Unfortunately for those inspired to investigate […]

Group laughter at the social insect conference

“At a social insect conference, the whole room broke into laughter,” writes Myrmecos about the moment someone displayed this chart: Myrmecos explains: “Pachycondyla, among the most common ants in tropical regions worldwide, turns out to be a motley assortment of unrelated species. While the taxonomy of the world’s 12,000 or so ant species is obviously still […]

“The Gold Bug” [fictional], and the real bug that accumulates gold

In 1843, Edgar Allen Poe wrote a fictional story called “The Gold Bug,” about a bug made of gold. In 2012, Aaron Stewart, Ravi Anand and Jens Balkau wrote a scientific treatise about termites that accumulate gold in their nest: “Source of anomalous gold concentrations in termite nests, Moolart Well, Western Australia: implications for exploration,” Aaron D. […]

The scientist who ate 100 ants, repeatedly

There once was a man who swallowed some ants. ‘Twas done with intent, not merely from chance. The ants were alive, But did not survive. The research was done without government grants. The man was and is Volker Sommer, [pictured here] professor of evolutionary anthropology at University College London. He and colleagues Oliver Allon and Alejandra Pascual-Garrido travelled […]

Colored ants, in parts

The Daily Mail (a news source that inspires literary scholars to speak whimsically about the concept of the “unreliable narrator“) features a story about some colorful photos [one of which is reproduced here]. The story says: Father of three Mohamed Babu set up the photographs after his wife, Shameem, showed him some ants had turned […]