End of summer lab pizza gathering 2018 (09-21-2018)
Dorymyrmex sp. ants foraging on a dead grasshopper. The workers of this particular species were foraging actively at night.
A colony of southern fire ant (Solenopsis xyloni) is preparing nuptial flights of winged individuals. This large colony in my backyard shows this characteristic behavior (e.g., many workers come out from the nest and move around on the surface of the ground, winged females and males come out from the nest and get ready for flight, etc.) in later afternoon or evening. They show this behavior for several days in a row. I see the winged females typically climb up to the nearby vegetation. For male, this "climbing" behavior seems to occur much less often. The picture was taken on July 16, 2018 in Riverside, CA.
A male of Turkestan cockroach (Blatta lateralis) on a tree trunk. In warm nights of summer, males of this particular species are often found on trees trunk or building wall surfaces. This picture was taken on July 11, 2018 in Riverside, CA.
An image showing aggressive interactions between a harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex sp.) and Argentine ants. In spite of much bigger body size, the harvester ant worker typically suffers from the group attack by the Argentine ant workers.
Brachymyrmex sp. ants are feeding on a drop of sugary syrup.
One of the our recent studies looked into the bed bugs' behavior to the volatiles emitted from their own shed skins (exuviae). The study also included chemical examination of the volatile chemicals evaporating from the bed bugs' exuviae. Four pheromone compounds known as aldehydes are consistently found in the exuviae. We determined that that the shed skins retain those compounds in the glands and gradually dispense them over time. The study also indicated that living bedbugs are likely to settle down in the vicinity of the shed skins by sensing these compounds.
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A Neivamyrmex sp. army ant carrying a pupa of Solenopsis sp. as a prey during its raid.
An antlion larva (Neuroptera: Myrmeleontidae). The larvae of antlion are predators for small crawling insects such as ants. Many species dig pits to trap passing ants or other preys. This particular larva was found in my backyard on May 5, 2018.
Adult Turkestan cockroaches (Blatta lateralis). Top one is an adult female, and the bottom one is an adult male. The pictures were taken during a night-time field project in Riverside area (October 2017).
A queen and a bunch of workers of Pheidole sp. ants. They were found on the concrete surface in my backyard at night (April 2018).
Brachymyrmex sp. ant and cocoons found under a step stone in my backyard.
A dipluran arthropod found under a step stone in my backyard. Riverside, March 2018. The order Diplura is one of the four groups of hexapods, alongside insects, Collembola (springtails) and Protura. They are sometimes called "two-pronged bristletails". They are not insects.
A female European earwig (Forficula auricularia) with her eggs. This one was discovered under a stepping stone in my backyard. In "Insects of the Los Angeles Basin (Charles L. Hogue 1993)", Charles Hogue wrote that "this conspicuous earwig continues to be more and more common in the basin since its introduction from Europe sometime around 1930; it probably arrived in southern California form the northern parts of the state." In this picture, the female earwig is staying with her eggs. She will stay with the eggs until they all hatch. According to Charles L. Hogue, "maternal care is highly developed in this earwig. Females are often found in the spring in small hollows in the soil under stones or concrete, brooding over a cluster of eggs or young nymphs."
A photo showing an Argentine ant queen, and Argentine ant workers with eggs or larvae
A mature larva of varied carpet beetle (Anthrenus verbasci). The larva is covered with dense tufts of hair they extend upright to form a round plume if disturbed. It has alternating light and dark brown stripes and is distinguishable from other carpet beetle larvae because it is broader in the rear and narrower in front.
In this particular picture, the larva was placed on the double-side sticky tape to remove the hairs from their body surface. The hairs are easily removed by this method. In addition to the hairs on its overall body trunk, it is evident that there are tufts of special hairs (also known as "hastae") at the end of the body. Hastae are modified hairs that are spear-shaped. They are typically clumped into bunches on the posterior abdominal segments. There are several reports indicating these hairs might cause irritations on skin, eye, and respiratory systems when contacted or inhaled in large quantities.
Argentine ant worker carrying many eggs with her mandibles. Discovered under a rock.
Little black ants (Monomorium minimum) are feeding on a drop of maple syrup (April 25, 2016, Riverside, CA).
Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) are trailing on a surface of concrete slab.