Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tickbomb II: Ticks Strike Back

I have a number of crappy pictures for you today, as followup to some things I've mentioned previously.

First off, Scott got whalluped today by a king-size tickbomb, which gave me the perfect opportunity to take some macros for you all. (It's easier to do this kind of thing when they're crawling all over someone else's skin!) Fortunately, he noticed the blast before they migrated under his clothes, and was able to get the lion's share off with tape. I only got a chance to snap these in my room after dark, so the lighting is totally awful.

For what it's worth, I counted about 120 ticks on the bottom piece of tape. Here's a closeup:

Cute little buggers, eh?

While we're on the subject of parasite, here's Langsdorffia hypogaea, the parasitic flower I mentioned a few posts ago, and which was most helpfully ID'ed for me by Prof. Emilio Bruna in the comments. This one is much less likely to make your skin crawl -- at least as long as you have skin, and not, say, bark.

And finally, moving out of the parasitic and into the predatory, we have Pachycondyla somethingorother, a gnarly predatory ant that reminds me of that giant tiger-lizard-thing in Avatar. Egads, look at those mandibles! This picture is horrible and blurry, since Pachycondyla moves fast and I move slow / don't know what I'm doing with this lens. But somehow I feel like it's befitting this particular ant's image, like the jaguar lurking in the shadows...

Not too much else to report today. Caught literally a backpack-full of ants at Caça e Pesca, which are going to keep me well and truly occupied at the microscope tomorrow. Oh yeah, and there was some sort of sporting event today...

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