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2013 BIO 386 course has second field trip to South Mountain

On Thursday, September 05, students of the ASU-SoLS General Entomology course BIO 386 had their second night collecting trip to South Mountain, an popular (and extensive) city park just south of Phoenix that tends to have a good variety of insects. It was a hot night (~ 105 degrees Fahrenheit) which may have reduced insect activity on the plants, ground, and at the Hg/UV light sheets. The proper way to record the locality information is “U.S.: AZ: Maricopa Co.; South Mountain Park at E Pima Canyon Road; 33.362538, -111.988097; general coll. & at Hg/UV lights; leg. N. Franz [replace with your name], IX-05-2013″. See more photos here.

Upcoming presentations at Colorado Plateau Conference

Our group will give two presentations at the upcoming 12th Biennial Conference of Science and Management on the Colorado Plateau at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ. Each presentation will take place on September 19, 2013, as part of an arthropod session organized by Neil Cobb under the theme: “Theme: Effects of Rapid Climatic, Social, and Technological Changes on the Colorado Plateau.”

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Article digest: rotational scanning electron micrographs

Two recent papers by Akkari et al. and Cheung et al. describe and showcase a cool method of creating 3D rotational SEM images (see “Articles” below).

In this method, the authors mounted insect and millipede samples on a rotating platform inside a SEM machine and took a series of snapshots at an incremental angle. Then these snapshots were put together to create 3D flash images using Adobe Flash. The 3D flash images can be embedded in a PDF, allowing readers to access the 3-dimensional structural details of a sample.

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Latest taxonbytes updates

Several of the members pages have been set up; in particular for “research leaders” and graduate students. Access has been shared (still only selectively). The former “Franz Lab” website is no longer actively maintained, although links to publications and PDFs are kept alive as long as possible.

Third International Tenebrionoidea Symposium presentations now on-line

Aaron Smith, lead organizer of the Third Tenebrionoidea Symposium held at Arizona State University during August 7-8, 2013, has now collected and posted presentations and pictures from this event. A total of 36 national and international darkling beetle specialists attended “ITS3”, and many participated in pre- or post collecting trips  and museum visits throughout the southwestern U.S. The event was sponsored in part by the IISE, the SoLS Natural History Collections group, and the Eleodes” NSF grant.

Envisioned taxonbytes customization

Here are some goals to optimize the taxonbytes theme. Original post on September 01, 2013. Now with an update, September 12, 2013. We are on a good path.

1. Deactivate comments on static pages. => Done.

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Progress on a new taxonbytes logo

Here is the current version for the square taxonbytes logo. We will also need a matching header. The logo shows a craquelure silhouette image of the North American leaf-rolling weevil species Haplorhynchites planifrons (LeConte, 1876) (Coleoptera: Attelabidae), based on an image taken by Michael Shillingburg. The original specimen and image are available here. Six “bytes” appear on the weevil.