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Biodiversity Blog

 
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BACK YARD BIODIVERSITY: Fireflies

FF1   Photo: Alex Wild Austin sits at the far southwestern corner of the range of the Eastern Firefly (Photinus pyralis), the species that gives eastern landscapes the characteristic dusk light show in early summer. This insect is common in neighborhoods around Austin, with large flights in April, May, and June and a smaller emergence w...

Austin Spring Insects: Crane Flies

Picture1   A female Tipula crane fly in an Austin garden Spring continues to roll through Austin, paying no heed to our human worries of viruses and lockdowns. Rains fall, trees leaf out, bluebonnets speckle the roadsides, and crane flies flutter clumsily across our lawns. Crane flies? Few insects are as strongly evocative of the Texan sprin...

Featured Species: Hypoponera inexorata

opacior7 X2This rare, mostly underground ant species was not known from UT’s Brackenridge Field Lab until this year, when Curator of Entomology Alex Wild found one by chance under a stone. He snapped this photograph, possibly the first photograph taken of H. inexorata in the field. Colonies are small and subterranean, often near other species of ants. The wor...
Focus on Biology - Science Imaging Contest 2018 - -

Focus on Biology - Science Imaging Contest 2018 - -

The Department of Integrative Biology is pleased to announce the annual Focus on Biology science imaging contest! Focus on Biology celebrates visual explorations of our research in the form of photographs, micrographs, figures, and illustrations. Contest winners and honorable mentions will be printed and displayed during a Department of Integrative...
UT Insect Collection's "Insects Unlocked" Creates a Media Buzz

UT Insect Collection's "Insects Unlocked" Creates a Media Buzz

The UT Insect Collection's Insects Unlocked project caught the attention of international media this week with a pair of stories in The Guardian and WIRED: Alejandro Santillana's Bees Under the Microscope (The Guardian) The Entomologist Giving Bugs their Close-Up  (WIRED) Insects Unlocked is a crowd-funded initiative to create high...
The Daily Species: Lesser Siren (Siren intermedia)

The Daily Species: Lesser Siren (Siren intermedia)

The Lesser Siren (Siren intermedia) is a slender-bodied aquatic amphibian that spends its days burrowed in silt and debris at the bottom of slow waters. Sirens have a small pair of front legs but lack hind limbs, a loss thought to help them more easily swim through reeds and plants. During drought, they can secrete a protective mucus that cocoons t...
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The Daily Species: Western Ratsnake (Pantherophis obsoletus)

The Daily Species: Western Ratsnake (Pantherophis obsoletus)

The Western Ratsnake (Pantherophis obsoletus) is a non-venomous species commonly found across the eastern half of Texas. This species can be highly arboreal and is adaptable to a wide range of habitats.  Because of this versatility, they feed on a variety of prey (small mammals, birds, reptiles) that they kill by constriction. Ratsnakes are so...
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Focus on Biology - Science Imaging Contest 2017

Focus on Biology - Science Imaging Contest 2017

The Department of Integrative Biology is pleased to announce the second annual Focus on Biology science imaging contest! Focus on Biology celebrates visual explorations of our research in the form of photographs, micrographs, figures, and illustrations. Contest winners and honorable mentions will be printed and displayed during a Department of...
The Daily Species: Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

The Daily Species: Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

One of North America's most abundant butterflies, the pipevine swallowtail develops on the leaves of Aristolochia pipevine, sequestering the plant's potent toxins so as to remain poisonous to their own predators. The photographs of the hatching eggs (above) and adult butterfly (below) are public domain images created at UT ...
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The Daily Species: Diamond Killifish (Adinia xenica)

The Daily Species: Diamond Killifish (Adinia xenica)

Adinia xenica is called the Diamond Killifish because the body profile is roughly diamond shaped with a pointed snout. These small fish occur in coastal waters from the Florida Panhandle west to Corpus Christi in fresh, brackish, marine and hypersaline water less than two feet deep and having emergent vegetation. You would think these pretty l...
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