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Biodiversity Blog

 

The Challenge of 1%

dungbettle web Dung beetle (Photo: Alex Wild) Natural History collections hold material going back centuries, but the digital revolution means their holdings are now open to everyone, pending the process of digitization. Properly digitizing specimens consumes enormous resources, particularly the one we all have so little of: time. But the Entomology Coll...

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...

Creatures of Halloween: Scorpionfly (Panorpa nuptialis)

Panorpa nuptialis P1330899a   By xpda - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=64833118 Donning the colors of Halloween, this is the Scorpionfly (Panorpa nuptialis). It’s a common insect in Texas in wooded areas and ravines with dense vegetation. They are up to an inch long. Their wings are orange with defined angulate black ba...

Texas Biodiversity Day

TexasBiodiversityDay Apr2018 5  If you happened to be strolling down the East Mall on the warm afternoon of April 23rd, you might have noticed some tables holding cases of pinned insects, or perhaps some skulls and specimen jars. The event you passed was for Texas Biodiversity Day, and the Biodiversity Center participated to promote outreach and awareness, and to assist...

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...

Fire Ants and their Phorid Fly Foes: Brackenridge Field Lab and Biodiversity Collections Engage Visitors at UT Explore 2018

 Rob Plowes, Research Scientist at BFL, speaks with a young student
 Rob Plowes, Research Scientist at BFL, speaks with a young student (Photo courtesy Alejandro Santillana Ferna)

UT Explore was held on Saturday March 3rd, drawing a large crowd of families, students, and teachers. The annual event seeks to encourage community interest in research and higher education, and the important impact UT has on Austin and the world at large.