Archive for October, 2007

Ever wondered about what goes on in the enormous eyes of Bullants? Yup we did too, and we ended up finding that the diameter of the photoreceptor, the optical sensitivity, the number of facets and the facet sizes, all increase gradually from diurnal to diurnal/crepuscular, crepuscular/nocturnal and nocturnal species. Such adaptations in eye structure within a single genus, the primitive ant genus Myrmecia especially, is truly remarkable.
Read more here:
Greiner B, Narendra A, Reid SF, Dacke M, Ribi WA, Zeil J. 2007. Eye structure correlates with distinct foraging bout timing in primitive ants. Current Biology 17 (20): R879-R880.

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ANeT ’07 – India

The conference was as it should be, lots of ant fanatics! Hosted by the Punjabi University, over 60 delegates from 15 countries attended this meeting. The highlight was without any doubt, Dr Rudolph J Kohout being honoured for his Lifetime contribution in the field of Myrmecology. A breathtaking cultural program organised by the Postgraduate students gave us all a feel for ‘the real Punjab‘. Session talks were spread out from nearly 9.00 in the morning to around 7.00 in the evening. Speakers were given 8 minutes, though most often this was quite flexible owing to some generous chair persons! We were off on a field trip to collect and watch ants at the base of Himalayas. The highlight for most was seeing Odontoponera transversa, while for others it was Oecophylla smaragdina. The journal of Asian Myrmecology was released and the articles in the first issue suggests a promising future for the Journal! All in all, a well organised conference by Dr Himender Bharati, attended by a nice community of ‘ant people’. A must attend from now on!

Pictures by Archana and Thresi

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