Insects that look like sticks, behave like fruit, and move like seeds

Male spiny leaf insect, Extatosoma tiaratum. James O’Hanlon, Author providedJames O'Hanlon, University of New England The key to a stick insect’s survival may be allowing their eggs to be eaten and excreted by birds, according to new Japanese research. Phasmatodea – more commonly known as stick insects – were so named because they genuinely look … Continue reading Insects that look like sticks, behave like fruit, and move like seeds

Dr Jambone’s Guide to OceanView Bliss (feat. the Jaz)

There comes a time in every sensory ecologists life when the sudden desire to measure spectral reflectance arises. In such fits of whimsy it oft becomes necessary to use a particular program to quench thine spectral thirsts; OceanView (Ocean Optics). After downloading said program, paying the not insignificant licence fee and downloading spectrophotometer drivers, finally … Continue reading Dr Jambone’s Guide to OceanView Bliss (feat. the Jaz)

Secrets of the orchid mantis revealed – By James Gilbert

Secrets of the orchid mantis revealed – it doesn't mimic an orchid after all By James Gilbert, University of Sussex In his 1879 account of wanderings in the Orient, the travel writer James Hingston describes how, in West Java, he was treated to a bizarre experience: I am taken by my kind host around his … Continue reading Secrets of the orchid mantis revealed – By James Gilbert

Ram Jam’s Quick-Start Guide to Embracing the Jaz!

Anyone who is anyone knows that portable spectrometers are the shizzle! The Ocean Optics Jaz is a must have for any colour scientist and works great as a desktop spectrometer or your friend in the field for measuring light wavelengths. The only problem is once you take this shiny little black box out of its packaging most people have … Continue reading Ram Jam’s Quick-Start Guide to Embracing the Jaz!

Tales from the field – and other nonsense. Part 1.

With an address and a mobile phone number scrawled onto a piece of paper I jumped into a taxi and headed towards the Singaporean suburbs. Away from the glossy façade of the CBD and the bizarre spectacle that is herds of businessmen, complete with neckties and suit jackets, galloping hurriedly around the humid tropics. Away … Continue reading Tales from the field – and other nonsense. Part 1.