Dec 20 – Permit due dates? + ant updates & more weird bycatch

Thanks to those who sent me the deadlines for when their respective reports are due. If you collected at a site that has a permit report due and have not yet emailed me, please reach out to me with any due dates (if you know of them). I tried to check all the permit forms that were turned in, but it seems like many of the permits did not have explicit dates where reports are due.

Weekly progress:
We sorted 3 kits this week including kits by L. Gilbert (Geauga County), R. Duval (Geauga County), and started on the kit by L. Graham (Franklin County). We are up to over 7,200 bees pinned! We haven’t started identifying any bees, but we have started the second to last step that goes right before I can start identifying. So we are getting closer.

Apparently, it is the season for really tiny wasps. In fact, the one below might make a good backup to Rudolf and other reindeer.

Check out those antennae! I didn’t see a red nose, so I think we can safely say that I did not find Rudolf.

Bonus rice for scale too!

The same wasp as above, this time next to a grain of rice.

Not a wasp, but a cool soldier fly from Duval’s kit. My grain of rice is showing some wear already too.

The same fly also has some really neat eyes too! The grain of rice makes a very poor pillow.

Duval also got a neat wood boring beetle in their kit. Despite this being in the family of wood boring beetles, this specific species of beetle actually just lives inside the leaves of some oak trees!

Another fun bycatch is this insect in Duval’s kit. This is NOT a stick insect, but actually a stilt bug! Many people see these and think they are tiny stick insects, but they are actually true bugs. I most often find these on night blooming prime rose plants.

The key way to differentiate a stilt bug from a stick insect is that stilt bugs are much much smaller and also have piercing straw mouths. True stick insects will be easily 10 grains of rice or more long and have chewing mouthparts.

L. Graham had several of these lovely little spiders. They had some nice metallic gold reflections, along with being somewhat hairy.

There was also this spider in Graham’s kit. It has quite the face.

Ant updates:

This is the mounted photo of a bycatch specimen from Babcock’s Wood county kit. The Sandusky county kit also had the same species. Photo taken by Cody Cardenas.

For those reading closely last week, the final bycatch was a weird ant. Well, I managed to get that ant and several that looked like it to the ant lab in Columbus! Cody Cardenas mounted and imaged them for us to officially confirm that we did have the first known specimens of D. mariae for Ohio! There are some older photo records from a few years prior, but these would be the first known physical specimen records, so still cool. Also, I realized after looking back that these ants were in both of Babcock’s kits, so there are both Wood and Sandusky county records. Woohoo! Thanks to user madbiologist18 on iNaturalist for the initial genus ID for the ant and to Cody for mounting/imaging/confirming IDs.

Since Cody was looking through our bycatch vial to pull out the D. mariae specimens, he also pulled out a few more ants for imaging. Ants are quite neat once you look at them up close. Image taken by Cody Cardenas.

Photo by Cody Cardenas. Antennae are being weird on this one, so that lower beaded thing on the front is actually an antennae and not some weird mouth appendage.

If you are like me, and wondering how Cody got these cool images above, well have no fear, because I asked Cody to share that too!

This is the ant lab’s new ant photography rig. They use a super magnifying lens (Canon 65mm MP-E), lots of light, and focus stacking to stitch together the images above.

Bee Literature:

Bored and need more things to read? Well, an article on the bees of Illinois was published! They are recording 491 species of bees for the state of Illinois. I wonder how many we will report once we get through our Ohio project? And if you are wondering about the Ohio/Michigan rivalry, Michigan also has reported only 465 specie of bees, so that is the number we are hoping to beat. 😉
Link to the state list of bees for Illinois here:–Apoidea-and-use/10.2317/0022-8567-93.1.34.short

Also, short note about journal articles: academia is weird and most scientific journals are behind a paywall. However, authors are allowed to give out pdfs of articles for free if you email them directly (or if they put them on their lab website or similar). So if you want to read the articles above beyond just the abstract, that is one possible route. I cannot legally give out the pdfs directly here as I am not an author on any of these articles. Here is a short video that explains some other ways to get access to academic articles for free that do not involve Scihub. See: 

That’s all for now,


5 thoughts on “Dec 20 – Permit due dates? + ant updates & more weird bycatch

  1. I look forward to our weekly “Bee survey” update- who knew about our fascinating ants! Thank you and wishing you Happy and safe Christmas season !

  2. MaLisa and team: my husband and I look forward to and enjoy your Bee survey posting. The photography is amazing! And it’s very refreshing that you work well with “the ant people” 🙂 We can’t wait to see what goodies we obtained from our prairies. Happy 2021

  3. Being an Entomologist, I have to confess that I am as interested in the bycatch as I am with the stated purpose of the survey. What a great way to expand the understanding of the insect world! J. Quimby, Harrison Co.

  4. Wonderful observations and photos! The first spider (the one with the golden iridescence) is a male of one of the Euryopis, very likely Euryopis funebris. They are an ant-specialist member of the Theridiidae (cobweb weavers) but this group doesn’t build a capture web. Coincidentally I’m working on a blog post on these amazing little spiders for my web page. Maybe you will read more later this year. The second spider looks like a male of Glenognatha foxi, but I’m not completely certain. They are a long-jawed spider (Tetragnathidae) that lives in low grass, often seen in lawns where they build little horizontal orb webs about 1-2 inches from the ground.

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