August 1, 2009 (Vol. 29, No. 14)
Strong Points: High-quality photos
Weak Points: No scientific information about the various species
I always love to take the opportunity to expand my knowledge of the scientific vernacular. (Why say “the study of fungi” when you can say “mycology”?) Well, your word for the day is “myrmecology,” the scientific study of ants. A nice place to explore the beautiful world of our six-legged companions is Myrmecos.net, a photography site by Alex Wild. Other types of insects are included, though the page clearly has an ant bias. (The photograph categories are “ants” and “not ants.”) Images can be viewed either taxonomically, or they can be sorted according to behavior/life history. There are desktop wallpapers available (if you would really care to stare into the eyes of a wasp all day), and there is also a nice list of links to other ant pages. I did find it odd, though, that although the photographer “strongly encourages” educational, scientific, and noncommercial uses of his photos, he delineates a number of conditions that must be met in order for one to do so, including contacting him to obtain permission prior to using any of the images.