Friday, April 20, 2018

Ant or termite swarmer?

With the warm(ish) temperatures- I know, it's been all over the thermometer in Central Texas the past few weeks!- and the rain, both ant and termite swarmers have been spotted around town.  So if these insects emerge around the same time, do you know how to tell the difference?

Ants will have the following:

    ant versus termite
  1. Antennae are elbowed
  2. Front wings are larger than hind wings
  3. No wing scale (they chew off their wings after the land on the ground)
  4. Middle part of the body is narrowed/ constricted

Termites will have the following:

  1. Antennae are straight
  2. Wings are of equal size & shape
  3. If wings are shed, a wing scale (the base part that attaches wings to thorax) is left behind
  4. Middle part of the body is not narrowed/ constricted

Friday, April 6, 2018

Buzz Pollination a.k.a. sonication

Buzz pollination is a method used by some bees- NOT honeybees- to release pollen from flower anthers.  The bees want pollen because it is a great source of protein and they use it developing offspring.

Here's a really cool (and short video) that explains and shows in detail how it works.