Alex's most recent photographs.
This scarab beetle arrived to a light trap in Brackenridge Field Laboratory, Austin, Texas, USA.
Plant bugs in a Nemophila flower. Austin, Texas, USA.
A click beetle larva chews its way through a rotting log. Austin, Texas, USA.
A fungus gnat goes all in for a sip of wafer ash (Ptelea trifoliata) nectar. Note the pollen clinging to the insect's legs and abdomen. Austin, Texas, USA.
Acrobat ants tend treehoppers for honeydew. Austin, Texas, USA.
The brush-like sting of this acrobat ant is clearly visible as she gathers nectar from a spring umbellifer. Austin, Texas, USA.
This stalk-eyed cactus bug (Miridae) is common on prickly pear cacti in central Texas. Austin, Texas, USA.
There's no sneaking up on the cactus bug Hesperolabops gelastops. It can see you. Austin, Texas, USA.
Removing the foam coating reveals a late instar spittlebug. Austin, Texas, USA.
Cercopidae - Spittlebug
Inside this mass of sticky foam is a young froghopper, or spittlebug. The foam protects the insect from predators and dessication. Austin, Texas, USA.
The bite of a fire ant is relatively painless, as it does not involve venom. But the bite is a prelude to a more memorable sensation, as the bite gives the ant leverage to sink her venom-injecting stinger. Austin, Texas, USA.
A wheel bug nymph feeds from a long-jawed orb weaver it has caught. Austin, Texas, USA.
Fire ants are capable predators of relatively sedative insects like caterpillars. Here, several red imported fire ant foragers sting a moth larva that has stumbled into their territory. Buffalo, Texas, USA.
The cone ant Dorymyrmex flavus is a common soil-nesting ant in hot, open habitats of central Texas. Buffalo, Texas, USA.
A small acrobat ant carries a mite she has caught back to her nest. Buffalo, Texas, USA.
The clover-root weevil is a Eurasian species now widespread in North America. Buffalo, Texas, USA.
Psorophora ciliata - Gallinipper
North America's largest biting mosquito takes a stab at your intrepid photographer. Palmetto State Park, Texas, USA.
The largest biting mosquito in the United States. Palmetto State Park, Texas, USA.
A female velvet ant showing the black/red coloration typical of many species in Texas. Velvet ant species often converge on similar regional color patterns. Elgin, Texas, USA.
Austin, Texas, USA.
A leafroller moth larva (possibly Tortricidae) spins silk on top of an elm leaf on the first day of spring. Austin, Texas, USA.
The Texas Blind Snake is an unusual earthworm-sized reptile that hunts ant brood, termites, and other subterranean insects. Austin, Texas, USA.
Acrobat ant workers tear apart a termite they have caught. Austin, Texas, USA.
One of North America's largest and most distinct acrobat ants, Crematogaster laeviuscula is a conspicuous member of the Texas insect fauna. Austin, Texas, USA.
Inside the nest, Leptogenys isopod predators arrange their larva on a recent kill.
Austin, Texas, USA.
The hairs on the underside of this ant's head form the psammophore- a basket-like structure used to carry sand. Red Rock, Texas, USA.
A comanche harvester ant carries a discarded seed husk from her nest. Red Rock, Texas, USA.
Dactylopius - Cochineal scale
A heavy load of cochineal scale- famous for its red dye when crushed- coats a prickly pear cactus. Brackenridge Field Laboratory, Austin, Texas, USA.
An early spring mating flight of red imported fire ants at Brackenridge Field Laboratory brings a frenzy of winged gynes and workers to the mound surface. Austin, Texas, USA.
Developmental biologists Ehab Abouheif and Arjuna Rajakumar, from McGill University, search for queen Pheidole during an early spring expedition to Austin, Texas.
Ehab Abouheif & Arjuna Rajakumar
McGill University biologists Arjuna Rajakumar and Ehab Abouheif searching for Pheidole colonies in an urban lot. Austin, Texas, USA.
Arjuna Rajakumar & Ehab Abouheif
McGill University biologists Arjuna Rajakumar and Ehab Abouheif dissect a colony of Pheidole big-headed ants during an urban collecting expedition. Plastic tubs help contain the ants while the researchers search for queens. Austin, Texas, USA.
Preserved Kissing Bugs
In the University of Texas Insect Collection, Austin, Texas.
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Crematogaster mutans is a socially parasitic acrobat ant. This photo shows a winged queen.
Acrobat ants have stingers, but they don't use them the way we might think. Intead of stabbing their opponents, acrobat ants use their stingers like a paintbrush, smearing a frothy venom. California, USA.