Insects

North American Ornithology: Past, present, and future comes to Chicago

The Field Museum and the Palmer House served as the meeting sites for 650 ornithologists from August 13-17.  These were joint meetings of the two largest North American ornithological societies, the American Ornithologists’ Union and the Cooper Ornithological Society.  

A beautiful Fall Friday night at the museum

Friday evening at the museum there is a Happy Hour for any staff and others working in the museum. It take place in the Zoology Classroom, and it is a great way to end the week and get to know more about what is happening at the museum. The conversations always are different depending on who comes and who you have time to talk to. People come from all parts of the museum such as Institutional Advancement, Exhibits, Information Technology, Environmental and Conservation Programs, and the four research departments.

Video: Turtle Ants

Corrie Moreau is an Assistant Curator of Insects at The Field Museum and part of her research focuses on understanding the life history of turtle ants (Cephalotes varians). This species of ants is remarkable because of their dish-like heads that act as living doorways. In other words, large workers of turtle ants can use their heads to block the entrance of their nests and thus preventing intruders from coming in.

Fossil beetle video

From mid-June to mid-July, Chenyang Cai, a master's student at the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, visited the Division of Insects at the Field Museum.  He brought with him a large number of spectacular fossil beetles belonging to the families Silphidae (carrion beetles) and Staphylinidae (rove beetles).  Most of the specimens he brought came from the mid-Jurassic Daehugou Biota (165 million years old), plus a few from the Cretaceous Jehol Biota (125 million years old), both occurring in northeastern China. He spent the month working with me and Curator Emeritus Al Newton studying the fossils and the Field Museum's huge collections of extant (modern) beetles of both families.  

How do I get rid of the pest ants in my home?

Although many ants are quite beautiful and really have no interest in entering our homes, there are a few species that we call "household pests".  Depending on where you live resources to identify the particular ant species you have invading your home may or may not be possible, but knowing which species you are after can help.  

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