quinta-feira, 15 de novembro de 2012


Man, this is sooo typical American Merchandise... thought it worth posting.

segunda-feira, 12 de novembro de 2012

Fire ants and butterflies

The video below is about something so beautiful about fire ants that I was compelled to share. This is the product of an amazing study by other Brazilian colleagues working with Solenopsis saevissima. Watch and learn!

The background study behind this can be found here

domingo, 4 de novembro de 2012

Some facts about French Guyana

Since French Guyana is such an exotic place and not many people I know have seriously considered the possibility of going there, I will add further notes on the place, and try to encourage others to know the area.

As soon as your airplane approaches the airport at Cayenne, you realise the forest is indeed untouched by the French government: the horizon is an undulating green mesh of foliage, and the abundant trees and bogs stop flush to the fence by the landing lane. Practically no buildings or clearings to be seen. This is something maybe my Brazilian comrades ought to see as to realise the kind of result one expects from environmental protection measures.
Temperature is always hot, the air always heavy from high humidity, mosquitoes are everywhere near the vegetation or around you after 6 pm. You get to see Chinese, French, Haitians, Brazilians, Dominicans, and eventually even other peoples populating the streets. A few buildings, and beyond those, only the jungle or water. I particularly found the Haitians the most sympathetic people around to chat with, really nice chaps.

This is a very large tree at Montaigne des Singes (sorry could not rotate image)
Each city is quite far from each other, taking a 40-60mins drive to get somewhere else. The highways are in good state, though quite narrow and empty -- this further accounts for the good conservation of local nature. Practically nothing is produced locally at French Guyana, what also accounts for great nature... and awfully high prices. You will easily pay 8 euros for 500g of raw meat, or some ordinary fish, to take home. Local radio plays French songs, some American dance music, and a lot of Brazilian tunes (not exactly the best one in my opinion). TV offers little variety, local programs are not too good, and many stick to channels from France.
In a few words: it is a colony. An authentic, wild, overseas colony of the 21st century.

Typical house at Bourg, in Kourou
I definitely recommend visiting French Guyana, especially if you are a nature/adventure addict. And a nice piece of information to any scientists: there is no need for permits to collect and study local specimens, which include great rainforest insects, amazing snakes and birds, and all sorts of weird plants you can think of. Considering one almost gets lynched in my country just from attempting to collect beetles as one's hobby, this is indeed fantastic.

The beach at Kourou
Another curiosity about the place: French Guyana holds one of the main international stations for launching satellites and missiles -- thus you get the chance to watch a rocket making into space from inside your tent in the middle of tall jungle. I certainly plan to do this next time I stay there, if I get the chance!

terça-feira, 25 de setembro de 2012

Adventurous French Guyana

I am very sorry for being away for so long. I will be posting some personal impressions and comments on some of my latest trips... and on ants I have seen! I will start with French Guyana. I spent 10 days there after fire ants, Solenopsis saevissima. The little bastards almost killed me. I thought Brazilian fire ants (including S. invicta most readers here know) were nasty enough -- well, I had not yet met the fire ants in Guyana. They are larger, faster, redder (if there is such a word), and angrier!! Their underground nests (mounds are small because of the soil quality) undoubtedly stem directly from Hell: once you touch them, a surge of red-hot walking needles bursts straight for you. And they know how to get around any protection you have. I will give you the general idea below. 

This is one of the places in where I could find many nests. As you can see, there are no visible mounds. You step on a nest and you will soon realize it -- nice and gentle!

 A glimpse on the pesky things. I will illustrate them further in following posts. As I said, quite reddish, actually rather orange in colour. They were nasty!

This is outcome of my first day in the field. Disgusting and uncomfortable, to say the least. Situation got worst with passing days, no matter what protections I wore.

sexta-feira, 24 de agosto de 2012

Yay! New published paper!

It was difficult in all stages, and did not come out 100% the way I think it should, but hell yeah, I am very happy with it!


Any comments are welcome!!

quinta-feira, 26 de julho de 2012

New published larval description!

Aren't they amazing?? Take a face-down look into the leaf-cutting babies rosy cheeks, below.

I will upload it to my list of publication, soon enough, and update this post. Have fun!

sexta-feira, 13 de julho de 2012

Always loved taking pics of Odonata. I think they are quite elegant, posing to pics. However should you try to capture them, they fly away within a second. I have been told they can bite, severely, if mishandled. Unfortunately I never was quick enough to try them.

The one at the far top was photographed in a Park at Rio Claro, Sao Paulo, Brazil. The second one was photographed at Itaipava, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in a house garden by the pool.

Amazing little fairies...

segunda-feira, 2 de julho de 2012

Stingy News


I have some interesting news:

Note: this pic has nothing to do with the post. except that it is about ants. A gang of Camponotus abusing a poor Atta male who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Cest la vie...

1) In a couple of months I hope I will be able to post here my new method for ant venom extraction! It is now submitted, and I am confident it will generate some interesting discussions!

2) I will be going to French Guyana in a couple of months to collect fire ants in a collaboration with Switzerland! I am most totally thrilled at the prospect. Will certainly fill this blog with images from the trip!

3) Also I am getting my first experiences inject fire ant venom compounds in our HPLC system. Since all is new I cannot say for certain if our first impressions are good... let us hope!

quinta-feira, 21 de junho de 2012

One video we made some years ago

English and Spanish captions available!

Please if any readers can help me ID the cockroaches showing in this video, it would be GREAT! I would like to add species to the video description.

quarta-feira, 20 de junho de 2012

This is a very intriguing video, I totally recommend it.

Also available at:

terça-feira, 19 de junho de 2012

Would you like to be a beetle?

This is the most frequently found myrmecophyle inside fire ant nests. Myrmecophyles are insects which live among ants. Just imagine being surrounded by these aggressive little devils... well, it doesn't seem to mind.

segunda-feira, 18 de junho de 2012

Ain't it cute?

Everyday I get a passionate kiss and hug from my daughters. They love me. 

New Link Page to My Papers

Links to my online curricula, where my papers and other published materials can be found:

Currículo Lattes
Research Gate
Google Scholar

My published papers can be downloaded from the updated web links given below:

Rapid configuration analysis of the solenopsins. Tetrahedron: Asymmetry, 2012

On the paper "On the morphology of the immature stages of Paratrechina longicornis (Formicidae: Formicinae)". Journal of Errology, 2012

Comparative Immature Morphology of Brazilian Fire Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Solenopsis). Psyche: A Journal of Entomology, v. 2012, p. 1-10, 2012.

The preimaginal stages of the ensign wasp Evania appendigaster (Hymenoptera, Evaniidae), a cockroach egg predator. Invertebrate Biology, 2012. 

On the morphology of the worker immatures of the leafcutter ant Atta sexdens Linnaeus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Microscopy Research and Technique, 2012.

The larval morphology and nest habits of Trypoxylon (Trypargilum) rogenhoferi Kohl 1884. Zootaxa (Auckland. Print), v. 3251, p. 47-56, 2012.

Intraspecific and Intracolonial Variation in the Profile of Venom Alkaloids and Cuticular Hydrocarbons of the Fire Ant Solenopsis saevissima Smith (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Psyche: A Journal of Entomology, v. 2012, p. 1-10, 2012. 

Compared morphology of the immatures of males of two urban ant species of Camponotus. Journal of Insect Science (Online), v. 2012, p. 1-15, 2012.

Description of the Immatures of the Ant, Myrmelachysta catharinae. Journal of Insect Science (Online), v. 11, p. 1-9, 2011. 

Morphological Notes on the Worker and Queen Larvae of the Thief Ant Solenopsis helena (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae) from Brazil. The Florida Entomologist, v. 94, p. 909-915, 2011.

Effects of different temperatures on the life history of Evania appendigaster L. (Hymenoptera: Evaniidae), a solitary oothecal parasitoid of Periplaneta americana L. (Dictyoptera: Blattidae). Biological Control, v. 52, p. 104-109, 2010.

Morphological Description of the Immatures of the Ant Monomorium floricola. Journal of Insect Science (Online), v. 10, p. 1-17, 2010. 

General Morphology and Ultrastructure of the Venom Apparatus and Convoluted Gland of the Fire Ant, Solenopsis saevissima. Journal of Insect Science (Online), v. 10, p. 1-11, 2010. 

Description of the immatures of Linepithema humile Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Biological Research (Print), v. 43, p. 19-30, 2010. 

Morphological studies on the mature worker larvae of Paratrechina fulva (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Sociobiology, v. 55, p. 1-11, 2010.

Description of the Larvae of Tapinoma melanocephalum (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). The Florida Entomologist, v. 93, p. 243-247, 2010. 

Description of the Immatures of Workers of the Ant Camponotus vittatus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). The Florida Entomologist, v. 93, p. 265-276, 2010.

Preliminary List of Microfungi Found in Paratrechina longicornis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). The Florida Entomologist, v. 93, p. 651-653, 2010.

Description of the immatures of workers of the ant Linepithema micans Forel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Microscopy Research and Technique (Print),  2010.

Immatures of Nesticodes rufipes (Aranea, Theridiidae) causing considerable damage to ant colonies in the laboratory. Sociobiology, v. 53, p. 71-77, 2009.

Description of the Immatures of the Workers of the Weaver Ant, Camponotus (senex) textor (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Sociobiology, v. 54, p. 541-559, 2009.

New Nicoletiidae (Zygentoma: Insecta) from Brazil Living in Fire Ant nests. Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia (USP.Museu de Zoologia. Impresso), v. 49, p. 467-475, 2009.

Notes on the Biology and Behaviour of the Jewel Wasp, Ampulex compressa (Fabricius, 1781) (Hymenoptera; Ampulicidae), in the Laboratory, Including First Record of Gregarious Reproduction. Entomological News, v. 120, p. 430-437, 2009. 

Thermal requirements for the embryonic development of Periplaneta americana (L.) (Dictyoptera: Blattidae) with potential application in mass-rearing of egg parasitoids. Biological Control, v. 47, p. 268-272, 2008.

On the immature stages of the crazy ant Paratrechina longicornis (Latreille 1802) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa (Auckland), v. 1503, p. 1-11, 2007.

Biological characteristics of Evania appendigaster (L.) (Hymenoptera: Evaniidae) in different densities of Periplaneta americana (L.) oothecae (Blattodea: Blattidae). Biological Control, Inglaterra, v. 36, n. 2, p. 183-188, 2006.

New Paper on the Journal of Errology

I am one of the founders of the controversial Journal of Errology, as announced and discussed online in another blog here.

Well, after a long while adjusting practical matters we received a number of submissions which missed the true scope of our journal, as detailed here.

Thus we decided to publish an inauguratory paper to inspire further authors. I am proud to announce that I wrote this paper on the matter of larval morphology, discussing one of my previously published papers, on the larvae of the Crazy Ant.

Well, a link to my inauguratory paper is given here. I will add an excerpt below. Please note that anyone can comment and share the paper, thus never hesitate to leave your impressions there.

"My first ant larval description was made with an invasive pest of planetary distribution, the crazy ant Paratrechina longicornis (Formicidae: Formicinae). In fact that was my third paper in life, and the first to be done without the assistance of some more experienced researcher. This summarizes why this account should be useful to readers of the Journal of Errology. I made a lot of mistakes yet in the end succeeded in establishing myself fairly in this area of study. I will report on difficulties with this paper mistakes and what I learnt from them."

Reviving this blog

I am really sorry for having been away for such a long long while. Writing many papers and getting many things going has really consumed my mind over the whole of last year. I will now slowly proceed to revive and reformulate this blog. It needs pictures. It needs links. It needs polemic issues. I will provide those, and hopefully I will get more visitors and comments.

Let us begin!