Tag Archive | SFU

Laphria are back!

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I came up to SFU today to give a practice run-through of my PhD defense seminar (it is next week!). The talk went OK, given that I had not practiced it, but afterward, at lunch, I went out to see what I could see in the forest behind the lab. What I saw was this beautiful bee-like robber fly (Laphria spp.) munching down on a bumblebee! I hope you enjoy the pictures!

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This fly was being very uncooperative, facing away from the camera on a high bush.

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Laphria are likely Batesian mimics of bumblebees, and you can see the resemblance here.

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Here is the last shot I got of the pair, as the robber takes off to find a paparazzi-free perch to enjoy its meal.

 

Post-lunch break!

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The sun was shining, the MS revisions were nearly done, I went out to take a break after lunch.

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A Stropharia something like Stropharia aeruginosa, near the Community Garden.

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These are some of the most common flies around now!

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There were caterpillars under the dying rhubarb leaves.

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The Acanthosomatid stinkers are still hanging around.

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All kinds of crazy Amanita muscaria coming up all over campus.

Hallowe’en Science Spooktacular!

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This weekend members of our lab brought out our long-suffering arthropod menagerie for some more outreach, this time at our university for the annual Hallowe’en Science Spooktacular. This event combines the fun of Hallowe’en with the awesomeness of science. The displays on hand creepily demonstrated all kinds of horrifying things, such as radiation safety, microbiology, weird fluid dynamics, and of course, insects!

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The event was packed!

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Catherine tries to freak out a vampire with tales of spider biology. Actually, this is how she talks at any event, including during  her Presiden’t’s Prize winning talk at last week’s ESC conference! Photo by Mike Hrabar.

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This beautiful widow was one of three we brought out to demonstrate the awesomeness of these spiders.

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Antonia Musso prepares the maggot art with some acrylic paint.

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The artists get to work

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Antonia displays the finest piece of the day.

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Mike busts out the leaf insects.

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The costumes add to the cuteness of kids meeting insects.

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The undergrads were out in force to do their part in outreach. Great show everyone!

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Bruce Leighton brings the steampunk chic with a horrifying Victorian curio cabinet!

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Jutta Rickers- Haunerland demonstrates the radioactivity of various household items, including some of the old Pentax Super-Takumar lenses!

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Uranium glass fluorescing!

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Bekka Brodie tries out the Van der Graaf, in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to convince her son Tavi to follow suit.

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A glimpse into the wizarding world of microscopy.

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A smoking-hot demonstration of glassblowing by our own Bruce Harwood.

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Tavi got to take home an awesome glass dinosaur!

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This Ewok was awesome!

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This girl loved the black widows and the leaf insects. 

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This kid is filling his brains with insect knowledge.

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It was great seeing all the parents bringing their kids out to these events. This kind of early exposure to science can’t be bad.

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The end of a great day of science outreach! Photo by Mike Hrabar.