As even some of my most avid readers may not know, I am currently in Okinawa, Japan as a research intern at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology. I am in the Biodiversity and Biocomplexity Unit headed by Evan Economo, my mentor from the University of Michigan. The lab is also known as “Arilab” – “ari” is a transliteration of the Japanese word for “ant”. Be sure to check out Arilab’s brand-new website created by lab member Sandrine Burriel, here.
In about a week I will be heading to Xishuangbanna in Yunnan, China to do a two-week collections trip with Benoit Guénard and Cong Liu, where we hope to find many interesting species of ants. Previous records from Xishuangbanna include some particularly cool-looking species like Harpegnathos venator, Polyrhachis bihamata, and Mystrium camillae:
(All images from Antweb)
I hope to see these and many others as we collect ants throughout the Chinese tropical rain forest. I also hope to get some nice pu’er tea, which is produced in the province, perhaps even from Pu’er City, located directly north of Xishuangbanna.