José Vicente Barbosa du Bocage
A Portuguese zoologist and politician. He was the curator of Zoology at the Museum of Natural History in Lisbon. His work at the Museum consisted in acquiring, describing and coordinating collections, many of which arrived from the Portuguese colonies in Africa, such as Angola, Mozambique, etc. He published more than 200 taxonomic papers on mammals, birds, and fishes. In the 1880s he became the Minister of the Navy and later the Minister for Foreign Affairs for Portugal. The zoology collection at the Lisbon Museum is called the Bocage Museum in his honor. He was responsible for identifying many new species, which he named according to the naturalist who found them.
Species of the week
Black Crazy Ant
Some facts on this ant:
Length: 2.5-3 mm..
Distribution: Of African or Oriental origin; spread around the world.
Diet: Omnivorous-feeding on live and dead insects, seeds, honeydew, fruits, plant exudes, and household foods.
Antennae: 12-segmented, with no club.
Color: Grayish black.
First described: By the French entomologist Pierre André Latreille in 1802 as Formica longicornis.
Paratrechina longicornis is no slow walker. This ant's name "crazy" stems from its erratic and rapid movement. It has the ability to successfully survive in highly disturbed and artificial areas, including ships at sea. Since it can live indoors with humans, it can exist at any latitude. This ant has been reported from as far north as Sweden and Estonia, and as far south as New-Zealand. It is considered a pest, nesting in apartments and other buildings, as well among others in trash, efuse, plant and tree cavities, and rotten wood. In houses nests are built in walls, narrow spaces, house plants, and empty containers. Colonies tend to be small to moderately sized, including as many as 2,000 workers and 40 queens. The colonies are highly mobile and relocate when conditions become unfavorable to these insects.