The brilliant multimedia team from the Eberly College of Science at Penn State came to visit our lab a few weeks ago, and took some wonderful pictures. Here’s David and I taking some limb measurements from an adult female. Limb length has been shown to be a trait that is altered by exposure to fire ants over multiple generations – lizards that come from areas that have a relatively long history of fire ant invasion (like our sites in Alabama) have longer hind limbs, possibly to facilitate the twitching behaviour that helps to flick ants off (paper here)! Measuring limb length is therefore an important part of our data collection repertoire.
All photos were taken by Carley LaVelle, Eberly College of Science.