Joined: May 27, 2019 Last Active: Jun 15, 2021 iNaturalist

There are a few names for "ant" in Palauan. One of them (bembangch) is usually applied to the (invasive) Solenopsis geminata, or "Tropical Fire Ant." "Ngira" kind of means "Mr." in Palauan, and "Ngirabembangch" is kind of a joke nickname that I've used in Palau while talking about my research. "Chedib" is a more general name for ant in Palauan, so that would probably be a better nickname, but for some reason people seem to think Bembangch is funnier. If you look in the Palauan-English dictionary, one of the words given for ant is "kedols ab til," which kind of means "ripe/juicy butt." I haven't tried introducing myself as Ngirakedolsabtil yet, but it would probably be funny.

My actual name is Jesse Czekanski-Moir, and I'm a Ph.D. candidate in conservation biology at SUNY-ESF in Syracuse, NY, USA. A lot of my dissertation centers around understanding diversity patterns of terrestrial invertebrates in the Republic of Palau, especially ants and land snails. In 2018 and 2019, I co-taught a field biology course in Palau with my advisor, Rebecca Rundell. You can read more about the course here:

As of May 2019 (and probably September 2019...) the "Ants of Micronesia" page on desperately needs to be updated... and I'm probably the one who should get on that? Yeah. Just writing this here so maybe I'll actually hold myself to this once I'm back in the US this fall. Anyway, if you want to see some really good pics of dead ants from Micronesia:

For more info on my research check here:

I'm also on twitter:

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