Entomology: Wikis

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Entomology (from Greek ἔντομος, entomos, "that which is cut in pieces or engraved/segmented", hence "insect"; and -λογία, -logia[1]) is the scientific study of insects, a branch of arthropodology. At some 1.3 million described species, insects account for more than two-thirds of all known organisms,[2] date back some 400 million years, and have many kinds of interactions with humans and other forms of life on earth. It is a specialty within the field of biology. Though technically incorrect, the definition is sometimes widened to include the study of terrestrial animals in other arthropod groups or other phyla, such as arachnids, myriapods, earthworms, and slugs.

Like several of the other fields that are categorized within zoology, entomology is a taxon-based category; any form of scientific study in which there is a focus on insect related inquiries is, by definition, entomology. Entomology therefore includes a cross-section of topics as diverse as molecular genetics, behavior, biomechanics, biochemistry, systematics, physiology, developmental biology, ecology, morphology, paleontology, anthropology, robotics, agriculture, nutrition, forensic science and more.

Contents

History of entomology

Entomology is rooted in nearly all human cultures from prehistoric times, primarily in the context of agriculture (especially biological control and beekeeping), but scientific study began only as recently as the 16th century[3].

The list of entomologists through recorded history is enormous, and includes such notable figures as Charles Darwin, Vladimir Nabokov, Karl von Frisch (winner of the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine[4]), and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner E. O. Wilson.

Entomology in popular culture

Gil Grissom on the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation TV show is an entomologist, who is played by actor William Petersen. Similarly, entomologist Jack Hodgins of Bones, portrayed by TJ Thyne, helps his team by analyzing insects (such as Hydrotaea) and "particulates" near to or attached to decomposed victims, often identifying the precise location a murder originally occurred; he is also an expert in botany and mineralogy.

In Arthur Conan Doyle's story, The Hound of the Baskervilles, the villain is a naturalist who collects butterflies, making him an "evil" entomologist.

There are numerous science fiction books which have plots based on humans becoming smaller and having to deal with insects at their level. Some examples are The Insect Warriors by Rex Dean Levie, Atta by Francis Rufus Bellamy, Bug Park by James P. Hogan, The Micronauts series by Gordon Williams, and The Forgotten Planet by Murray Leinster. The Forgotten Planets plot is twisted in that the insects are the size of men (or larger) on a planet "seeded" to prepare it for human habitation. Robert Asprin wrote The Bug Wars, a novel about war between reptiles and insects on an interplanetary scale.

Identification of insects

Most insects can easily be recognized to order, such as Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, and ants) or Coleoptera (beetles). However, insects other than Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) are typically identifiable to genus or species only through the use of Identification keys and Monographs. Because the class Insecta contains a very large number of species (over 330,000 species of beetles alone) and the characters separating them are unfamiliar, and often subtle (or invisible without a microscope), this is often very difficult even for a specialist.

Insect identification is an increasingly common hobby, with butterflies and dragonflies being the most popular.

Taxonomic specialization

Part of a large beetle collection

Many entomologists specialize in a single order or even a family of insects, and a number of these subspecialties are given their own informal names, typically (but not always) derived from the scientific name of the group:

Organizations

Like other scientific specialties, entomologists have a number of local, national, and international organizations. There are also many organizations specializing in specific subareas.

Museums

Here is a list of selected museums which contain very large insect collections.

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Africa

Europe

United States

[3]University of Missouri Enns Entomology Museum, Columbia, MO

Canada

See also

For further reading

  • Chiang, H.C. and G. C. Jahn 1996. Entomology in the Cambodia-IRRI-Australia Project. (in Chinese) Chinese Entomol. Soc. Newsltr. (Taiwan) 3: 9-11.
  • Davidson, E. 2006. Big Fleas Have Little Fleas: How Discoveries of Invertebrate Diseases Are Advancing Modern Science University of Arizona Press, Tucson, 208 pages, ISBN 0-8165-2544-7.
  • Triplehorn, Charles A. and Norman F. Johnson (2005-05-19). Borror and DeLong's Introduction to the Study of Insects, 7th edition, Thomas Brooks/Cole. ISBN 0-03-096835-6. — a classic textbook in North America.
  • Grimaldi, D. & Engel, M.S. (2005). Evolution of the Insects. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-82149-5.  
  • Capinera, JL (editor). 2008. Encyclopedia of Entomology, 2nd Edition. Springer. ISBN 1-402-06242-7.

External links

” I suppose you are an entomologist ? “

” Not quite so ambitious as that, sir. I should like to put my eyes on the individual entitled to that name.

No man can be truly called an entomologist, sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr,

The Poet at the Breakfast Table.

sites selected by entomologists

Academic institutions

Footnotes

  1. ^ Liddell, Henry George and Robert Scott (1980). A Greek-English Lexicon (Abridged Edition). United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-910207-4.  
  2. ^ Chapman, A. D. (2006). Numbers of living species in Australia and the World. Canberra: Australian Biological Resources Study. pp. 60pp. ISBN 978-0-642-56850-2. http://www.deh.gov.au/biodiversity/abrs/publications/other/species-numbers/index.html.  
  3. ^ Antonio Saltini, Storia delle scienze agrarie, 4 vols, Bologna 1984-89, ISBN 88-206-2412-5, ISBN 88-206-2413-3, ISBN 88-206-2414-1, ISBN 88-206-2414-X
  4. ^ Karl von Frisch, Decoding the Language of the Bee, Nobel Lecture, December 12, 1973

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Entomology is the science or study of insects.

Sourced

  • "I suppose you are an entomologist"
    "Not quite so ambitious as that, sir. I should like to put my eyes on the individual entitled to that name. No man can be truly called an entomologist, sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp."

External links

Wikipedia
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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Wikibooks

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection

Entomology is the scientific study of insects. Insects have many kinds of interactions with humans and other forms of life on earth, so it is an important specialty within biology; unlike many other fields however, entomologists include both persons studying insects for their own sake, and those employed by commercial concerns interested in the control of insects. This divides the field into basic and applied entomology.

The definition is sometimes widened to include the study of other terrestrial arthropods, such as spiders, scorpions, and ticks.

Table of Contents


Simple English

File:Beetle
Part of a large beetle collection

Entomology is the science of insects. People who study insects are called entomologists. Insects have been studied since prehistoric times, but it was not until as early as the 16th century that insects were scientifically studied.

Some entomologists study how insects are related to each other. Others study how insects live and reproduce because we do not know very much about some kinds of insects. Other entomologists study ways to keep insects away from crops that people use for food. There are billions of unknown species throughout the world and taxonomists categorize the newly found.

Entomologists meet to talk about their study of insects and to share ideas, just as all scientists do.


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