Entomology means the scientific study of insects and can be seen as an independent branch of arthropodology. Strictly speaking there exist more than 1.3 million described species of different insects which date back some 400 million years. Besides it has been scientifically proven that insects have many kinds of interactions with humans and several other forms of life on earth.
Furthermore, it should be stressed that entomology represents a specialty within the field of biology. Although it is technically incorrect, the definition of entomology is sometimes extended in order to include the study and research of terrestrial animals in other arthropod groups. Examples for such arthropod groups and other phyla are arachnids, myriapods, slugs, and earthworms.
Concerning the history of entomology it should be mentioned that the study of insects and closely-related terrestrial arthropods is rooted in nearly all human cultures from prehistoric times. So the list of famous and significant entomologists turns out to be enormous. It is a list through recorded history that includes notable persons such as Charles Darwin, Karl von Frisch (winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1973), Vladimir Nabokov, and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner E. O. Wilson.
The majority of insects, such as Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, and ants) or Coleoptera (beetles), can easily be recognized to order. Moreover, there are many insects whose genus or species is typically identifiable. This is simply possible through the use of special Identification keys and so-called Monographs. Because of the fact that the class Insecta contains a large number of multitudinous species, it often turns out to be very difficult for a specialist to recognize very specific insects. In this case Identification keys and Monographs prove to be a great help considering the identification of insects and uncommon species.
Fact is that insects do represent a very unpopular animal species. This is for instance the reason why people use so-called mosquito nettings and fly screens, also called Insektengitter in German, in order to keep flies, mosquitoes, gants and so on successfully at bay.
The majority of hobby entomologists specializes in a single order or a specific family of insects. Besides there is a number of subspecialties that are given informal names such as …
- Apiology – bees
- Myrmecology – ants
- Trichopterology – caddis flies
- Dipterology – flies
- Hemipterology – true bugs
- Lepidopterology – moths and butterflies
- Myrmecology – ants
- Coleopterology – beetles
- Orthopterology – grasshoppers, crickets, etc.
- Lepidopterology – moths and butterflies.
Moreover, entomology has turned out to be a very popular topic for nature poems. There are great lyrical and poetical treasures that discuss the beauty of nature with its animals and insects. Insects should not be seen as useless ‘animals”. Especially butterflies, beetles, bees and grasshoppers are able to enrich our nature in a very beautiful way. Enjoy nature poems and learn to see our multifarious nature from a different angle.