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Entomology

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Entomology

Entomology (from Greek ἔντομον, entomon "insect"; and -λογία, -logia) is the scientific study of insects, a branch of zoology. In the past the term "insect" was more vague, and historically the definition of entomology included the study of terrestrial animals in other arthropod groups or other phyla, such as arachnids, myriapods, earthworms, land snails, and slugs. This wider meaning may still be encountered in informal use.

Contents

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 overlaps with a cross-section of topics as diverse as molecular genetics, behavior, biomechanics, biochemistry, systematics, physiology, developmental biology, ecology, morphology, and paleontology.

At some 1.3 million described species, insects account for more than two-thirds of all known organisms, date back some 400 million years, and have many kinds of interactions with humans and other forms of life on earth.

History

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.

William Kirby is widely considered as the father of Entomology. In collaboration with William Spence, he published a definitive entomological encyclopedia, Introduction to Entomology, regarded as the subject's foundational text. He also helped to found the Royal Entomological Society in London in 1833, one of the earliest such societies in the world; earlier antecedents, such as the Aurelian society date back to the 1740s.

Entomology developed rapidly in the 19th and 20th centuries, and was studied by large numbers of people, including such notable figures as Charles Darwin, Jean-Henri Fabre, Vladimir Nabokov, Karl von Frisch (winner of the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine), and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner E. O. Wilson.

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 characteristics separating them are unfamiliar, and often subtle (or invisible without a microscope), this is often very difficult even for a specialist. This has led to the development of automated species identification systems targeted on insects, for example, Daisy, ABIS, SPIDA and Draw-wing

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

In pest control

In 1994 the Entomological Society of America launched a new professional certification program for the pest control industry called The Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE). To qualify as a "true entomologist" an individual would normally require an advanced degree, with most entomologists pursuing their PhD. While not true entomologists in the traditional sense, individuals who attain the ACE certification may be referred to as ACEs, Amateur entomologists, Associate entomologists or –more commonly– Associate-Certified Entomologists.

Taxonomic specialization

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:

  • Coleopterology - beetles
  • Dipterology - flies
  • Odonatology - dragonflies and damselflies
  • Hemipterology - true bugs
  • Isopterology - termites
  • Lepidopterology - moths and butterflies
  • Melittology (or Apiology) - bees
  • Myrmecology - ants
  • Orthopterology - grasshoppers, crickets, etc.
  • Trichopterology - caddis flies
  • Vespology - Social wasps
  • Organizations

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

  • Amateur Entomologists' Society
  • Deutsches Entomologisches Institut
  • Entomological Society of America
  • Entomological Society of Canada
  • Entomological Society of Japan
  • International Union for the Study of Social Insects
  • Netherlands Entomological Society
  • Royal Belgian Entomological Society
  • Royal Entomological Society of London
  • Société entomologique de France
  • Museums

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

    Africa

  • Natal Museum, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
  • Europe

  • Muséum national d'histoire naturelle, Paris, France
  • Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, Germany
  • Natural History Museum, Budapest Hungarian Natural History Museum
  • Natural History Museum, Geneva
  • Natural History Museum, Leiden, the Netherlands
  • Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom
  • Natural History Museum, Oslo Norway
  • Natural History Museum, St. Petersburg Zoological Collection of the Russian Academy of Science
  • Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria
  • Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Oxford
  • Royal Museum for Central Africa, Brussels, Belgium
  • Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm, Sweden
  • The Bavarian State Collection of Zoology Zoologische Staatssammlung München
  • World Museum Liverpool, the Bug House
  • United States

  • Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia
  • American Museum of Natural History, New York City
  • Auburn University Museum of Natural History, Auburn, Alabama
  • Audubon Insectarium, New Orleans
  • Bohart Museum of Entomology, Davis, California
  • California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco
  • Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh
  • Essig Museum, Berkeley, California
  • Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago
  • Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
  • Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, Illinois
  • J. Gordon Edwards Museum, San Jose, California
  • Museum of Comparative Zoology, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles
  • National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C.
  • New Mexico State University Arthropod Museum
  • North Carolina State University Insect Museum, Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Peabody Museum of Natural History, New Haven, Connecticut
  • The National Museum of Play, Rochester, N.Y.
  • Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
  • University of Minnesota, St. Paul campus (UMSP), Minnesota
  • University of Kansas Natural History Museum, Lawrence, Kansas
  • University of Nebraska State Museum, Lincoln, Nebraska
  • University of Missouri Enns Entomology Museum, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri
  • Canada

  • Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa
  • Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes, Ottawa, Ontario
  • E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta
  • Lyman Entomological Museum, Macdonald Campus of McGill University, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec
  • Montreal Insectarium, Montreal, Quebec
  • Newfoundland Insectarium, Reidville, Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Royal Alberta Museum, Edmonton, Alberta
  • Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto
  • University of Guelph Insect Collection, Guelph, Ontario
  • Victoria Bug Zoo, Victoria, British Columbia
  • References

    Entomology Wikipedia


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