“When someone says, ‘hey, look at this weird bug!’ they’re usually referring to an insect… you know, a six-legged exoskeleton-clad creature that has at least one pair of wings at some point in its life. To an entomologist, someone who studies insects, bugs are a subgroup of insects; the 8% or so that make up the order Hemiptera.
“You can tell these 80,000-ish species of so-called ‘true bugs’ apart from other insects by the straw-shaped beaks they use to stab their food, inject fluids to dissolve it into a nutritious liquid, and slurp out the tasty meal…”
“But here’s where it gets confusing – just because a species has ‘bug’ in its common name does not mean it’s a true bug in the scientific sense…”
Ladybugs? Pill bugs? Not actual bugs. Common colds and software glitches? Definitely not actual bugs. True bugs include cicadas, aphids, planthoppers, leafhoppers, shield bugs, bed bugs, and assassin bugs.
Combine entomology, the branch of zoology concerned with the study of insects, with etymology, the study of the origin of words and the way in which their meanings have changed throughout history, then add Carl Linnaeus into the mix, with this video from Cameron Duke at MinuteEarth.
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• Why are cicadas so loud? Entomologist Dr. Samuel Ramsey explains