Blog Archives

The Etymology of Entomology

You have four days left to listen to this fun program on BBC Radio 4. It is 30 minutes about naming insects, led by Dr. George McGavin, including interviews with several entomologists, even a member of the ICZN (International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature)!  Some of them explain their justification for creating silly scientific names, like Pieza rhea Evenhuis, 2002 (say it out loud).


I particularly like the point at the end, about teaching children scientific names. We already do that with dinosaurs, why not with insects? If a child can learn how to say Pachycephalosaurus, surely they can learn Danaus plexippus (the monarch butterfly). The next time I do outreach with kids, I’m going to make an attempt at teaching scientific names and see how well it catches on.

Ryerson Lab

Functional Morphology, Sensory Biology, Behavior, Biomechanics

I spell it nature

Trying to make sense of the world through science and language.