7 thoughts on “Entomological Myths

  1. Midnight Rambler

    They left off the one that irritates me the most – whenever anyone sees me with a net, they say “oh, are you catching butterflies?” And I’m in a place with virtually no butterflies…

  2. mf9000

    Just like the first girl said: you’re supposed to be able to identify any arthropod from any part of the planet. Not only that, but you’re supposed to do it with a description like “it’s black and has long legs, and wings”.

    Also the fact that any time people get any insect bite they think is bigger than usual, they always blame spiders.

  3. The last woman unfortunately perpetuates a common misunderstanding with the statement “daddy longlegs are not spiders” when talking about their mythically potent venom – there are at least two animals known as “daddy longlegs” (the non spider arachnids of the order Opillones and the “cellar spiders” belonging to the family Pholcidae). Neither is venomous, but one IS a spider.

  4. keith

    You mean all the video footage of praying mantis females munching their mates is staged using captive animals? I’m skeptical of the claim that mate carnivory has never been observed in the wild and is therefore an urban legend.

  5. A lot of it is staged footage, yes. And don’t discount the effect of a camera crew putting the animals under stress. How well would you perform when being filmed?

    It’s not that it never happens in nature, but that it is rare in nature. But the media treats it like it happens every single time. If I can dig up the paper, I can give you the actual frequency from field observations–it was quite low.

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