Center for Systematic Entomology, Gainesville, Florida


Date of this Version

March 1995


Insecta Mundi, published by the Center for Systematic Entomology, is available online at Copyright © by Jolivet.


In one of her latest papers in the American Entomologist, in 1995, Prof. Berenbaum mentions how young people (and entomologists alike) are martyrizing insects and arachnids, by pulling their wings or their legs, burning them with magnifying glasses, without mentioning the lepidopterists who transfix the thorax of the female butterflies to induce them to lay eggs. Such behavior was once one of the acts of the emperor Nero when he was a child. His tutor, the philosopher Seneca, when he saw him pulling the wings off a fly, predicted that he would be very cruel. It was said t h a t the French biologist Etienne Rabaud, well known for his systematic opposition to everything, verified by the scholars of his time, used to cut in half the legs of the daddy longlegs and to declare that those legs were useless because those Arachnids walked better with shorter appendages. Rabaud was also known for removing the swimming bladder of fish to improve, as he said, their balance in water. Such is the tone of this book.

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