Entomology: Relatives Insects

1867 Words8 Pages
Entomology: The Study of Insects and their Relatives

Insects and their terrestrial relatives belong to the phylum called Arthropoda and have inhabited the earth for an extensive time. Paleontologists show that the earliest fossils, most primitive forms of arthropods date back to the Devonian Period over 350 million years ago (Henning 1981). By the Age of Dinosaurs, 300 million years ago, insects were abundant in number and diversity. Like the dinosaurs, some pre-historic forms of insects were enormous: the dragonfly Meganeuropsis had a wing span of 35 inches, and the giant Mesozoic relatives of the scorpions, the eurypterids, measured over 6 feet in length (Borror and others 1992).

The origins and evolution of insects and related
…show more content…
Grasshoppers are mostly eaten in the Oriental countries. The “guasanos de Maguey” larvae of the giant skippers collected from the fleshy leaves of maguey plants eaten in Mexico (Borror and others 1992). In the United States few people eat insects, knowingly. Those eaten are usually sold at gourmet shops. In Western society insect as a food source is ostracized however some including, honey, which is regurgitated by bees, and relatives of insects, such as lobsters, grayfish, shrimp, and crabs, are considered delicacies. Our society has considered eating bugs, “strictly for the birds.” In fact, presence of bugs in our food source is considered contamination and unsanitary. Although some bugs are highly lethal, not all should be cause for alarm when found on your plate- consider them as a source of extra protein and essential lipids (Gorham 1976).

For centuries insects or their products have played a role in therapy. For instance, the jaws of soldier ants have been as sutures for skin wounds, bee venom has been used as treatment for arthritis, and cantharidin product from blister beetles has been used in the treatment of certain urogenital conditions. Since the Roman Empire, it has been known that soldiers with maggot-infested wounds had better outcomes in their wounds than those with un-infested wounds. In fact, the role of blow fly larvae in treating wounds and
Get Access