Entomology means the scientific study of insects and can be seen as an independent branch of arthropodology. Strictly speaking there exist more than 1.3 million described species of different insects which date back some 400 million years. Besides it has been scientifically proven that insects have many kinds of interactions with humans and several other forms of life on earth. Most insects can easily be recognized to order such as Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, and ants) or Coleoptera (beetles). However, insects other than Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) are typically identifiable to genus or species only through the use of Identification keys and Monographs. Because the class Insecta contains a very large number of species (over 330,000 species of beetles alone) and the characteristics separating them are unfamiliar, and often subtle (or invisible without a microscope), this is often very difficult even for a specialist. This has led to the development of automated species identification systems targeted on insects, for example, Daisy, ABIS, SPIDA and Draw-wing. Insect identification is an increasingly common hobby, with butterflies and dragonflies being the most popular.
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Scope and Importance
The Canadian nature is known as a very special habitat for different insects and new species. Consequently, insects do play a very important and essential role in humanity’s daily life. Entomologists concentrate on the nature of interesting insects and species and by doing profound research try to learn more about the world of entomological vermin. Strictly speaking entomologists assist to the general understanding of nature as well as to both the protection and improvement of living quality, health and alimentation.Insects make up about 80% of all known animals present on the earth, which makes them the most important for the survival of most animal and plant species on our planet. Without insects, human beings as a species would face certain extinction within a very short period of time.Insects play an important role and are essential to maintaining the balance of nature. Predators and parasites help to control populations of other organisms. Scavengers and decomposers help to clean up the environment and recycle nutrients for plants. Pollinators are responsible for ensuring the renewal of vegetation and let’s not forget, insects themselves are a primary food source for most animals and other insects.Insects are an integral component of the ecological web. Throughout the world, habitat alteration has caused the extinction of many organisms, including insects. By identifying endangered species and studying their habitats, entomologists help describe and restore threatened ecosystems.Entomological research has helped the United States to become a model for all industrialized countries in solving public health problems. A century ago, malaria was a major problem in North America. It is now of minor importance because of entomologists and their research. Despite this success story, much work remains to be done. Few problems present greater challenges to medical and veterinary entomologists than the widespread distribution of insect-borne disease agents.
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This page was last updated on December 5, 2023