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What is the Study of Entomology?

By Katie Nelson

Do you have a passion for learning about insects, their anatomy, and the many ways the effect life on earth? Were you the kid who collected bugs to dissect and study? Do you believe that understanding insects role in our development can help us to further advance our civilization, and improve our environment? If so, then you would be a great fit for the field of Entomology!

study-of-insectsThe History of Entomology

The branch of Zoology, called entomology, handles the study of insects. The name comes from the Greek word entmon, which references the segmented bodies of insects. Around the 5th century B.C., Aristotle laid the groundwork for the modern field of Entomology by providing detailed descriptions of insect anatomy. Entomology includes various components of Zoological study such as: Physiology, Ecology, Taxology, as well as Economic Entomology, which discovers the harmful and beneficial impacts insects have on human life. The study of Entomology is a crucial aspect in studying and understanding environmental quality and biodiversity.

By the eighteenth Century the classification of insects was well underway. A French biologist named Rene-Antoine Ferchault de Reaumur, published the first six volumes of Mémoires pour servir à l’histoire des Insectes in 1734. Insects play a valuable role in the ecosystems, including  understanding pest control. Species like mantises, spiders, and dragonflies are nature’s pest control, due to their predatory nature, which feeds on other insect species. Insect life is found on nearly every corner of the planet, especially in places like streams, rivers, lakes, and any other place that freshwater is found. They are also found under rocks, inside of homes, in trees, and gardens.

entomologistWorking in the Field of Entomology

Are you fascinated by bugs? Do you have a passion to learn about the environment, and role that insects play in our ecology? Then you should pursue a path in Entomology! There are many different jobs available in Entomology, some include working in the seed industry, the food industry, and as a crop consultant. There are many private companies, as well as positions with public government agencies, including the military. Zoo’s, botanical houses, butterfly gardens, and schools are also great places to work where you can teach and learn about insects. Lastly, working in commercial and residential pest control, you’re guaranteed to learn more about bugs then you ever thought you could know.

Whether you’re an agricultural, veterinary, medical, taxonomic, forensic, forest, or structural Entomologist – you need at least a minimum of a Bachelors in Science degree, with a focus in a field like biology. To advance in the field, Doctorate degrees are recommended. In the United States, the average salary of an Entomologist is around $55,000 per year.

agricultural-entomologyWhy Entomology is Crucial to Modern Societies Success

There are many ways the study of insects affects our society. Scientists are rapidly learning more and more about insects, and discovering new species. Farmers rely on the study of entomology to protect their crops. Animals rely on insects for food.  Environmentalists study the relationship between humans and insects, in order to help humanity to understand the role insects play in our success. Many industries rely on Entomology, such as pest control and farming. Even artists, musicians, and writers have been inspired by insects. Most importantly, humans need to understand the role insects play in our lives.

Are you the Next Entomologist?

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