Entomology Facts

Entomology is the study of insects. It was not until the 16th century that insects were studied scientifically. Entomology is a branch of zoology.

Entomology has been studied in nearly all human cultures from prehistoric times, and the modern study of insects began in the 16th century with the publication of Ulisse Aldrovandi’s De Animalibus Insectis.

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Entomology Facts for Kids

  • Entomology comes from the Greek word entomo, meaning “cut-up.” 
  • It is estimated that there are 10 quintillion insects alive at any given time.
  • Insects plan an important part of the earth’s ecosystem.
  • Insects can harm crops, which is why entomologists study them to learn how to protect them.
  • Flies can detect death, and scientists who study these flies can help solve crimes.
  • More than a million species of insects have been described and discovered by entomologists.

Types of Insects

Because there are more than one million different kinds of insects in the world, we will just have a look at a few creepy crawlies.

Lady Beetles

Coccinellidae is a family of small beetles. They are commonly known as ladybugs or ladybirds.

Coccinellids have round to ellipsoidal, dome-shaped bodies with six short legs. Some species are red or orange with three spots on each side.

Coccinellid insects are beneficial insects, but some species are pests. The Mexican bean beetle is one of these species, and it can do major crop damage in years when its natural enemies are in fewer numbers.

Hawk Moth

The Sphingidae are a family of moths, with many of their caterpillars known as “hornworms.” They are distinguished among moths for their agile and sustained flying ability.

Hawk moths, such as the hummingbird hawk-moth and white-lined sphinx, can hover in midair while feeding on nectar from flowers and are sometimes mistaken for hummingbirds. They have wingspans of 4 to 10 cm.

Sphingid moths have long wings, a frenulum to join the wings, and scales covering the thorax, abdomen, and wings. They are crepuscular or nocturnal, and both males and females are relatively long-lived (10 to 30 days).


Flies have a mobile head, large compound eyes, and mouthparts for piercing and sucking, or lapping and sucking. The larvae develop in a protected environment, often inside the food source, and the pupa emerges when ready to do so.

Flies are abundant and found in almost all terrestrial habitats in the world apart from Antarctica. The suborder Nematocera includes mosquitoes, gnats, black flies, midges, and fruit flies, and the Brachycera includes broader, more robust flies with short antennae.

They can turn in mid-flight by using their halteres as gyroscopic organs that provide rapid feedback to their wing-steering muscles. The wing-steering muscles change direction in response to visual stimuli and can turn 90° in 50 milliseconds.

List of Common Insect

 So this is far from a full list of insets, but just a few. I’m sure you know most of them.

  • Ants
  • Bees
  • Wasps
  • Beetles
  • Butterflies
  • Moths
  • Cockroaches
  • Crickets
  • Grasshoppers
  • Dragonflies
  • Earwigs
  • Fleas
  • Flies
  • Homopterans
  • Lice
  • Walkingsticks 

A fly can help to solve gruesome crimes

Flies are regarded as a nuisance at best, a harbinger of death at worst, but they are also nature’s greatest marvel and a criminologist’s best friend. Blowflies are often the first to arrive at a crime scene and can help solve crimes.

Using forensic entomology, it is possible to work out a death date more accurately with the help of flies.

What does entomology mean?

Entomology is the study of insects and arachnids. It is one of the oldest sciences, dating back to ancient Greece and Egypt. Entomology is a branch of biology that studies the anatomy, physiology, behavior, ecology, evolution, taxonomy, and systematics of insects and arachidans.

The word “entomology” comes from two Greek roots: “en,” meaning “insects,” and “toma,” meaning “study.”

The term was coined in 1833 by Thomas Say (1787–1834), who used it to describe his work on insect morphology. In 1835, Karl Gegenbaur (1826–1903), a German zoologist, coined the term “Insektenwissenschaft” (“insect science”), which later became “Entomologie” (“insectology”).

What tools are used by entomologists?

The most common tools used by entomologists are binoculars, magnifying glasses, cameras, microscopes, telescopes, and traps. The first tool used is usually a pair of binoculars.

Binoculars allow you to see objects at a distance and provide a good view of the object.

Magnifying glasses are used when looking at small objects such as bugs. A camera allows you to take pictures of your insect collection.

Microscopes are used to look at very small objects like bugs. Telescopes are used to observe distant objects. Traps are used to catch insects.

The History of Entomology

In the early days of entomology, naming and classifying species used cabinets of curiosities. It led to the creation of natural history societies, exhibitions of private collections, and journals that documented communications and new species.

Entomology developed rapidly in the 19th and 20th centuries and was studied by many notable figures, including Charles Darwin, Jean-Henri Fabre, Vladimir Nabokov, Karl von Frisch, E. O. Wilson, and Sophie Lutterlough at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.