One advantage of being an entomologist is that there's never a lack of material for small talk (as it were); with close to a million described insect species, there's an almost inexhaustible supply of stories to share. But I expect most entomologists have noticed, as I have, that a small number of species seem to come up in conversation with disproportionate frequency. These are the insects about which misconceptions abound.It sometimes seems that the majority of the most widely known insect facts aren't facts at all. So I wrote The Earwig's Tail, which describes my encounters with 26 of the most firmly entrenched modern insect myths.Here are a few highlights from The Earwig's Tail -- misconceptions that achieve particular distinction.
Oldest arthropod urban legend: the brain-boring earwig The common name of the "earwig," entomologically a member of the order Dermaptera, derives from the Old English "ear wicga," which,...
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