Hidden within the sciences lies Entomology, a wonderful field of study that includes everything and anything about insects. Entomology is by definition the study of insects, but what most don’t know is that it also includes many other groups of arthropods that are in many ways related to insects.
Invertebrates such as worms, centipedes, millipedes, isopods, mites, and arachnids are all studied within Entomology along side insects. Scientists who study these groups of arthropods are not as abundant as the ones who study insects, but by no means are they any less important. These Entomologists may sometimes be far and few between, but they help greatly when trying to shed light on common misunderstandings of spiders, mites, and even scorpions. Entomology itself goes beyond the simple tasks of catching, pinning and identifying insects. This is just one of the first tasks one must undergo in order to get a better understanding of how insects are managed within the field of Entomology. Once this first step has been practiced enough to where identification is done with a simple glance, then it is time to move onto the rest of what Entomology has to offer.
Entomology has a wide range of uses in this world and has been incorporated into many other important fields of study, such as agriculture, evolution and ecology, medicine, genetics, and technology. For agriculture, Entomology has played a very important role in understanding how insects interact with the crops we eat and how they react to the chemicals we use to try and control them with. In the past, pesticide use was very understudied and we did not understand the consequences of over using some of these chemicals and what long term effects they may have had on us and the environment around us
Fortunately, with the help of Entomologists, we have been able move forward and create new and sustainable ways of trying to deter pests from plants we eat. Insects have been very persistent as vectors for many different diseases throughout history. The field of medicine has relied on Entomologists to help in understanding how each disease functions within the vectors they are transmitted by. There have been many different diseases found to be transmitted by arthropods such as flies, ticks, fleas, true bugs and nematodes. Thanks to Entomology we have been able to understand exactly how diseases interact with their arthropod vectors and people, and because of this we have been able to successfully save many lives from these diseases that would otherwise be fatal.
Entomology has been widely used in evolution and ecology to aid in research studies on the interactions between arthropods and the environment they live in. Many of these studies have been done to see the interactions between plants and insects and how some have co-evolved over time. Another reason arthropods have become important to this field is because certain species have become indicators of good or bad changes to the environment they live in. This has helped us as people to be more aware of what we are actually doing to the surrounding areas we live in year after year.
Knowledge of how genes work within organisms over the past few years has been aided by insects as well. We have used species such as vinegar flies (also known as fruit flies) to help aid in genetic research by seeing how genes move within different populations. As a result we know that we have to have a large and diverse gene pool in order for populations of different species to survive and not have any harmful genes. Insects and other arthropods have baffled scientists with their physical abilities and because of this, we have tried to incorporate these abilities into technology for the future. For example, a cockroach can compress its body to fit into the smallest of places and we have only recently discovered a way to replicate this kind of amazing physical ability with the technology we have.
Entomology as a whole, is very important in the world because insects and other arthropods interact with us on a daily basis. Being able to understand how important these organisms are is one of the few overlooked steps in trying to create a better place to live for ourselves. Insects are everywhere and although that may seem unfavorable to some, others will take that as a way to gain more understanding of how the natural world functions. As an Entomologist my self I can honestly say I have a much better understanding of how the natural world around me works thanks to my knowledge of insects and other arthropods. I always encourage everyone I meet to go outside and observe insects in their natural environment, because you never know what you might see. This mystery is what drives me to learn more and more about the wonderful world of Entomology.