You’ve got mail: A love letter to entomology

Why I love the big, the small and the ugly of our insect life and you should too

You’ve got mail: A love letter to entomology

Full disclosure, I am currently studying Entomology at Harper Adams University so expect a letter filled with random insect names, musings on the beauty of a lepidoptera’s thorax and why I will never love crane flies

Dear insects,

You beautiful, wonderful diverse creatures, I hope you are staying safe and flourishing while the rest of the world is forced to stay inside. Maybe this crisis will help people appreciate the beauty of the natural world around them and how vital you are to maintaining not only the flowers and plants, but the very crops that they eat! I know you’ve had a tough time recently with 40% of all of your species declining, and that bees have been hit particularly hard with your numbers decreasing by 30% or more. I only wish people knew how important all of you pollinators are, and that it’s not just bees (although yes, my lovely Apis mellifera you ARE very important). Moths, butterflies, hoverflies, wasps, flies and beetles – you are all so key in maintaining our biodiversity and protecting our food supplies through your pollination efforts. Yes, even you crane-fly, my arch nemesis. I’m sorry I hate you, but I just don’t think I can get over it. There’s an entomologist out there for you, but it’s just not me. Maybe if you try and not drop your legs at every opportunity, or bumble into my face when I’m trying to read?

That’s another thing, although I am a self-confessed bug nerd it is a complete misconception that entomologists love all different species of insects equally. I’m sure I’ve introduced you to some of my fellow entomologists before (remember the group of humans running around with bug nets and squeaking excitedly when they saw you?). You will have noticed that they each took a particular shine to a certain species, and that some – like me – can still not get over their fear of spiders (sorry arachnids, I’m trying!).

My hope for this whole coronavirus debacle is that you guys get some real time to relax, breed and spread out wherever you feel like going. If there are people around, strike a pose and show them your shiny discal spots, moths! Amaze them with your acrobatic dance, bees! And for all you beetles, I know that flying into people’s faces is very entertaining but it is NOT winning you any fans. Just try flashing your shiny wing cases about a bit and try to look cute okay?

For those of you that have been struggling with self-esteem issues, I know it can be hard when all humans seem to do is scream and try to squish you, but don’t lose hope. Remember, they are contracting a horrendous virus, or are stuck inside whilst you get to swan around wherever you like and test your eyesight flying to beauty spots! So who's the real winner here? Plus, I don’t see humans pollinating like you do, flies, so keep at it.

If people took the time to have a look under the stones in the garden, or half-blinded themself by staring into the UV bulbs of their moth traps, then they would see how diverse and intricate each and every one of you are, and they would love you like I do!

So stay safe out there buggos, and keep up the good work

Lots of love, Bea (the one with the lämp and who squeaks when she sees you)

Header Image Credit: Bea Kerry


Bea Kerry

Bea Kerry Contributor

Nature and arts lover living and working in Shropshire/Mid Wales. Particularly interested in anything political or performances/pieces that push me out of my comfort zone!

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