This trope is just like Somewhere, an Ornithologist Is Crying
and Somewhere, a Paleontologist Is Crying
, except with insects and arachnids. The trope name may just refer to insects, but it involves people getting things wrong with insects and arachnids (spiders, scorpions, mites).
One example involves humans imposing gender roles on insects. For example, the colonies of eusocial hymenopteran insects (bees, wasps, and ants) in cartoons have male workers. In real life, all the workers are female. The "no male workers" rule applies only to eusocial insects in the order Hymenoptera. Termites are eusocial and they have both male and female workers. Another example is a blood-sucking male mosquito. Only female mosquitoes suck blood.
Another example involves drawing insects with four legs instead of the correct six.
Another example involves spiders being able to hiss, but with some species, being able to hiss is Truth in Television
. The bit about all species of spiders not being able to hiss is wrong. There are species that can hiss, like The Barking spider
as well as almost all tarantulas. There are also varieties Trapdoor spiders that hiss. Watch the spider hiss.
Subtrope of Artistic License - Biology
. Supertrope of Insect Gender Bender
and Four-Legged Insect
. See also Funny Animal Anatomy
Anime and Manga
- A filler arc of Naruto brings us "bees" that are very obviously wasps (hornets, to be more precise), a 12-foot beetle with a trunk (it trumpets like an elephant, too) and cockroaches which don't look or move like cockroaches.
- Antz has mostly male worker ants.
- A Bug's Life also has mostly male worker ants.
- Not to mention that the ants had four legs. (To be fair, the grasshoppers had six.)
- Also, grasshoppers don't attack in clouds and do not fly for that matter, crickets do. Annoyingly, the mistake is also present in translations such as the French one.
- Grasshoppers most certainly can fly, tho usually it's a fly-hop kind of deal.
- Bee Movie has male worker bees and a blood-sucking male mosquito named Mooseblood. The insects have four legs.
- The Ant Bully has male worker ants.
- Them! features giant ants that, had they actually grown to that size, would collapse upon themselves while simultaneously experiencing catastrophic organ failure.
- The Far Side had a cartoon about a mosquito husband arriving home, tired after a long day of sucking blood.
Gary Larson: And I really heard it when this "mosquito" cartoon came out. Numerous readers wrote to remind me that it's the female that does the biting, not the male. I knew that. (Of course, it's perfectly acceptable that these creatures wear clothes, live in houses, speak English, etc.)
- Fallout 3: Features ants and scorpions growing to sizes that would not be physically possible regardless of their amount of radiation exposure. Oh, and some can breathe fire...
- In the "Turner Classic Birdman" episode of Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, a Reducto-shrunk Birdman contends with "a spider... with only six legs!" When he gets a call from Falcon 7 that Vulturo has stolen a hydrogen bomb and feebly insists he has to deal with this emergency first, Falcon 7 isn't sympathetic. "Let's see, hydrogen bomb... gimp spider. Hydrogen bomb or gimp spider, ooooooh...."