Created By: EdnaWalker on September 3, 2010 Last Edited By: EdnaWalker on September 7, 2010
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Somewhere An Entomologist Is Crying

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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.


Examples:

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.

Film

  • 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.

Newspaper Comics

  • 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.)

Video Games

  • 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...

Webcomics

Western Animation

  • 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...."
Community Feedback Replies: 21
  • August 30, 2010
    EdnaWalker
    Bump? This trope is about people getting things wrong with insects.
  • August 30, 2010
    fzzr_miller
    does the OP have any examples? needs at least three. I don't know of any off the top of my head...
  • August 30, 2010
    fawn
    Ants, A Bug Life, and Bee Movie all have mostly male workers, in real-life the workers are all female.
  • August 30, 2010
    EdnaWalker
    Are there any other things that people get wrong with insects?
  • August 30, 2010
    MetaFour
    The "no male workers" thing only applies to Hymenoptera (ie ants, wasps, hornets, bees). Termites are eusocial and they have both male and female workers. Granted, termites don't show up much in fiction.

    • Rule Of Funny example: The Non Adventures Of Wonderella has a superheroine named the Queen Beetle. The "queen" title implies eusociality, but there are no eusocial species of beetles.
    • 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.)
  • August 30, 2010
    berr
    We have a trope for mostly-male workers, but I forget what it's called.

    It has something to do with imposing human gender roles on animals.
  • August 30, 2010
    EdnaWalker
    Are there any other examples of people getting things wrong with insects beside Insect Gender Bender.
  • August 30, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Not to mention that in A Bugs Life, the ants had four legs. (To be fair, the grasshoppers had six.)
  • August 31, 2010
    Mozgwsloiku
    also spiders hissing at people. they are unable to ( yes, they also aren't insects but still seem to count for the trope)
  • August 31, 2010
    BelieveItOrNot
    • 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...
  • August 31, 2010
    shimaspawn
    The bit about spiders not being able to hiss is wrong. There are species that can hiss. The Barking spider for instance as well as almost all tarantulas. There are also varieties Trapdoor spiders that hiss. Watch the spider hiss.
  • September 1, 2010
    Medinoc
    Also in A Bugs Life: Grasshoppers don't attack in clouds, and don't fly for that matter: Crickets do. Annoyingly, the mistake is also present in translations such as the French one.
  • September 1, 2010
    BelieveItOrNot
    Them: Features giant ants that, had actually grown to that size, would collapse upon themselves while simultaneously experiencing catastrophic organ failure.
  • September 1, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Grasshoppers most certainly can fly, tho usually it's a fly-hop kind of deal.
  • September 1, 2010
    fawn
  • September 1, 2010
    PomRania
    With the "bees in Naruto" thing though, I'm wondering if the Japanese term used doesn't simply incorporate both bees and hornets.
  • September 2, 2010
    EponymousKid
    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...."
  • September 4, 2010
    EdnaWalker
    Bump?
  • September 5, 2010
    EdnaWalker
    Bump again?
  • September 7, 2010
    EdnaWalker
    When could I please launch this trope?
  • September 7, 2010
    Chabal2
    Lokks long enough to launch.
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