What Has Six Legs?Look


Look closer. Examine images related to this subject. Click an image to enlarge and see captions. How would you describe the picture?

What’s in a Name?

Biologists use scientific names to identify species, because they’re less variable than common names.  The scientific name of a species has two parts, always written in italics. The genus name comes first, always beginning with a capital letter. The second part, always in lower-case letters, identifies the species in the genus.

Most insects do not have common names, so we rely only on the scientific name. This is the same in all languages and countries.  Many insects that are economically important, or that are big, colourful, obvious or popular, such as butterflies or dragonflies, have been given common names.

Some people think that common names are easier to remember and speak. However, most of us have no trouble with even pretty long scientific ones such as Tyrannosaurus, Geranium, or Hippopotamus. How many common names do you notice in the photograph captions below? 

 

This is a photograph of Entomology Collection Manager Claudia Copley at a desk with microscope, books and insect specimens.
This is a photograph showing dragonflies pinned in boxes at the Royal BC Museum.
This is a photograph showing Carolina Grasshoppers pinned in boxes at the Royal BC Museum.
This is a photograph showing pinned specimens of Sphinx Moths at the Royal BC Museum.
This is a photograph showing Great Tiger Moth specimens in boxes at the Royal BC Museum.
This is a photograph showing specimens of the colourful insect the Golden Buprestid (Buprestis aurulenta).
This is a photograph showing Banded Alder borer beetles in the Royal BC Museum collection.
This is a close-up photograph of a pinned Robber Fly specimen at the Royal BC Museum.
This is a close up photograph of a Ponderous Borer beetle specimen in the Royal BC Museum collection.

Please feel free to use these images to educate and inspire in your classrooms. Should you wish to use them for any other purposes, please contact the Permissions and Licensing Office at 250-356-0138 or Toll Free: 1-866-356-0138 or access@royalbcmuseum.bc.ca.