Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Insect of the Year

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This red dotted animal was elected Insect of the Year 2007 by scientists at the Federal Biological Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry, Germany. Due to its markings, the moth is commonly known as “blood droplet”, although its species name is Zygaena carniolica.

Image: BBC News [larger view].


  1. #1 Diane in Ohio
    December 13, 2007

    Just beautiful!! Thanks for posting!! :o)

  2. #2 Stacy
    December 14, 2007

    Thanks for sharing this fun news! I shared this with my 9th grade (14 year old) students on our blog and asked them to come up with an award speech for the insect. My favorite so far is:

    “Thanks to mama and papa bug for taking care of me for maybe 2 seconds, for the little kid who didn’t kill me and the scientist who discovered me and gave me my long and almost unpronounceable name.”

    Do you know how the selection process works? Why was it named insect of the year?

  3. #3 Bob O'H
    December 14, 2007

    Apparently the insect got its name in 1763, from a guy called Scopoli.

    Personaly, I hope the selection process didn’t include a swimsuit round.


  4. #4 "GrrlScientist"
    December 14, 2007

    Stacy; thanks for sending your students to my blog to look at this lovely and unusual moth. i am not sure how this insect was chosen to be “insect of the year” but i have sent an email to Dr. Jürg Huber of the Federal Biological Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry (BBA) asking him for information about this process. hopefully, he will respond!

    bob; you should be ashamed: you are being a speciesist!

  5. #5 romunov
    December 16, 2007

    Locus typicus for Z. carniolica is in Slovenia, where Scopoli worked for about 15 years. He described the species in his work Entomologia carniolica. He also worked on plants. A number of species are named after him in recognition for his work (see .)

  6. #7 Stacy
    December 17, 2007

    Great, thanks!!! We’ll check back to see if he ever replies.

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