Taxonomy bugs (I mean fail)

12 07 2009

When I was trawling through the internet for some taxonomy fails to feature I came across some in the flickr stream of bug girl (from bug girl’s blog) – specifically these cases where an incorrect insect was used to illustrate an article on the insectoid origins of carmine, a common dye  that can be used in foods (the article made mistakes beyond just the wrong picture – read at bug girl).

At the time I decided not to run them on the blog. I mean identifying insects is tough work. They are  the most diverse group of animals on the planet. I got a migraine trying to wrap my head around the 50-70 marsupials of Dasyuridae which fit into the category “oversexed hoppy rat-like thing which may or may not have a pouch” – differentiating 1,000s of species, when your samples are usually smaller than your fingers – that’s hardcore. So, in my ignorance I was willing to forgive a news editor who uses a relatively unknown insect to represent another relatively unknown insect*.

Scientific American is slightly less easier to forgive when they use the same beetle with the incorrect story. It then gets a little bit crazier as editors decide to use their own stock imagery – any old insect will do, even a freaking ladybug.

This is not a once off. Bug girl highlights another capture of “bugs are bugs” in which stinkbugs are used to represent bed bugs (though, while they may only drink plant sap, I still would not want the former in my hotel room).

Or there is this epic taxonomy fail Alex Wild at myrmecos blog spotted on iStock Photo – either that or someone mutated a Drosophila a bit too much.

Oh dear…

And to leave you with a picture to round things off:

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*Before entomologists send me hate mail – after my scale insect mimic identification, I now kow how different a carmine scale insect differs from the beetle pictured, so I can understand your frustation better. But hey, whatever, they’re still just bugs. Hate mail can be directed to zayzayem [at] hotmail [dot] com.


Synergy in Nature

24 04 2009

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Synergy fails.

No can haz Pengwin

21 12 2008

Soree Mistah Orkah

That is one clever/lucky penguin.

If I was on that research boat though, I would have been scared as shit that the whales would proceed to rip my boat apart for giving refuge to their tasty snack.

Do you think a cheetah would just sit back if the gazelle jumped into the back of your truck?

Where is your prime directive now?

Meat, my hero

25 11 2008

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Steak is AWESOME!

This kid would get an A+ from me.

The future is dumb

6 11 2008

I live in the future now (Something my parents need to recognise when they call me).

You would think other people native to futureland would be a little smarter. Perhaps not.

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The sad thing is this is not the first time I have seen the global warming – daylight savings link put up before. It is rather more depressing when its in a news publication, if only in the letters segment.

What animal is that?

15 10 2008

Animal Video Fail

Taxonomy fail: lolcat edition

7 10 2008

Taxonomy fail – lolcat edition
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More in the Taxonomy Fail series.