The sources of published information dealing with the roles of insects in human culture have until recently been found in a diffuse body of literature. Such information is often hidden in historical documents, anthropological works, and ethnoento-mological notations in travel logs and journals. In the past 20 years, a wider aesthetic and cultural appreciation for insects has been realized. The celebration of insects and their attributes as they relate to the development of human societies is generally accepted as a worthwhile endeavor. This interest has spawned a number of review articles and books that summarize, synthesize, and sometimes popularize much of the previously diffuse literature and serve as a starting point for those interested in this fascinating subject. Some periodicals, namely, The American Entomologist, regularly publish cultural entomological articles, and the recently introduced periodical, Cultural Entomology Digest (http://www.bugbios. com/ced/), is devoted entirely to this topic.

Along with the modernization of the world, the perceived relevance of insects to human life is slowly eroded. As this happens, the various roles of insects in human cultural affairs may change or be lost. However, many people continue to carry mythological modes of thought, expression, and communication into this supposedly scientific age and others still find pleasure in observing and contemplating their six-legged companions on Earth. Therefore, the importance of insects as subjects of entertainment and aesthetic pleasure should continue to enter into the thoughts of future people and mold aspects of human culture. As some relationships between human and insect are lost, others are formed. Because of the dominant place in the function of the world's ecosystems and their influence on human existence, insects have played and will continue to play a prominent role in our perception of life and pursuit of aesthetically pleasing activities and for the enlightenment of human societies.

See Also the Following Articles

Entomological Societies • Folk Beliefs and Superstitions • History of Entomology • Movies, Insects in • Stamps, Insects and

Further Reading

Akre, R. D., Hansen, L. D., and Zack, R. S. (1991). Insect jewelry. Am.

Entomol. 37, 90-95. Berenbaum, M. R. (1995). "Bugs in the System." Addison Wesley, Reading, MA.

Berenbaum, M. R. (2000). "Buzzwords." Henry Press, Washington, DC. Bodenheimer, F. S. (1928). "Materialien zur Geschichteder Entomologie bis

Linné," Vol. I. Junk, Berlin. Cherry, R. H. (1993). Insects in the mythology of native Americans. Am.

Entomol. 39, 16-21. Clausen, L. W (1954). "Insect Fact and Folklore." MacMillan Co., New York. Cloudsley-Thompson, J. L. (1976). "Insects and History." St. Martin's Press, New York.

Dicke, M. (2000). Insects in western art. Am. Entomol. 46, 228-236. Gagliardi, R. A. (1976). "The Butterfly and Moth as Symbols in Western Art." Southern Connecticut State College, New Haven. [Masters thesis] Hamel, D. R. (1991). "Atlas of Insects on Stamps of the World." Tico Press, Falls Church, VA.

Hogue, C. L. (1980). Commentaries in cultural entomology. 1. Definition of cultural entomology. Entomol. News 91, 33-36. Hogue, C. L. (1985). Amazonian insect myths. Terra 23, 10-15.

Hogue, C. L. (1987). Cultural entomology. Annu. Rev. Entomol. 32, 181—199. Kritzky, G., and Cherry, R. (2000). "Insect Mythology." Writers Club Press, San Jose, CA.

Laurent, E. L. (2000). Children, 'insects' and play in Japan. In "Companion Animals and Us" (A. L. Podberscek, E. S. Paul, and J. A. Serpell, eds.), pp. 61—89. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K. Pearson, G. A. (1996). Insect tattoos on humans: A "demographic" study.

Am. Entomol. 42, 99-105. Stickney, D. (1997). "Water Bugs and Dragonflies." Pilgrim Press, Cleveland. Tedlock, D. (1985). "Popul Vuh." Simon & Schuster, New York.

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