Ah, June. The bees are buzzing, the crickets are chirping, the fireflies are glowing, and the June bugs are—doing whatever June bugs do, I guess? It's their month. In the United Kingdom, the connection between summer and the insect kingdom has been formalized by turning the last week of June into National Insect Week. We're also celebrating our six-legged friends all month, and we've called in Ken Jennings (not an insect, but at least a WASP) as a guest expert. He tells us that our insect knowledge has a few bugs.
The Debunker: Are Praying Mantises Protected by Law?
I've already debunked one common mistake in the title, which in my opinion puts me way ahead of the game already. The name of the insect is often incorrectly spelled "preying mantis," and that's understandable, since mantises are famed for their ability to eat other bugs and even each other. (The female mantis will often devour her mate after sex, a dream come true if the male mantis is a "vore" fetishist, but a pretty raw deal otherwise.) But no, the name refers to the posture of the insect's bent forearms, which look a little like hands clasped in prayer.