Crows have the best. We need to come up with some more metal ones for insects. Maybe…

A larceny of flies.

An embezzlement of stinkbugs.

An unlawful gathering of springtails.



From: Entomological Collections Network Listserve <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Deans, Andrew Robert
Sent: Wednesday, April 22, 2020 7:34 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: names for groups of insects


Just realized Wikipedia (of course) has a list of collective nouns:

The bird ones go back centuries, but the names for insect groups are clearly not formalized. "I think people make these up for fun." is probably the right way to describe these terms!

From: Brower, Andrew V - APHIS <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, April 22, 2020 9:34 AM
To: Deans, Andrew Robert <[log in to unmask]>; [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: RE: names for groups of insects


Yeah, like a plague of locusts, or an infestation of entomologists.

I think people make these up for fun.


Andrew Brower, Ph.D.
Assistant Director, National Identification Services (NIS)
USDA APHIS PPQ Plant Health Programs
4700 River Rd., Unit 52
Riverdale, MD 20737
 Office phone:  (301) 851-2243
Mobile phone: (240) 315-4408

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-----Original Message-----
From: Entomological Collections Network Listserve [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Andy Deans
Sent: Wednesday, April 22, 2020 9:31 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: names for groups of insects

Anyone have a reputable source for terms that refer to groups of insects? lists these terms to refer to certain groups, but I'm ... skeptical:

loveliness of ladybugs
army of caterpillars
kaleidoscope of butterflies
intrusion of cockroaches
scourge of mosquitoes
business of flies
swarm of ants
clutter of spider
eclipse of moths

Mainly because their definitions of those words (loveliness, kaleidoscope, etc.) don't mention the putative entomological use.
Thankful for any help!


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