The Illustrated Insectopedia - Hugh Raffles (2010)



1. P. A. Glick, The Distribution of Insects, Spiders, and Mites in the Air, U.S. Department of Agriculture Technical Bulletin 671 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1939), 146.

2. For these and other examples of airborne dispersal, see C. G. Johnson, Migration and Dispersal of Insects by Flight (London: Methuen, 1969), 294–96, 358–59. I have drawn heavily on Johnson’s classic book and on Robert Dudley’s The Biomechanics of Insect Flight: Form, Function, Evolution (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2000) for this chapter.

3. B. R. Coad, “Insects Captured by Airplane Are Found at Surprising Heights,” in Yearbook of Agriculture, 1931 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1931), 322.

4. Glick, Distribution of Insects, 87. On ballooning, see Robert B. Suter, “An Aerial Lottery: The Physics of Ballooning in a Chaotic Atmosphere,” Journal of Arachnology 27 (1999): 281–93.

5. Johnson, Migration and Dispersal, 297.

6. See, for instance, A. C. Hardy and P. S. Milne, “Studies in the Distribution of Insects by Aerial Currents: Experiments in Aerial Tow-Netting from Kites,” Journal of Animal Ecology 7 (1938): 199–229.

7. William Beebe, “Insect Migration at Rancho Grande in North-Central Venezuela: General Account,” Zoologica 34, no. 12 (1949): 107–10.

8. Dudley, Biomechanics of Insect Flight, 8–14, 302–9.

9. L. R. Taylor, “Aphid Dispersal and Diurnal Periodicity,” Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London 169 (1958): 67–73.

10. Dudley, Biomechanics of Insect Flight, 325–6.

11. Johnson, Migration and Dispersal, 606.

12. Ibid., 294, 360.


1. In English, these insects, classified as a suborder of the Hemiptera, are known as the true bugs.

2. Cornelia Hesse-Honegger, Heteroptera: The Beautiful and the Other, or Images of a Mutating World, trans. Christine Luisi (New York: Scalo, 2001), 90.

3. Hesse-Honegger reflects on her career in a number of short published articles and, more extensively, in two books: Heteroptera and Warum bin ich in Österfärnebo? Bin auch in Leibstadt, Beznau, Gösgen, Creys-Malville, Sellafield gewesen … [Why Am I in Österfärnebo? I Have Also Been to Leibstadt, Beznau, Gösgen, Creys-Malville, Sellafield …] (Basel, Switzerland: Éditions Heuwinkel, 1989). A short article that includes four good-quality color reproductions can be found in Grand Street 70 (Spring 2002): 196–201. Two beautifully produced exhibition catalogs also contain autobiographical accounts and useful critical essays: Hesse-Honegger, After Chernobyl (Bern, Switzerland: Bundesamt für Kultur/Verlag Lars Müller, 1992), and Hesse-Honegger, The Future’s Mirror, trans. Christine Luisi-Abbot (Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.: Locus+, 2000). My thanks to Steve Connell for all translations from the German.

4. Hesse-Honegger, Heteroptera, 24.

5. Hesse-Honegger, After Chernobyl, 59.

6. Hesse-Honegger, Heteroptera, 9.

7. Galileo Galilei, Sidereus nuncius, or The Sidereal Messenger, trans. Albert Van Helden (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989), 42, quoted in Hesse-Honegger, Heteroptera, 8.

8. Cornelia Hesse-Honegger, “Wenn Fliegen und Wanzen anders aussehen als sie solten” [When Flies and Bugs Don’t Look the Way They Should], Tages-Anzeiger Magazin, January 1988, 20–25.

9. Hesse-Honegger, Heteroptera, 94–96.

10. Ibid.

11. Hesse-Honegger discusses some of this material in the works already cited. For more detailed accounts, see, among others, Ernest J. Sternglass, Secret Fallout: Low-Level Radiation from Hiroshima to Three Mile Island (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1981); Ralph Graeub, The Petkau Effect: The Devastating Effect of Nuclear Radiation on Human Health and the Environment (New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 1994); Jay M. Gould and Benjamin A. Goldman, Deadly Deceit: Low-Level Radiation High-Level Cover-up (New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 1990); and Jay M. Gould, The Enemy Within: The High Cost of Living Near Nuclear Reactors (New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 1996). On activist alliances between scientists and community groups, see, for example, Steven Epstein, Impure Science: AIDS, Activism, and the Politics of Knowledge (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996); Phil Brown and Edwin J. Mikkelsen, No Safe Place: Toxic Waste, Leukemia, and Community Action (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990); and Sabrina McCormick, Phil Brown, and Stephen Zvestoski, “The Personal Is Scientific, the Scientific Is Political: The Public Paradigm of the Environmental Breast Cancer Movement,” Sociological Forum 18, no. 4 (2003): 545–76. My thanks to Alondra Nelson for directing me to Phil Brown’s work.

12. For Busby’s second-event theory, see Chris Busby, Wings of Death: Nuclear Pollution and Human Health (Aberystwyth, U.K.: Green Audit, 1995), and Busby, interview by Sunny Miller, May 8, 2004,,

13. See, for example, the newspaper and magazine articles included in Hesse-Honegger, Warum bin ich in Österfärnebo?, 93–101.

14. Hesse-Honegger, Heteroptera, 99.

15. Ibid., 127.

16. Cornelia Hesse-Honegger, “Leaf Bugs, Radioactivity and Art,” N.paradoxa: International Feminist Art Journal 9 (2002): 53.

17. Cornelia Hesse-Honegger, “Der Verdacht” [The Suspicion], Tages-Anzeiger Magazin, April 1989, 34.

18. Max Bill, Konkrete Gestaltung [Concrete Formation] in Zeitprobleme in der Schweizer Malerei und Plastik, exhibition catalogue (Kunsthaus Zürich, 1936), quoted in ibid., 82.

19. Max Bill, quoted in Margit Weinberg-Staber, “Quiet Abodes of Geometry,” in Concrete Art in Europe after 1945, ed. Marlene Lauter (Ostfildern-Ruit, Germany: Hatje Cantz, 2002), 77.

20. Peter Suchin, “Forces of the Small: Painting as Sensuous Critique,” quoted in Hesse-Honegger, Future’s Mirror, n.p.

21. Hesse-Honegger, Heteroptera, 132.

22. Ibid.

23. Ibid., 179.

24. See especially Paul Feyerabend, Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge (London: New Left Books, 1975).

25. Cornelia Hesse-Honegger, “Field Study around the Hanford Site in the States Washington and Idaho, USA” (unpublished manuscript, Zürich, 1998–99), n.p.

26. Cornelia Hesse-Honegger, “Field Study in the Area of the Nuclear Reprocessing Plant, La Hague, Normandie, France, 1999” (unpublished manuscript, Zürich, 2000–2003), n.p.

27. Cornelia Hesse-Honegger, “Field Study in the Area of the Nuclear Test Site, Nevada and Utah, USA, 1997” (unpublished manuscript, Zürich, n.d.), n.p.


1. Hans Erich Nossack, “Der Untergang,” in Interview mit dem Tode (Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Suhrkamp, 1963), 238, quoted in W. G. Sebald, On the Natural History of Destruction, trans. Anthea Bell (New York: Random House, 2003), 35. Available in English: Hans Erich Nossack, The End: Hamburg 1943, trans. Joel Agee (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004).

2. “Seen from Above,” in Miracle Fair: Selected Poems of Wisawa Szymborska, trans. Joanna Trzeciak (New York: W. W. Norton, 2001), 66. My thanks to Dilip Menon and Lara Jacob for introducing me to Szymborska’s work and to this poem in particular.

3. Primo Levi, Other People’s Trades, trans. Raymond Rosenthal (New York: Summit Books, 1989), 17.

4. Nossack, “Der Untergang,” quoted in Sebald, On the Natural History of Destruction, 35.


1. Jean-Henri Fabre, “The Greenbottles,” in The Life of the Fly, trans. Alexander Teixeira de Mattos (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1913), 232; Fabre, “The Bluebottle: The Laying,” in Life of the Fly, 316. A full-length critical account of Fabre’s work is Patrick Tort, Fabre: Le Miroir aux insectes (Paris: Vuibert/Adapt, 2002). See also Colin Favret, “Jean-Henri Fabre: His Life Experiences and Predisposition against Darwinism,” American Entomologist 45, no. 1 (1999): 38–48, and Georges Pasteur, “Jean Henri Fabre,” Scientific American, July 1994, 74–80. More often, biographers have been happy to participate in Fabre’s self-fashioning while ignoring his theoretical ambitions. See, for example, Yves Delange, Fabre: L’homme qui aimait les insectes (Paris: Actes Sud, 1999). The “authorized biography” of Fabre was written by his friend and admirer Georges Victor Legros. G. V. Legros, Fabre: Poet of Science, trans. Bernard Miall (1913; repr., Whitefish, Mont.: Kessinger, 2004).

2. Fabre, “The Harmas,” in Life of the Fly, 15.

3. Tort, Fabre, 64.

4. Fabre, “Harmas,” quoted in ibid., 16.

5. Tort, Fabre, 27.

6. Jean-Henri Fabre, “The Odyneri,” in The Mason-Wasps, trans. Alexander Teixeira de Mattos (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1919), 59.

7. Fabre, “Harmas,” 18.

8. Jean-Henri Fabre, “The Fable of the Cigale and the Ant,” in Social Life in the Insect World, trans. Bernard Miall (New York: Century, 1912), 6; Fabre, “Harmas,” 24.

9. Fabre, “The Song of the Cigale,” in Social Life in the Insect World, 36.

10. Norma Field, “Jean Henri Fabre and Insect Life in Modern Japan” (unpublished manuscript, n.d.), 6. My thanks to Norma Field for sending me this extremely helpful paper.

11. Fabre, quoted in Delange, Fabre, 55.

12. Jean-Henri Fabre, “The Bembex,” in The Hunting Wasps, trans. Alexander Teixeira de Mattos (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1915), 156.

13. Fabre, “The Great Cerceris,” in Hunting Wasps, 12.

14. Fabre, “The Yellow-Winged Sphex,” in Hunting Wasps, 36.

15. Fabre, “The Eumenes,” in Mason-Wasps, 10, 12, 13.

16. Fabre, “Aberrations of Instinct,” in Mason-Wasps, 109.

17. Fabre, quoted in Legros, Fabre, 14.

18. Fabre, quoted in ibid., 13.

19. Fabre, quoted in ibid.

20. Tort (Fabre, 57) describes the two men: “Unis par une vaste érudition, une sympathie éthique et l’expérience partagée de la douleur.” Fabre and Mill undertook a joint, never-completed project to produce a flora of the Vaucluse.

21. Romain Rolland, letter to G. V. Legros, January 7, 1910, quoted in Delange, Fabre, 322. The Nobel Prize that year was awarded to another great admirer of Fabre’s, the dramatist Maurice Maeterlinck, a writer with an interest in entomology rather than an entomologist who was also a writer.

22. Fabre, “Harmas,” 14.

23. Legros, Fabre, 17; Fabre, quoted in Tort, Fabre, 25–26.

24. Fabre, “Odyneri,” 47.

25. Ibid., 46; Fabre, “Eumenes,” 25.

26. See the thorough discussion in Tort, Fabre, esp. 205–40.

27. Fabre, “The Modern Theory of Instinct,” in Hunting Wasps, 403.

28. Fabre, “The Ammophilae,” in Hunting Wasps, 271.

29. Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (London: Penguin, 2004), 88, 87. See also Daniel R. Papaj, “Automatic Learning and the Evolution of Instinct: Lessons from Learning in Parasitoids,” in Insect Learning: Ecological and Evolutionary Perspectives, ed. Daniel R. Papaj and Alcinda C. Lewis (New York: Chapman and Hall, 1993), 243–72.

30. Fabre, “Modern Theory of Instinct,” 411.

31. Fabre, “Ammophilae,” 269.

32. Ibid., 270.

33. Ibid., 377–78.

34. R. J. Herrnstein, “Nature as Nurture: Behaviorism and the Instinct Doctrine,” Behavior and Philosophy 26 (1998): 83; previously published in Behavior 1, no. 1 (1972): 23–52.

35. Ibid., 81.

36. William James, The Principles of Psychology (New York: Holt, 1890), 2:384, quoted in Herrnstein, ibid., 81.

37. William McDougall, An Introduction to Social Psychology (London: Methuen, 1908), 44.

38. Christian Kerslake, “Insects and Incest: From Bergson and Jung to Deleuze,” Multitudes: Revue Politique, Artistique, Philosophique, October 22, 2006, 2.

39. Henri Bergson, Creative Evolution, trans. Arthur Mitchell (1911; repr., Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications, 1989), 174. It is interesting to note that the wasps continue on this route via Bergson through the continental philosophy of the twentieth century to reach Deleuze and Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus in the form of the becoming animal, the wasp and the orchid that each becomes partly the other in the moment of embrace, the famous wasp-orchid that seems to have its originary spark in the Ammophila-Fabre. Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Brian Massumi (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987).

40. Bertrand Russell, The Analysis of Mind (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1921), 56, quoted in Kerslake, “Insects and Incest,” 3.

41. Tort, Fabre, 232–35.

42. Fabre, “Harmas,” 14.

43. My thanks to Gavin Whitelaw for his generous gift of a complete set of Fabre 7-Eleven figurines! Thanks also to Shiho Satsuka for finding a copy of Yokota Tokuo’s Konchu no tankensha Faaburu(Tokyo: Gakken, 1978), a very popular manga of Fabre’s life story. On this, see Field, “Jean Henri Fabre,” 4.

44. I take this figure from Pasteur, “Jean Henri Fabre,” 74.

45. Okumoto Daizaburo, Hakubutsugakuno kyojin Anri Faburu [Henri Fabre: A Giant of Natural History] (Tokyo: Syueisya, 1999), 27. All translations from the Japanese, unless otherwise noted, are by CJ Suzuki. See also Field, “Jean Henri Fabre,” 18–20.

46. Osugi Sakae, “I Like a Spirit,” in A Short History of the Anarchist Movement in Japan, ed. Libertaire Group (Tokyo: Idea, 1979), 132. Osugi’s wife, the feminist Ito Noe, and their seven-year-old nephew were murdered with him in 1923.

47. Jean-Henri Fabre, Souvenirs entomologiques (Paris: Delagrave, 1886) 3:309, quoted in Favret, “Jean-Henri Fabre,” 46.

48. Osugi was an admirer and early translator of Peter Kropotkin, who argued powerfully for mutual aid and cooperation rather than competition as the basis for evolution. Yet paradoxically, Osugi was also known as a social Darwinist, a philosophy widespread in Japan at the time. It was via the Spencerian disdain for cooperation and the celebration of competition as the motive force of human existence that Darwinism entered Meiji Japan, along with Western science, in the 1870s. See Field, “Jean Henri Fabre,” 19 and 27n80.

49. Fabre, Souvenirs entomologiques, vol. 8, quoted in Favret, “Jean-Henri Fabre,” 46.

50. Okumoto, Faburu, 189.

51. Yoro Takeshi, Okumoto Daizaburo, and Ikeda Kiyohiko, San-nin yoreba mushi-no-chi’e [Put Three Heads Together to Match the Wisdom of a Mushi] (Tokyo: Yosensya, 1996).

52. Imanishi Kinji, The World of Living Things, trans. Pamela J. Asquith, Heita Kawakatsu, Shusuke Yagi, and Hiroyuki Takasaki (London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2002); Imanishi, “A Proposal for Shizengaku: The Conclusion to My Study of Evolutionary Theory,” Journal of Social and Biological Structures 7 (1984): 357–368.

53. For an attack on Imanishi that can only be described as racist, see Beverly Halstead, “Anti-Darwinian Theory in Japan,” Nature 317 (1985): 587–89. And for a smart response, see Frans B. M. de Waal, “Silent Invasion: Imanishi’s Primatology and Cultural Bias in Science,” Animal Cognition 6 (2003): 293–99.

54. Imanishi, “Proposal for Shizengaku,” 360.

55. Arne Kalland and Pamela J. Asquith, “Japanese Perceptions of Nature: Ideals and Illusions,” in Japanese Images of Nature: Cultural Perceptions, ed. Pamela J. Asquith and Arne Kalland (Richmond, U.K.: Curzon Press, 1997), 2. See also Julia Adeney Thomas’s fascinating Reconfiguring Modernity: Concepts of Nature in Japanese Political Ideology (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001).

56. J. L. Austin, How to Do Things with Words (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1962). See also Alexei Yurchak, Everything Was Forever, until It Was No More: The Last Soviet Generation(Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2005).

57. Stephen Jay Gould, “Nonmoral Nature,” in Hen’s Teeth and Horse’s Toes: Further Reflections in Natural History (New York: W. W. Norton, 1994), 32.

58. Ibid.

59. Ibid.

Generosity (the Happy Times)

1. Jia’s Cu zhi jing is most readily accessible in Wu Zhao Lian, Xishuai mipu [Secret Cricket Books] (Tianjin, China: Gu Ji Shu Dan Ancient Books, 1992).

2. Quoted in Hsiung Ping-chen, “From Singing Bird to Fighting Bug: The Cricket in Chinese Zoological Lore” (unpublished manuscript, Taipei, Taiwan, n.d.), 15–16 (translation slightly amended). My thanks to Professor Hsiung for her generosity in providing a copy of this fascinating paper.

3. Ibid., 17. The entomologist Chou Io is less forgiving. “From this presentation [of Jia’s activities],” he writes, “one can see how the luxurious rulers in feudal society treated the fate of the nation and people.” Chou, A History of Chinese Entomology, trans. Wang Siming (Xi’an, China: Tianze Press, 1990), 177.

4. Isolated descriptions of insect life, often poetic, can be found much earlier, in, for example, the Er-ya (ca. 500–200 B.C., a work that likely predates Aristotle’s Historia animalium as the world’s first taxonomic natural history. For a detailed history of Chinese insect knowledge, see Chou, History of Chinese Entomology. For historical accounts of crickets in Chinese culture, see Liu Xinyuan, “Amusing the Emperor: The Discovery of Xuande Period Cricket Jars from the Ming Imperial Kilns,” Orientations 26, no. 8 (1995): 62–77; Yin-Ch’i Hsu, “Crickets in China,” Bulletin of the Peking Society of Natural History 111, pt. 1 (1928–29): 5–41; Berthold Laufer, Insect-Musicians and Cricket Champions of China (Chicago: Field Museum of Natural History, 1927), reprinted in Lisa Gail Ryan, ed., Insect Musicians and Cricket Champions: A Cultural History of Singing Insects in China and Japan (San Francisco: China Books and Periodicals, 1996); Jin Xingbao, “Chinese Cricket Culture,” Cultural Entomology Digest 3 (November 1994),; and Hsiung, “From Singing Bird to Fighting Bug.”

5. Hsiung, “From Singing Bird to Fighting Bug,” 17.

6. Liu, “Amusing the Emperor.”

7. Pu Songling, “The Cricket,” in Strange Tales from Make-Do Studio, trans. Denis C. Mair and Victor H. Mair (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 2001), 175–87. For the ethnohistorical background to Pu’s story, see Liu, “Amusing the Emperor,” 62–65.

8. Seventy-two is a widely cited total, perhaps because it is both a significant number in popular Taoism and the number of Earthly Warriors in Water Margin (also known as Outlaws of the Marsh), a work first published in the sixteenth century and considered one of the four great classical novels of Chinese literature.

9. Jin Xingbao and Liu Xianwei, Qan jian min cun de xuan yan han guang shang [Common Singing Insects: Selection, Care, and Appreciation] (Shanghai, China: Shanghai Science and Technology Press, 1996), 114. Thomas J. Walker and Sinzo Masaki make the same point but identify different species. They write, “Even though more than 60 varieties of fighters are recognized in Chinese cricket manuals, all belong to four species (Velarifictorus aspersus, Teleogryllus testaceus, T. mitratus, and Gryllus bimaculatus).” Walker and Masaki, “Natural History,” in Cricket Behavior and Neurobiology, ed. Franz Huber, Thomas E. Moore, and Werner Loher (Ithaca, N.Y.: Comstock/Cornell University Press, 1990), 40. There is a significant scientific literature on aggression among male crickets, although I’m not aware of studies on the relevant species. See, for example, Kevin A. Dixon and William H. Cade, “Some Factors Influencing Male-Male Aggression in the Field Cricket Gryllus integer (Time of Day, Age, Weight and Sexual Maturity),” Animal Behavior 34 (1986): 340–46, which finds that aggression is more marked among sexually mature individuals, and L. W. Simmons, “Inter-Male Competition and Mating Success in the Field-Cricket, Gryllus bimaculatus (de Geer),” Animal Behavior 34 (1986): 567-69, which concludes, rather interestingly, that “individual competitive ability was determined by … an individual’s past experience of winning (‘confidence’).”

10. An authoritative list of these variables can be found at (, a cricket-lovers’ site organized by Dr. Li Shijun. See also the “Song for the Selection of Northern Crickets” in Wu Hua, Chong qu [Insect Delights] (Shanghai, China: Xue Ling, 2004), 168.

11. Xu Xiaomin, “Cricket Matches—Chinese Style,” Shanghai Star, September 4, 2003. Three hundred million yuan equals about U.S. $44 million at the 2009 rate of one yuan equaling fifteen cents.

12. Li Shijun, “Secrets of Cricket-Fighting,” Xinmin Evening News (Shanghai), September 25, 2005.

13. Wu, Chong qu, 165.

14. On migrant labor in Chinese cities, see Dorothy J. Solinger, Contesting Citizenship in Urban China: Peasant Migrants, the State, and the Logic of the Market (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999), and Li Zhang, “Migration and Privatization of Space and Power in Late Socialist China,” American Ethnologist 28, no. 1 (2001): 179–205. Projected revisions to the hukou household registration system are not slated to include Shanghai at this time.

15. On head shaking, see James Farrer, Opening Up: Youth Sex Culture and Market Reform in Shanghai (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002), 311–12.

16. Li Shijun, Zhongguo dou xi jian shang [An Appreciation of Chinese Cricket Fighting] (Shanghai, China: Shanghai Science and Technology Press, 2001); Li Shijun, Zhonghua xishuai wushi bu xuan [Fifty Taboos of Cricket Collecting] (Shanghai, China: Shanghai Science and Technology Press, 2002); Li Shijun, Nan pen kuan tan [Pots of the South] (Shanghai, China: Shanghai Science and Technology Press, 2003); Li Shijun, Min jien cuan shi: shang pin xishuai 108 pin [An Anthology of Lore of One Hundred and Eight Excellent Crickets] (Hong Kong: Wenhui, 2008).

17. Li Jun, “Anthropologist Studying Human–Insect Relations, U.S. Professor Wants to Publish a Book on Crickets,” Shanghai Evening Post, September 30, 2005.

18. For a useful introduction to ideas of nature in China, see Yi-Fu Tuan, “Discrepancies between Environmental Attitude and Behaviour: Examples from Europe and China,” Canadian Geographer 12, no. 3 (1968): 176–91. My thanks to Janet Sturgeon for pointing me to this article.

19. See Ackbar Abbas, “Play It Again Shanghai: Urban Preservation in the Global Era,” in Shanghai Reflections: Architecture, Urbanism and the Search for an Alternative Modernity, ed. Mario Gandelsonas (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2002), 37–55; and Abbas, “Cosmopolitan De-scriptions: Shanghai and Hong Kong,” Public Culture 12, no. 3 (2000): 769–86. See also Andrew Ross, Fast Boat to China: Corporate Flight and the Consequences of Free Trade; Lessons from Shanghai (New York: Pantheon, 2006).

20. Li Shijun, “Secrets of Cricket-Fighting.”

21. Li Shijun, Fifty Taboos of Cricket Collecting, 84.

22. Wu, Chong qu, 247–51.

23. I have taken this version of “The Seventh Month” from Liu, “Amusing the Emperor,” 63; the original source is Chen Huan, Shijing maoshizhuan shu [Mao’s Edition of The Book of Songs] (Shanghai, China: 1934), 10, 76. Discussions also appear in Hsiung, “From Singing Bird to Fighting Bug,” 7–9, and Jin, “Chinese Cricket Culture.”

24. Simmons, “Inter-Male Competition,” 578.

Heads and How to Use Them

1. Nicholas Wade, “Flyweights, Yes, but Fighters Nonetheless: Fruit Flies Bred for Aggressiveness,” New York Times, October 10, 2006; Herman A. Dierick and Ralph J. Greenspan, “Molecular Analysis of Flies Selected for Aggressive Behavior,” Nature Genetics 38, no. 9 (September 2006): 1023–31. See also Ralph J. Greenspan and Herman A. Dierick, “‘Am Not I a Fly Like Thee?’ From Genes in Fruit Flies to Behavior in Humans,” Human Molecular Genetics 13, no. 2 (2004): R267–R273.

2. Wade, “Flyweights.”

3. Robert E. Kohler, Lords of the Fly: Drosophila Genetics and the Experimental Life (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), 23.

4. Anita Guerrini describes Louis Pasteur using animals “as his test tubes.” “Thereafter,” she writes, “bacteriological and immunological research became inextricably linked to the use of animals as culture media.” Guerrini, Experimenting with Humans and Animals: From Galen to Animal Rights (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), 98.

5. Kohler, Lords of the Fly, 53.

6. Thomas Hunt Morgan, quoted ibid., 73.

7. Ibid., 67.

8. On this, see Rebecca M. Herzig, Suffering for Science: Reason and Sacrifice in Modern America (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2005). The Haldane quote is from a letter to L. C. Dunn, October 19, 1932, cited in Kohler, Lords of the Fly, 80.

9. Erica Fudge, Animal (London: Reaktion Books, 2002). My thanks also to Danny Solomon at UC Santa Cruz for interesting conversations on this question.

10. Greenspan and Dierick, “‘Am Not I a Fly Like Thee?,’” R267.

11. Elias Canetti, Crowds and Power, trans. Carol Stewart (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1962), 205. My thanks to Dejan Lukic for pointing me to this passage.

12. Annemarie Mol, The Body Multiple: Ontology in Medical Practice (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2003), 126.

The Ineffable

1. Joris Hoefnagel, The Four Elements, vol. 1, Animalia rationalia et insecta (Ignis), watercolor and gouache on vellum, 1582, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. For this chapter, I have drawn extensively on the work of Lee Hendrix, curator of drawings at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and authority on Joris Hoefnagel, particularly her excellent “Of Hirsutes and Insects: Joris Hoefnagel and the Art of the Wondrous,” Word and Image 11, no. 4 (1995): 373–90. In addition, see Lee Hendrix, “Joris Hoefnagel and The Four Elements: A Study in Sixteenth-Century Nature Painting” (Ph.D. diss., Princeton University, 1984), and, with Thea Vignau-Wilberg, Mira calligraphiae monumenta: A Sixteenth-Century Calligraphic Manuscript Inscribed by Georg Bocskay and Illuminated by Joris Hoefnagel (Malibu, Calif.: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1992). See also the helpful contextualizing discussion of Hoefnagel and his son Jacob in Thea Vignau-Wilberg, Archetypa studiaque patris Georgii Hoefnagelii, 1592: Nature, Poetry and Science in Art around 1600 (Munich, Germany: Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, 1994).

2. Thomas Moffett quoted in Vignau-Wilberg, “Excursus: Insects,” in Archetypa, 42n14. Moffett’s volume is compiled from the entomological notes of the Swiss naturalist Conrad Gesner, as well as from work by the Londoners Thomas Penny and Edward Wotton. See Edward Topsell, The History of Four-Footed Beasts and Serpents and Insects, vol. 3, The Theatre of Insects by T. Moffett (London, 1658; repr., New York: Da Capo Press, 1967). Gesner had planned the sixth and final volume of his Historiae animalium to cover the insects but managed to complete only a short section on scorpions before he died in 1565. On Moffett, see Frances Dawbarn, “New Light on Dr Thomas Moffet: The Triple Roles of an Early Modern Physician, Client, and Patronage Broker,” Medical History 47, no. 1 (2003): 3–22.

3. Topsell, “Epistle Dedicatory,” in Theater of Insects, 6. Moffett is quoting Psalms 92:5 “How great are Thy works, oh Lord!” My thanks to Abigail Winograd for making this connection.

4. Max Beier, “The Early Naturalists and Anatomists during the Renaissance and Seventeenth Century,” in History of Entomology, ed. Ray F. Smith, Thomas E. Mittler, and Carroll N. Smith (Palo Alto, Calif.: Annual Reviews, 1973), 81–94. For a fascinating extended discussion of Aldrovandi, see Paula Findlen, Possessing Nature: Museums, Collecting, and Scientific Culture in Early Modern Italy(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994); in relation to the study of insects specifically, see Vignau-Wilberg, “Excursus: Insects.”

5. Hendrix, “Of Hirsutes and Insects,” 382.

6. Vignau-Wilberg, “Excursus: Insects,” 39. And see, for comparison, the similar but far more ancient East Asian preoccupation with miniaturization explored in Rolf A. Stein, The World in Miniature: Container Gardens and Dwellings in Far Eastern Religious Thought, trans. Phyllis Brooks (Palo Alto, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1990); see also François Jullien, The Propensity of Things: Toward a History of Efficacy in China, trans. Janet Lloyd (New York: Zone Books, 1995), esp. 94–98.

7. See R.J.W. Evans, Rudolf II and His World: A Study in Intellectual History, 1576–1612 (London: Thames and Hudson, 1973), and Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann, The School of Prague: Painting at the Court of Rudolf II (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988).

8. Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann, The Mastery of Nature: Aspects of Art, Science, and Humanism in the Renaissance (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1993), 48 (emphasis added).

9. In this sense, Hoefnagel can be regarded as an eirenist. See ibid., 92–93.

10. For an account of the ways in which epistemologies that appear contradictory to modern understandings could productively coexist in late-sixteenth-century scholarship, see Stephen J. Greenblatt’s insightful discussion of John Dee in Sir Walter Ralegh: The Renaissance Man and His Roles (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1973). Also, famously, Frances A. Yates, Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1991); Yates, The Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan Age (London: Routledge, 2001); and Anthony Grafton, Cardano’s Cosmos: The Worlds and Works of a Renaissance Astrologer (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999).

11. Evans, Rudolf II and His World, 248 (emphasis removed).

12. Francis Bacon, Sylva sylvarum, or A Naturall History in Ten Centuries (London, 1627), century 7, 143. Mary Poovey has convincingly argued that Bacon’s empirical “revolution” was more a question of style than substance, though no less effective for that. Poovey, A History of the Modern Fact: Problems of Knowledge in the Sciences of Wealth and Society (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), 10–11.

13. Lorraine Daston, “Attention and the Values of Nature in the Enlightenment,” in The Moral Authority of Nature, ed. Lorraine Daston and Fernando Vidal (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004), 100–126. For a discussion of wonder in relation to the exploration of the Americas, see Stephen J. Greenblatt, Marvelous Possessions: The Wonder of the New World (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991). For an account of an Elizabethan England in which (un)natural events were conventionally understood in terms of portentous correspondences, see E.M.W. Tillyard, The Elizabethan World Picture (London: Chatto and Windus, 1943), and the early chapters of Keith Thomas, Man and the Natural World: A History of the Modern Sensibility (New York: Pantheon, 1983).

14. Topsell, “Epistle Dedicatory,” 3.

15. Lorraine Daston and Katharine Park, Wonders and the Order of Nature, 1150–1750 (New York: Zone Books, 1998), 14.

16. Daston and Park, Wonders, 167. And, among others, Oliver Impey and Arthur MacGregor, eds., The Origins of Museums: The Cabinet of Curiosities in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Europe (New York: Clarendon Press, 1985); Pamela H. Smith and Paula Findlen, eds., Merchants and Marvels: Commerce, Science, and Art in Early Modern Europe (New York: Routledge, 2002); and Findlen, Possessing Nature.

17. Though, as the precision of Hoefnagel’s attention to morphology makes evident, it would be a mistake to imagine this break as one between new science and old superstition. For a brief and effective introduction to recent scholarship on this question, see Steven Shapin, The Scientific Revolution (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996).

18. Such as: “In all natural things there is something of the marvellous.” Aristotle, Parts of Animals, trans. A. L. Peck, Loeb Classical Library 323 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1937), 645a.

19. See Edward Grant, “Aristotelianism and the Longevity of the Medieval World View,” History of Science 16 (1978): 93–106. We can extend this claim even to the alchemists, although as R.J.W. Evans makes clear, “their ‘Aristotle’ was a mystic sage.” Evans, Rudolf II and His World, 203n2.

20. John Scarborough, “On the History of Early Entomology, Chiefly Greek and Roman with a Preliminary Bibliography,” Melsheimer Entomological Series 26 (1979): 17–27. Although there is no good analogue in contemporary systematics, the Aristotelian entomon resembled the modern Arthropoda phylum more closely than it did the class Insecta. As well as such anomalies as the worms, it included the modern insecta, arachnids, and myriapoda (centipedes and millipedes), although it excluded the crustaceans. For overviews, see Günter Morge, “Entomology in the Western World in Antiquity and in Medieval Times,” in Smith, Mittler, and Smith, History of Entomology, 37–80, and Harry B. Weiss, “The Entomology of Aristotle,” Journal of the New York Entomological Society 37 (1929): 101–9. See also Malcolm Davies and Jeyaraney Kathirithamby, Greek Insects (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 1986). The Linnaean shift to morphology exiled worms, spiders, scorpions, centipedes, millipedes, and others to different classes. For a detailed discussion of the taxonomic criteria at work in Aristotle and Linnaeus, see Scott Atran, Cognitive Foundations of Natural History: Towards an Anthropology of Science (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993).

21. Atran, Cognitive Foundations of Natural History, 38.

22. G.E.R. Lloyd, Science, Folklore and Ideology: Studies in the Life Sciences in Ancient Greece (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), 18.

23. I have drawn on Morge, “Entomology in the Western World,” for these examples.

24. In 1668, Francesco Redi carried out his famous series of experiments in which several flasks containing meat were prepared with various types of coverings. Maggots appeared only in those to which flies had access, a result that dealt a significant but not fatal blow to the theory of spontaneous generation. The question, in fact, stayed open long after the use of microscopes became widespread. It was only with Pasteur’s experiments of 1859 that the basis of the dispute shifted firmly from philosophy to experiment.

25. Kaufmann, Mastery of Nature, 42; Vignau-Wilberg, “Excursus: Insects,” 40–41.

26. Grant, “Aristotelianism,” 94–95.

27. Hendrix, “Of Hirsutes and Insects,” 380–82.

28. Quoted in ibid., 378; Job 14:1.

29. Michel de Montaigne, “Of Cannibals” (1578–80), in The Complete Works, trans. Donald M. Frame (New York: Everyman’s Library, 2003), 182–93.

30. Aldrovandi’s Monstrorum historia was published posthumously in 1642. See Hendrix, “Of Hirsutes and Insects,” 377. In this respect, the González family took its place in the history of exhibition and examination visited on all kinds of non-normative others transported to Europe in the colonial period. Effective accounts of well-known examples—of which there are many—include Londa Schiebinger’s discussion of Sara Baartman, the so-called Hottentot Venus, in Nature’s Body: Gender in the Making of Modern Science (Boston: Beacon Press, 1993), and Phillips Verner Bradford and Harvey Blume’s Ota Benga: The Pygmy in the Zoo (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1992).

31. Hendrix, “Of Hirsutes and Insects.”

32. Lee Hendrix, “The Writing Model Book,” in Hendrix and Vignau-Wilberg, Mira calligraphiae monumenta, 42.

33. Frazer distinguishes homoeopathic magic from contagious magic based on what he calls the law of contact, which works on substances—such as hair or nail clippings—drawn from the targeted body itself rather than its likeness. See James George Frazer, The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion (London: Macmillan, 1911), 3:55–119.

34. R.J.W. Evans explains this as follows: “The object of such a philosophy was not only to describe the hidden forces of nature but also to control them, since the initiate who understood their powers could also apply his knowledge. This pursuit was magic, yet—as its exponents never ceased explaining—the magic was ‘natural’ and not ‘black,’ for the inspiration which made it possible was divine not diabolical.” Evans, Rudolf II and His World, 197.

35. “It is no accident that the great conquering races of the world have done most to advance and spread civilization,” he wrote in a characteristic commentary. Frazer, Golden Bough, 3:118.

36. Frazer, Golden Bough, 3:55, 56.

37. Michael Taussig, My Cocaine Museum (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004), 80; Walter Benjamin, “On the Mimetic Faculty,” in Reflections: Essays, Aphorisms, Autobiographical Writings, ed. Peter Demetz, trans. Edmund Jephcott (New York: Schocken Books, 1986), 333–36.

38. Kaufmann, Mastery of Nature, 79–99. For a very different discussion of this painting, which situates it in the history of early-modern ideas of beetles, see Yves Cambefort, “A Sacred Insect on the Margins: Emblematic Beetles in the Renaissance,” in Insect Poetics, ed. Eric C. Brown (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006), 200–222.

39. Hendrix and Vignau-Wilberg, Mira calligraphiae monumenta.

40. Walter Benjamin, “Theses on the Philosophy of History,” in Illuminations: Essays and Reflections, ed. Hannah Arendt, trans. Harry Zohn (New York: Schocken Books, 1969), 253–64; and Benjamin, “One-Way Street,” in Reflections, 61–94.

41. Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” in Illuminations, 217–52.

42. Kaufmann, Mastery of Nature, 38–48.


1. Aharon Appelfeld, The Iron Tracks, trans. Jeffrey M. Green (New York: Schocken Books, 1998).

2. Heinrich Himmler, speech to SS officers, April 24, 1943, Kharkov, Ukraine, reprinted in U.S. Office of Chief of Counsel for the Prosecution of Axis Criminality, Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression(Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1946), 4:574.

3. In exile in Britain and the United States, Szyk worked tirelessly to publicize events in Europe. A friend of Vladimir Jabotinsky and, later, Peter Bergson (Hillel Kook), he put his work at the service of the Revisionists—whose movement was founded on the principle of a sovereign, undivided Jewish state—campaigning first for a Jewish army, then for open immigration to Palestine, and consistently on behalf of the paramilitary Irgun. See Stephen Luckert, The Art and Politics of Arthur Szyk (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2002), and Joseph P. Ansell, “Arthur Szyk’s Depiction of the ‘New Jew’: Art as a Weapon in the Campaign for an American Response to the Holocaust,” American Jewish History 89 (2001): 123–34.

4. Christopher R. Browning provides the rather remarkable statistic that over 50 percent of the people killed by the Nazis died in the eleven months between March 1942 and February 1943. Browning, Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland (New York: HarperCollins, 1992), xv. By the time the United States acceded to the pressure to acknowledge events across the Atlantic, the fate of European Jewry had been effectively settled.

5. Both of these images are discussed in Richard I. Cohen’s fascinating and comprehensive Jewish Icons: Art and Society in Modern Europe (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), 221–30. As Cohen points out, Nossig’s innovation was to take an image that was widely familiar at the time and imbue it with an utterly different sensibility.

6. Jacob Döpler, Theatrum poenarum (Sondershausen, Germany, 1693), and Jodocus Damhouder, Praxis rerum criminalium (Antwerp, 1562), quoted in E. P. Evans, The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals: The Lost History of Europe’s Animal Trials (1906; repr., Boston: Faber and Faber, 1987), 153 (emphasis added).

7. Boria Sax, Animals in the Third Reich: Pets, Scapegoats, and the Holocaust (New York: Continuum, 2000).

8. Alex Bein, “The Jewish Parasite: Notes on the Semantics of the Jewish Problem, with Special Reference to Germany,” Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook 9 (1964): 3–40. See also Michel Serres, The Parasite, trans. Lawrence R. Schehr (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007).

9. Bein, “Jewish Parasite,” 12.

10. Donna J. Haraway, When Species Meet (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007), 78.

11. Mahmood Mamdani, When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2002), 13. For this type of argument in relation to the Holocaust, see Marvin Perry and Frederick M. Schweitzer, Antisemitism: Myth and Hate from Antiquity to the Present (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002), 2–3, and Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996), 71.

12. Insectification such as this from a January 1994 article in the Hutu-power newspaper Kangura was a common feature of the Rwandan genocide. Quoted by Angeline Oyog, “Human Rights-Media: Voices of Hate Test Limits of Press Freedom,” Inter-Press Service, April 5, 1995, and cited in Mamdani, When Victims Become Killers, 212.

13. Shmuel Almog, “Alfred Nossig: A Reappraisal,” Journal of Israeli History: Politics, Society, Culture 4, no. 1 (1983):1.

14. The ZOB mainly targeted the notorious Jewish police. See Hanna Krall, Shielding the Flame: An Intimate Conversation with Dr. Marek Edelman, the Last Surviving Leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, trans. Joanna Stasinska and Lawrence Weschler (New York: Henry Holt, 1986), 50, and Vered Levy-Barzilai, “The Rebels among Us,” Haaretz Magazine, February 18, 2007, 18–22. Levy-Barzilai estimates that the ghetto underground liquidated thirty-three Jews. My thanks to Rotem Geva for drawing my attention to this source.

15. Cohen, Jewish Icons, 227.

16. Alfred Nossig, Próba˛ rozwia˛zania kwestii ˙zydowskiej [An Attempt to Solve the Jewish Question] (Lvov, Poland, 1887), quoted in Ezra Mendelsohn, “From Assimilation to Zionism in Lvov: The Case of Alfred Nossig,” Slavonic and East European Review 49, no. 117 (1971): 531.

17. The Warsaw Diary of Adam Czerniakow, ed. Raul Hilberg, Stanislaw Staron, and Josef Kermisz, trans. Stanislaw Staron and the staff of Yad Vashem (Chicago: Elephant/Ivan Dee in association with U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, 1999), 84.

18. Michael Zylberberg, “The Trial of Alfred Nossig: Traitor or Victim?” Wiener Library Bulletin 23 (1969): 44.

19. Arthur Ruppin, Memoirs, Diaries, Letters, ed. Alex Bein, trans. Karen Gershon (New York, Herzl Press, 1972), 74–76; Mitchell B. Hart, Social Science and the Politics of Modern Jewish Identity (Palo Alto, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2000), 33.

20. John M. Efron, “1911: Julius Preuss Publishes Biblisch-talmudische Medizin, Felix Theilhaber Publishes Der Untergang der deutschen Juden, and the International Hygiene Exhibition Takes Place in Dresden,” in Yale Companion to Jewish Writing and Thought in German Culture, 1096–1996, ed. Sander L. Gilman and Jack Zipes (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1997), 295.

21. Virchow was a distinguished political liberal and a founder of German anthropology. His conclusions cut against the grain of belief in the anthropological and pathological distinctiveness of the Jews and were received with general skepticism. See John M. Efron, Defenders of the Race: Jewish Doctors and Race Science in Fin-de-Siècle Europe (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1994), 24–26; George L. Mosse, Toward the Final Solution: A History of European Racism (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985), 90–93; and Benoit Massin, “From Virchow to Fischer: Physical Anthropology and ‘Modern Race Theories’ in Wilhelmine Germany,” in Volksgeist as Method and Ethic: Essays on Boasian Ethnography and the German Anthropological Tradition, ed. George W. Stocking, Jr. (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1996), 79–154.

22. Mitchell B. Hart, “Racial Science, Social Science, and the Politics of Jewish Assimilation,” Isis 90 (1999): 275–76. For a sustained discussion of degeneration as the narrative complement to evolutionary theorizing, see Daniel Pick, Faces of Degeneration: A European Disorder, c. 1848–c. 1918 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989).

23. For a concise account of the politics of this debate, see Robert Proctor, Racial Hygiene: Medicine under the Nazis (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1988), 30–38, who points out that antisemites considered Lamarckism a Jewish doctrine.

24. For the detailing of this point in relation to Germany, see Sheila Faith Weiss, “The Race Hygiene Movement in Germany,” Osiris 3 (1987): 193–226.

25. The point here is that the logics of nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century eugenics could not only bolster anti-militarist agendas (it is the breeding stock of strong young men that is lost in war) but could also underlie welfarist social agendas based on class. On this, see Robert A. Nye, “The Rise and Fall of the Eugenics Empire: Recent Perspectives on the Impact of Biomedical Thought in Modern Society,” Historical Journal 36 (1993): 687–700.

26. Alfred Nossig, Die Bilanz des Zionismus [The Balance Sheet of Zionism] (Basel, Switzerland: Verlag von B. Wepf, 1903), 21, quoted in Almog, “Alfred Nossig,” 9.

27. I am leaving aside here the complex history of shifting relations between German Jews and “eastern Jews,” in which the location of Jewish degeneracy moved gradually from the Ostjuden to the Diaspora more broadly and a Romantic critique of the psychopathologizing impact of modernity on the Jews of the West. For many Zionists, eastern Jews came to stand both as the expression of pathology (triply oppressed by antisemitism, poverty, and the Orthodox rabbinate) and, somewhat later, as the positive site of an authentic Judentum in contrast to the deethnicized modern Jews of western Europe. See Steven E. Aschheim’s groundbreaking Brothers and Strangers: The East European Jew in German and German-Jewish Consciousness, 1800–1923 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1982).

28. Though, of course, for many Jews—and not only the religious—statements such as Marx’s “The social emancipation of the Jew is the emancipation of society from Judaism” (“On the Jewish Question,” 1843) and Kautsky’s “The sooner … [Judaism] disappears, the better it will be, not only for society, but also for the Jews themselves” (Are the Jews a Race?, 1914) invite a form of extermination.

29. See Alfred Nossig, Zionismus und Judenheit: Krisis und Lösung [Zionism and Jewry: Crisis and Solution] (Berlin: Interterritorialer Verlag “Renaissance,” 1922), 17.

30. See Israel Kolatt, “The Zionist Movement and the Arabs,” in Zionism and the Arabs: Essays, ed. Shmuel Almog (Jerusalem: Historical Society of Israel, 1983), 1–34.

31. Almog, “Alfred Nossig,” 22. Presumably, this offer was made under the Ha’avara (Transfer) Agreement, by which 60,000 Jews were able to leave Germany from November 1933 until December 1939 (that is, soon after the SS took direct control of Jewish “emigration”). The agreement permitted the transfer of part of the value of emigrants’ possessions to the Jewish Agency in Palestine in the form of German goods worth an allegedly equivalent amount.

32. Marek Edelman, “The Ghetto Fights,” in The Warsaw Ghetto: The 45th Anniversary of the Uprising, ed. Tomasz Szarota (Warsaw, Poland: Interpress, n.d.), 39.

33. Krall, Shielding the Flame, 15. The publication of Edelman’s memoir, in 1977, was an important moment in the Polish reassessment of the Holocaust. The book sold out its initial print run of 10,000 copies in just a few days, and Edelman, who went on to become an activist in Solidarity, found himself a reluctant celebrity.

34. I take the image and its connection to Edelman from Paul Julian Weindling’s magisterial Epidemics and Genocide in Eastern Europe, 1890–1945 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 3. It was Weindling who convinced me that if Himmler’s conflation of Jews and lice was a commonplace among Nazi leaders, it was also both the index to a specific set of regional histories and a recognizable code that summarized a concrete array of racial policies and practices.

35. Alfred Nossig, Die Sozialhygiene der Juden und des altorientalischen Völkerkreises [Social Hygiene of the Jews and Ancient Oriental Peoples] (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1894); Alfred Ploetz, Die Tüchtigkeit unserer Rasse und der Schutz der Schwachen: Ein Versuch über die Rassenhygiene und ihr Verhältnis zu den humanen Idealen, besonders zum Sozialismus [The Efficiency of Our Race and the Protection of the Weak: An Essay Concerning Racial Hygiene and Its Relationship to Humanitarian Ideals, in Particular to Socialism] (Berlin: S. Fischer, 1895). The phrase is from Procter, Racial Hygiene, 15. I do not want to flatten the politics of German racial hygiene by suggesting that it was a straightforwardly racist project from the outset. As all scholars of the period are at pains to make clear, eugenics was sufficiently flexible to appeal to thinkers across the political spectrum. The German variant was initially a more or less conventional eugenics movement that paralleled contemporary tendencies elsewhere in Europe in its concern with “improving” the population in general; that is, it emphasized the human race ahead of specific races. In those early years, the implications of such politics for gender (via reproduction) were more significant than they were for specific racial groups. Nonetheless, in Germany, as in Britain, there was quite clearly a subjugated Nordic tendency—both institutionally organized and theoretically emergent—present in these earliest expressions. Moreover, where Nossig emphasized the positive role of the state in improving health care, Ploetz proposed negative policy logics, such as the withdrawal of medical support from the weak and otherwise undesirable. By 1918, the German race-hygiene movement had been captured by the conservative nationalists who would staff the Nazi medical hierarchy. For thorough accounts, see Götz Aly, Peter Chroust, and Christian Pross, Cleansing the Fatherland: Nazi Medicine and Racial Hygiene, trans. Belinda Cooper (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994); Proctor, Racial Hygiene; Paul Julian Weindling, Health, Race, and German Politics between National Unification and Nazism, 1870–1945 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989); Sheila Faith Weiss, “The Race Hygiene Movement”; and Sheila Faith Weiss, Race Hygiene and National Efficiency: The Eugenics of Wilhelm Schallmayer (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987); in relation to German anthropology, see Robert Proctor, “From Anthropologie to Rassenkunde in the German Anthropological Tradition,” in Bones, Bodies and Behavior: Essays in Behavioral Anthropology, ed. George W. Stocking, Jr. (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1990); and Massin, “From Virchow to Fischer.”

36. Many of these details are now widely available despite the increasing currency of Holocaust denial and revision. See, for example, Uwe Dietrich Adam, “The Gas Chambers,” in Unanswered Questions: Nazi Germany and the Genocide of the Jews, ed. François Furet (New York: Schocken Books, 1989), 134–54; and Weindling, Epidemics and Genocide, 301–3. Of the six Nazi death camps, only Auschwitz and Majdanek—which accounted for approximately 20 percent of the Jewish deaths in the Holocaust—used Zyklon B. In the other four camps, prisoners were gassed with carbon monoxide.

37. See Etienne Balibar, “Is There a ‘Neo-Racism?’,” trans. Chris Turner, in Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities, ed. Etienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein (New York: Verso, 1991), 28n8; see also Zygmunt Bauman, “Allosemitism: Premodern, Modern, Postmodern,” in Modernity, Culture, and “the Jew,” eds. Bryan Cheyette and Lyn Marcus (Palo Alto, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1998).

38. The principal source for this material is Weindling’s exhaustive Epidemics and Genocide, on which I have drawn extensively for the remainder of this section.

39. Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Assassins of Memory: Essays on the Denial of the Holocaust, trans. Jeffrey Mehlman (New York: Columbia University Press, 1992), 13; Richard Breitman, The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and the Final Solution (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991), 6.

40. A notion resurrected by Hitler in Mein Kampf; see Sander L. Gilman, The Jew’s Body (New York: Routledge, 1991), 221.

41. Hans Zinsser, Rats, Lice and History: Being a Study in Biography, Which, after Twelve Preliminary Chapters Indispensible for the Preparation of the Lay Reader, Deals with the Life History of Typhus Fever (Boston: Atlantic Monthly Press/Little, Brown, 1935); Weindling, Epidemics and Genocide, 8.

42. Perhaps drawing on the example of the reconcentrado system established by Spain in Cuba in 1896, “concentration camps” became a notable feature of colonial rule in southern Africa. Surpassing Kitchener’s camps for Boer civilians, from which the name originated, the most notorious example was German: the camps established for the Herero in 1906 and abolished in 1908 under pressure from liberal church groups and the Social Democrats in Berlin. A concise account is provided by Tilman Dedering, who is careful—and I think correct—to distinguish between these slave-labor camps and the extermination camps of the Nazis, instead pointing to links between the genocidal actions of the Schutztruppe in Namibia (German Southwest Africa) in 1904–6 and those of the Einsatzgruppen on the eastern front during the 1940s. Dedering, “‘A Certain Rigorous Treatment of All Parts of the Nation’: The Annihilation of the Herero in German South West Africa, 1904,” in The Massacre in History, ed. Mark Levene and Penny Roberts (New York: Berghahn Books, 1999), 204–22. Nonetheless, the fondness of the infamous general Lothar von Trotha for the word extermination (Vernichtung) in regard to the Herero echoes the term’s increasing vernacular currency through the popularization of Koch’s applied biology and thickens the connections that tie Europe and Africa as sites of German genocide. For a detailed history of the Herero, see Jan-Bart Gewald, Herero Heroes: A Socio-political History of the Herero of Namibia 1890–1923 (Oxford, U.K.: James Currey, 1999). For a similar argument that emphasizes the colonial sites of genocidal practice as a corrective to work that threatens to dehistoricize the Shoah by insisting on its sui generis European genesis, see Paul Gilroy, “Not Being Inhuman,” afterword to Modernity, Culture, and “the Jew,” ed. Bryan Cheyette and Laura Marcus (Palo Alto, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1998), 282–97.

43. Weindling, Epidemics and Genocide, 19–30.

44. See Howard Markel, Quarantine! East European Jewish Immigrants and the New York City Epidemics of 1892 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997).

45. One example of this concern was the German campaign—in which modernizing Jewish doctors also participated—against the mikvah, the Jewish ritual bath. See Weindling, Epidemics and Genocide, 42–43. Later, however, we see this discourse shift and an emphasis placed on the vulnerability of Germans to contagion and the innate resistance of “eastern peoples,” who, so the argument went, had grown up in the midst of disease.

46. Weindling, Epidemics and Genocide, 63–65.

47. Zinsser, Rats, Lice and History, 297.

48. Weindling, Epidemics and Genocide, 81–82.

49. Ibid., 102.

50. This reaction was not limited to Germany. The Aliens Restriction Act passed in Britain in 1919 allowed inspection and “decontamination” of arrivals. Winston Churchill’s florid characterization of Soviet Russia in a 1920 speech justifying support for the Whites in the civil war offers something of the flavor of the times: anti-Bolsheviks were defending Europe against “a poisoned Russia, an infected Russia, a plague-bearing Russia, a Russia of armed hordes smiting not only with bayonets and with cannon, but accompanied and preceded by the swarms of typhus-bearing vermin which slay the bodies of men, and political doctrines which destroy the health and even the souls of nations.” Weindling, Epidemics and Genocide, 130; Churchill quoted ibid, 149.

51. Zinsser, Rats, Lice and History, 299. Weindling makes the important observation that the catastrophic Russian epidemic and famine served as a vast experimental station for German tropical specialists recently deprived of colonial medical subjects. Weindling, Epidemics and Genocide, 177–78.

52. The Warsaw Diary of Adam Czerniakow, 226, 228, 236.

53. Almog, “Alfred Nossig,” 22–24.

54. The Warsaw Diary of Adam Czerniakow, 103, 104, 226.

55. From the diary of Jonas Turkow, quoted in Zylberberg, “Trials of Alfred Nossig,” 44.


1. See David L. Wagner, Caterpillars of Eastern North America: A Guide to Identification and Natural History (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2005).

2. Roberto Bolaño, 2666, trans. Natasha Wimmer (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008), 713.

3. Daniel Janzen quoted in Andy Newman, “Quick, Before It Molts,” New York Times, August 8, 2006.

4. Jules Michelet, The Insect, trans. W. H. Davenport Adams (London: T. Nelson and Sons, 1883), 111, 112. My thanks to Hylon White for introducing me to Michelet’s wonderful book.

5. Ibid., 111.

6. Ibid., 112.

7. In this and the next two paragraphs, I draw heavily on Lionel Gossman’s excellent “Michelet and Natural History: The Alibi of Nature,” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 145, no. 3 (2001): 283–333.

8. Gossman convincingly argues that financial difficulties led to Michelet’s shift from history to the more popular natural history. Encouraged by his young second wife, Athénais Mialaret, Michelet authored a series of best-selling natural history titles, including L’insecte. The character of their collaboration is not fully clear. In Gossman’s reading, it was tense and competitive with Michelet consistently asserting the upper hand and the ultimate contribution of Mialaret—who would go on after her husband’s death to achieve a literary reputation of her own—reduced largely to that of a researcher.

9. Letter to Eugene Noël, October 17, 1853, quoted in Gossman, “Michelet and Natural History,” 289.

10. Ibid., 114.

11. Londa Schiebinger, Plants and Empire: Colonial Bioprospecting in the Atlantic World (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2004), 30. Having attracted considerable attention over the past few years, Maria Sibylla Merian is fast becoming the Frida Kahlo of natural history. Of the several useful accounts, I have drawn most heavily on Natalie Zemon Davis, Women on the Margins: Three Seventeenth-Century Lives (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1995). See also Kim Todd, Chrysalis: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis (New York: Harcourt, 2007).

12. Maria Sibylla Merian, “Ad lectorum,” in Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium (Amsterdam: Gerard Valck, 1705), quoted in Davis, Women on the Margins, 144.

13. See “The Lady Who Loved Worms,” in Translations from Early Japanese Literature, ed. Edwin O. Reischauer and Joseph K. Yamagiwa (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1951), 186–95.

14. Charlotte Jacob-Hanson, “Maria Sibylla Merian: Artist-Naturalist,” Magazine Antiques, August 1, 2000, 174–83.

15. Victoria Schmidt-Linsenhoff, “Metamorphosis of Perspective: ‘Merian’ as a Subject of Feminist Discourse,” in Maria Sibylla Merian: Artist and Naturalist, 1647–1717, ed. Kurt Wettengl, trans. John S. Southard (Ostfildern-Ruit, Germany: Hatje, 1998), 214.

16. Michelet, Insect, 361.

17. My thanks to Edward Kamens for a discussion of this point. See also Michele Marra, The Aesthetics of Discontent: Politics and Reclusion in Medieval Japanese Literaure (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1991), 66.

18. Robert L. Backus, trans., The Riverside Counselor’s Stories: Vernacular Fiction of Late Heian Japan (Palo Alto, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1985), 53. I have incorporated Haruo Shirane’s amendment into Backus’s translation; see his review of The Riverside Counselor’s Stories in the Journal of Japanese Studies 13, no. 1 (1987): 165–68.

19. Maria Sibylla Merian, Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium, quoted in Schmidt-Lisenhoff, “Metamorphosis of Perspective,” 218.

20. Franz Kafka, “A Report to the Academy,” in The Transformation and Other Stories, trans. Malcolm Pasley (London: Penguin, 1992), 187, 190.


1. The quotation can be found in James L. Gould’s Ethology: The Mechanisms and Evolution of Behavior (New York: W. W. Norton, 1982), 4. Without writing directly on von Frisch, Eileen Crist has also drawn attention to this rhetorical and epistemological shift from natural history to classical ethology. My reading of von Frisch locates him as something of a transitional figure in her schema between Jean-Henri Fabre (writing in what Crist calls the Verstehen tradition of animal studies, a hermeneutic ethology) and the new objectivism of Lorenz and Tinbergen. See Crist, “Naturalists’ Portrayals of Animal Life: Engaging the Verstehen Approach,” Social Studies of Science 26, no. 4 (1996): 799–838; and Christ, “The Ethological Constitution of Animals as Natural Objects: The Technical Writings of Konrad Lorenz and Nikolaas Tinbergen,” Biology and Philosophy 13, no. 1 (1998): 61–102.

2. An argument first elaborated by Darwin himself in The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871) and The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872). For a useful discussion, see Carl N. Degler, In Search of Human Nature: The Decline and Revival of Darwinism in American Social Thought (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 1991).

3. On Clever Hans, see Vicki Hearne, Adam’s Task: Calling Animals by Name (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1986). In regard to the impact of this episode on ethology, “the analysis of learning was limited to simple S-R (stimulus-response) associations; hypothesizing the existence of higher-level cognitive activities in animals was scrupulously avoided … until the 1960s and 1970s.” James L. Gould and Carol Grant Gould, The Honey Bee (New York: Scientific American, 1988), 216.

4. Karl von Frisch, A Biologist Remembers, trans. Lisbeth Gombrich (Oxford, U.K.: Pergamon Press, 1967), 149.

5. Ibid.

6. On this, see Ute Deichmann, Biologists under Hitler, trans. Thomas Dunlap (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1996), 10–58.

7. Von Frisch, A Biologist Remembers, 71.

8. Ibid., 57.

9. Ibid., 72–73.

10. James L. Gould and Carol Grant Gould, Honey Bee, 58.

11. In his monumental history of the early ethologists, Richard Burkhardt quotes a passage from von Frisch’s Du und das Leben (You and Life), a popular biology text published in 1938 in a series sponsored by Goebbels. Burkhardt writes that von Frisch “concluded the book with a section on race hygiene, voicing there the familiar warning that the relaxation of natural selection in higher cultures was leading to the perpetuation of variations that in the wild would have been ‘mercilessly weeded out.’ … This amounted in effect, he said, to an ‘encouragement of the inferior,’ or, as he put it more bluntly, ‘A tub of lard or a blind man finds his table as well set as any other person.’” Richard W. Burkhardt, Jr., Patterns of Behavior: Konrad Lorenz, Niko Tinbergen, and the Founding of Ethology (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005), 248.

12. Von Frisch, A Biologist Remembers, 129–30; Deichmann, Biologists under Hitler, 45–46.

13. Von Frisch, A Biologist Remembers, 25.

14. Ibid., 141. See also von Frisch, The Dance Language and Orientation of Bees, trans. Leigh E. Chadwick (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1993), 4–5.

15. Terrence W. Deacon, The Symbolic Species: The Co-evolution of Language and the Brain (New York: W. W. Norton, 1997), 71. Deacon provides an extended gloss on the linguistics of Charles Sanders Peirce. Although Deacon prefers to reserve symbolic reference for humans, it seems clear that the bee dances meet the particular criteria that he outlines at this point.

16. Donald R. Griffin, Animal Minds: Beyond Cognition to Consciousness, rev. edition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001), 190. The following account of bee “language” is drawn from a number of sources in addition to Griffin’s excellent synthesis. These include three works by von Frisch: The Dancing Bees: An Account of the Life and Senses of the Honey Bee, trans. Dora Isle and Norman Walker (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1966); Bees: Their Vision, Chemical Senses, and Language (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1950); and Dance Language. See also Thomas D. Seeley’s excellent foreword to Dance Language; Martin Lindauer, Communication among Social Bees (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1961); Axel Michelson, Bent Bach Andersen, Jesper Storm, Wolfgang H. Kirchner, and Martin Lindauer, “How Honeybees Perceive Communication Dances, Studied by Means of a Mechanical Model,” Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 30 (1992): 143–50; Thomas D. Seeley, The Wisdom of the Hive: The Social Physiology of Honey Bee Colonies (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1995); and James L. Gould and Carol Grant Gould, Honey Bee.

17. Von Frisch, Dance Language, 57.

18. Thomas Seeley suggests that it makes more sense to refer to all dances as waggle dances. Thomas D. Seeley, foreword to Dance Language, xiii.

19. Von Frisch, Dance Language, 57.

20. See, for example, Axel Michelson, William F. Towne, Wolfgang H. Kirchner, and Per Kryger, “The Acoustic Near Field of a Dancing Honeybee,” Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology 161 (1987): 633–43. Bee communication has actually turned out to be considerably more complex than even von Frisch imagined. In addition to this acoustical signaling, of which he was not aware, it now seems that the waggle dances are not internally consistent. When honeybees are dancing for a food source that is closer than about one mile, both the number of waggles and the direction of the straight run in each cycle show significant variation. Followers deal with this by staying with the dancer for multiple cycles, rapidly calculating a mean before flying off to the food source. James L. Gould and Carol Grant Gould, Honey Bee, 61–62.

21. Von Frisch, A Biologist Remembers, 150.

22. Von Frisch, Dance Language, 132, fig. 114. Von Frisch illustrates the behavior with this figure:

23. Lindauer, Communication among Social Bees, 87–111, summarizes this material.

24. I am not reviewing here the many variations that researchers have patiently documented. Lindauer (ibid., 94–96), for example, reveals that bees will compensate for side winds by altering the angle of flight, but on returning to the hive, they will indicate the optimal direction, not the actual route taken.

25. But see Christoph Grüter, M. Sol Balbuena, and Walter M. Farina, “Informational Conflicts Created by the Waggle Dance,” Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 275 (2008): 1321–27, an important paper that reports on research suggesting that the vast majority of bees observing dances do not act on the information performed, preferring instead to return to familiar rather than new sources of food. Although the authors note that bees will switch contextually between “social information” (that is, from the dance) and “private information” (that is, about an already visited plot), they propose that dance data are most often acted on by bees who have been inactive for a while or are new to foraging. In what has become a familiar but revealing trope in insect studies more generally, they conclude that further research “will most certainly reveal that the waggle dance modulates collective foraging in more complex ways than is currently assumed.”

26. These findings are among those vigorously challenged by Adrian Wenner and his collaborators, who for decades—though ultimately unsuccessfully—argued that von Frisch’s claims were groundless. The controversy has generated a large literature. For a very useful account, see Tania Munz, “The Bee Battles: Karl von Frisch, Adrian Wenner and the Honey Bee Dance Language Controversy,” Journal of the History of Biology 38, no. 3 (2005): 535–70.

27. Von Frisch, Dance Language, 109–29.

28. Ibid., 27.

29. Von Frisch, Bees, 85.

30. Von Frisch, Dance Language, 32, 37ff. Von Frisch’s bees even “give it up on the dance floor” (265), though it’s only fair to point out that—even though this is the 1970s—he’s talking here about water, not the spirit of disco.

31. Ibid., 133, 136.

32. Martin Lindauer, interview by Thomas D. Seeley, S. Kühnholz, and Robin H. Seeley, “An Early Chapter in Behavioral Physiology and Sociobiology: The Science of Martin Lindauer,” Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology 188 (2002): 441–42, 446.

33. Lindauer, ibid., 445.

34. Von Frisch, Dancing Bees, 1.

35. Ibid., 41.

36. Thomas D. Seeley, Wisdom of the Hive, 240–4.

37. Lindauer, Communication among Social Bees, 16–21.

38. This, of course, is also the narrative for the robotic assembly-line hive that appears in so many variants of social theory, for example, Marx’s famous fable of the architect: “What distinguishes the worst architect from the best of bees is this, that the architect raises his structure in imagination before he erects it in reality.” Karl Marx, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, trans. Samuel Moore and Edward Aveling (Chicago: Charles H. Kerr, 1921), 1:198. (My thanks to Don Moore for reminding me of this one.) There are only two clear examples of competition within the hive that I know of, both of which are of direct functional value to the colony. The first is the eviction of the drones, which I describe below; the second is the regulated fight for dominance among emerging queens after the nest has fissioned.

39. Klaus Schlüpmann, “Fehlanzeige des Regimes in der Fachpresse?” [Negative Reports of the Regime in Specialist Publications] in Vergangenheit im Blickfeld eines Physikers: Hans Kopfermann 1895–1963 [History from the Viewpoint of a Physicist: Hans Kopfermann 1895–1963], Aleph 99 Productions, September 20, 2002.

40. Quoted in Deichmann, Biologists under Hitler, 43. I have taken my account of this episode from Deichmann’s more detailed narrative, esp. 40–48. For additional material on von Frisch’s conduct during the Nazi period and particularly his willingness to act in support of dismissed colleagues, see Ernst-August Seyfarth and Henryk Pierzchała, “Sonderaktion Krakau, 1939: Die Verfolgung von polnischen Biowissenschaftlern und Hilfe durch Karl von Frisch” [Sonderaktion Krakau, 1939: The Persecution of Polish Biologists and the Assistance Provided by Karl von Frisch], Biologie in unserer Zeit 22, no. 4 (1992): 218–25. My thanks to Ernst-August Seyfarth for sharing this paper with me and to Leander Schneider for translating it.

41. On Nazi sympathy for animal welfare, see Anna Bramwell, Ecology in the Twentieth Century: A History (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1989), and Boria Sax, Animals in the Third Reich: Pets, Scapegoats, and the Holocaust (New York: Continuum, 2000).

42. Although Lorenz’s involvement with Nazism was widely known at the time, it was actively forgotten postwar and effectively erased by the Nobel Committee. The extent of his commitment to the Nazi regime has only recently been documented. See particularly Deichmann, Biologists under Hitler, 178–205, from which I have drawn most heavily for this account. Deichmann wants to secure the link between the contemporary ethological version of instinct—derived from Lorenz—and fascist politics. See also Theodora J. Kalikow, “Konrad Lorenz’s Ethological Theory: Explanation and Ideology, 1938–1943,” Journal of the History of Biology 16, no. 1 (1983): 39–73; Boria Sax, “What Is a ‘Jewish Dog’? Konrad Lorenz and the Cult of Wildness,” Society and Animals: Journal of Human-Animal Studies 5, no. 1 (1997),; and Burkhardt, Patterns of Behavior.

43. Boria Sax and Peter H. Klopfer, “Jakob von Uexküll and the Anticipation of Sociobiology,” in “Jakob von Uexküll: A Paradigm for Biology and Semiotics,” special issue, Semiotica 134, nos. 1–4 (2001): 770; Ernst Haeckel, The Evolution of Man: A Popular Exposition of the Principal Points of Human Ontogeny and Phylogeny, 2 vols. (New York: Appleton, 1897).

44. All the more striking, then, that both von Frisch and Tinbergen stood by Lorenz following the war. Tinbergen, who was imprisoned in a concentration camp and worked actively for the resistance, wrote to an American colleague in 1945 that Lorenz “was rather nazi-infected, though I always considered him a[n] honest and good fellow…. It is not right,” he continued, “to think that the atrocities were only committed by a minority of fanatical SS-, SD-, or Gestapo-men. Nearly the whole people is hopelessly poisoned…. Personally I should regret if … [he] would be expelled [from scientific collaboration].” Quoted in Deichmann, Biologists under Hitler, 203–4.

45. The only example I have come across is the brief section of Dancing Bees called “The Bee’s Mental Capacity.” Perhaps because he is forced to address this question directly, von Frisch retreats decisively from the affective burden of his corpus. “Because of its extraordinarily narrow range,” he writes, “we cannot form a very high opinion of the bee’s mental capacity” (162). Yet he closes his discussion more ambivalently: “Nobody can state with certainty whether the bees are conscious of any of their own actions” (164). See also Griffin, Animal Minds, 278–82.

46. It also provided a bridge to Jakob von Uexküll’s influential phenomenology of the Umwelt, the sensory world through which all beings experience life. See the discussion on pages 314–17.

47. Von Frisch, A Biologist Remembers, 174.

48. Griffin, Animal Minds, 203–11. My account of swarming and nest location is drawn primarily from Griffin; Lindauer, Communication among Social Bees; James L. Gould and Carol Grant Gould, Honey Bee; Thomas D. Seeley, Wisdom of the Hive; and Thomas D. Seeley, S. Kühnholz, and Robin H. Seeley, “An Early Chapter.”

49. Lindauer, Communication among Social Bees, 35.

50. Ibid., 38.

51. Ibid., 39–40.

52. James L. Gould and Carol Grant Gould, Honey Bee, 66–67.

53. Ibid., 67.

54. Ibid., 66.

55. Ibid., 65–66; Griffin, Animal Minds, 206–9.

56. James L. Gould and Carol Grant Gould, Honey Bee, 65.

57. Griffin, Animal Minds, 209.

58. Karl von Frisch, “Decoding the Language of the Bee,” Science 185 (August 1974): 663–68.

59. Frisch, Dance Language, xxiii.

60. Ibid., 105. What it lacked was a response to the acoustic stop signal given by the surrounding workers. Mechanical bees have since become a staple of bee science. See, for example, Michelson et al., “How Honeybees Perceive Communication Dances.”

61. Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, trans. G.E.M. Anscombe (New York: Macmillan, 1953), 223. See the discussion by Cary Wolfe, “In the Shadow of Wittgenstein’s Lion: Language, Ethics, and the Question of the Animal,” in Zoontologies: The Question of the Animal, ed. Cary Wolfe (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003), 1–57. Wolfe reminds us of Vicki Hearne’s comment that Wittgenstein’s aphorism is “the most interesting mistake about animals I have ever come across.” Hearne, Animal Happiness (New York: HarperCollins, 1994), 167. Hearne was a philosopher and animal trainer who wrote insightfully on horses and dogs, among other large mammals, convincingly arguing for a human-nonhuman communicative practice that emerges from sensitivity to differential sensory abilities, a notion implicitly indebted to Jakob von Uexküll’s theory of the Umwelt. On Washoe and the Gardners, see Donna J. Haraway, Primate Visions: Gender, Race and Nature in the World of Modern Science (New York: Routledge, 1989), and Hearne, Adam’s Task, 18–41.

62. Hearne, Animal Happiness, 169.

63. Ibid., 170.

64. For similar assessments, see Jacques Derrida, The Animal That Therefore I Am, trans. David Wills (New York: Fordham University Press, 2008), Matthew Calarco, Zoographies: The Question of the Animal from Heidegger to Derrida (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008), and Wolfe, “In the Shadow of Wittgenstein’s Lion.” Derrida tracks an unhappy lineage through Descartes, Kant, Levinas, Heidegger, and Lacan. For a less unitary view, see Ian Hacking, “On Sympathy: With Other Creatures,” Tijdschrift voor Filosofie 63, no. 4 (2001): 685–717. Hacking starts his countergenealogy with David Hume. My thanks to Ann Stoler for pointing me to this important article.

65. Jacques Lacan, Écrits: A Selection, trans. Alan Sheridan (New York: W. W. Norton, 1977), 84, quoted in Derrida, Animal That Therefore I Am, 123.

66. See James L. Gould’s summary of honeybee sociality: “Everyone must be wired in exactly the same way and live by the same set of rules or social life would turn to anarchy.” James L. Gould, Ethology, 406.

67. On this distinction, see Derrida, Animal That Therefore I Am, 119–40.

68. C. F. Hockett quoted in Tim Ingold, Evolution and Social Life (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986), 304.

69. Deacon, Symbolic Species, 22. The literature on animal cognition and language is obviously vast. For an ethological review, see Marc Bekoff, Colin Allen, and Gordon M. Burghardt, eds., The Cognitive Animal: Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives on Animal Cognition (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2002); for an innovative interdisciplinary account by a biological anthropologist, see Deacon, Symbolic Species. Deacon argues for language acquisition and facility of use as the critical distinction between humans and other animals, including primates. It is, in his view, the distinction that enables human achievement.

70. Von Frisch, Dance Language, 278–84.

71. On the Aristotelian natural child as a figure in sixteenth-century European expansion, see Anthony Pagden, The Fall of Natural Man: The American Indian and the Origins of Comparative Ethnology, corrected ed. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986).

72. W. G. Sebald, Austerlitz, trans. Anthea Bell (New York: Random House, 2001), 94.

73. Eva M. Knodt, foreword to Niklas Luhmann, Social Systems, trans. John Bednarz, Jr., with Dirk Baecker (Palo Alto, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1995), xxxi, quoted in Wolfe, “In the Shadow of Wittgenstein’s Lion,” 34.

My Nightmares

1. Scott Atran, “A Leaner, Meaner Jihad,” New York Times, March 16, 2004.

On January 8, 2008, Abdou Mahamane Was Driving through Niamey …

1. Boureima Alpha Gado, Une histoire des famines au Sahel: étude des grandes crises alimentaires, XIXe–XXe siècles [A History of Famine in Sahel: A Study of the Great Food Crises, Nineteenth to Twentieth Centuries] (Paris: L’Harmattan, 1993). See also Michael Watts, Silent Violence: Food, Famine and Peasantry in Northern Nigeria (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983), and John Rowley and Olivia Bennett, Grasshoppers and Locusts: The Plague of the Sahel (London: Panos Institute, 1993).

2. Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart (London: Heinemann, 1976), 39–40.

3. Achebe, Things Fall Apart, 97–98.

4. Souleymane Anza, “Niger Fights Poverty after Being Taken by Shame,” Afrol News, January, 19, 2001,; see also Frederic Mousseau with Anuradha Mittal, Sahel: A Prisoner of Starvation? A Case Study of the 2005 Food Crisis in Niger (Oakland, Calif.: Oakland Institute, 2006).

5. Niger is one of eight Central and West African countries that use the euro-pegged West African CFA franc as their currency.

6. Comprehensive information on criquet species and control can be found at the website of CIRAD (Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement), See also Rowley and Bennett, Grasshoppers and Locusts, and Steen R. Joffe, Desert Locust Management: A Time for Change, World Bank Discussion Paper, no. 284 (Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 1995).

7. Current research also suggests that the neurotransmitter serotonin is involved. See Michael L. Anstey, Stephen M. Rogers, Swidbert R. Ott, Malcolm Burrows, and Stephen J. Simpson, “Serotonin Mediates Behavioral Gregarization Underlying Swarm Formation in Desert Locusts,” Science 323 (January 2009): 627–30.

8. For a more detailed account, on which I have drawn extensively here, see Hugh Dingle, Migration: The Biology of Life on the Move (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), 272–81; see also the locus(t) classicus, Boris Petrovich Uvarov, Grasshoppers and Locusts: A Handbook of General Acridology, vol. 1 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1966).

9. The UFBIR is an ongoing online project that can be found at

10. Apart, that is, from the anomalous use of locust in the United States to name the periodic cicada.

11. John Keats, “On the Grasshopper and Cricket” (1816).

12. Robert A. Cheke, N. D. Jago, J. M. Ritchie, L.D.C. Fishpool, R. C. Rainey, and P. Darling, “A Migrant Pest in the Sahel: The Senegalese Grasshopper Oedaleus senegalensis,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 328 (1990): 539–53.

13. Ibid., 550.

14. Michel Lecoq, “Recent Progress in Desert and Migratory Locust Management in Africa: Are Preventative Actions Possible?” Journal of Orthoptera Research 10, no. 2 (2001): 277–91; Joffe, Desert Locust Management; Rowley and Bennett, Grasshoppers and Locusts.

15. Alpha Gado, Histoire des famines au Sahel, 49.

16. Joffe, Desert Locust Management; Mousseau and Mittal, Sahel; Rowley and Bennett, Grasshoppers and Locusts.

17. See Emmanuel Grégoire, The Alhazai of Maradi: Traditional Hausa Merchants in a Changing Sahelian City, trans. Benjamin H. Hardy (Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner, 1992).

18. For a detailed and insightful analysis of these colonial fiscal strategies, their long-term trajectories, and their contemporary effects, see Janet Roitman, Fiscal Disobedience: An Anthropology of Economic Regulation in Central Africa (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2004).

19. Barbara M. Cooper, Marriage in Maradi: Gender and Culture in a Hausa Society in Niger, 1900–1989 (Portsmouth, N.H.: Heinemann, 1997), xxxv.

20. See Barbara M. Cooper, “Anatomy of a Riot: The Social Imaginary, Single Women, and Religious Violence in Niger,” Canadian Journal of African Studies 37, nos. 2–3 (2003): 467–512.

21. Grégoire, Alhazai of Maradi, 11, 92.

22. The recent surge in interest in nuclear energy as a “green” fuel, the depletion of stockpiles in the United States and the European Union, and the rush to build a large number of nuclear power stations over the next decade in Asia and Europe have pushed the price of uranium up significantly, giving the Nigerien government added incentive to resolve the Tuareg rebellion.

23. David Loyn, “How Many Dying Babies Make a Famine?” BBC News, August 10, 2005, See also “Editor’s Instinct Led to Story,” BBC News, August 2, 2005,

24. See Jean-François Bayart’s discussion of “extraversion” in The State in Africa: The Politics of the Belly, trans. Mary Harper, Christopher Harrison, and Elizabeth Harrison (London: Longman, 1993).

Il Parco delle Cascine on Ascension Sunday

1. Dorothy Gladys Spicer, Festivals of Western Europe (New York: H. W. Wilson, 1958), 97–98. My thanks to Gabrielle Popoff for sensitive translation and research work on this chapter and to Riccardo Innocenti for sharing his memories of the festa.

2. Timothy Egan, “Exploring Tuscany’s Lost Corner,” New York Times, May 21, 2006.

3. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Italian Journey, 1786–1788, trans. W. H. Auden and Elizabeth Mayer (London: Penguin Books, 1962), 117.

4. Peter Dale, “The Voice of the Cicadas: Linguistic Uniqueness, Tsunoda Tadanobu’s Theory of the Japanese Brain and Some Classical Perspectives,” Electronic Antiquity: Communicating the Classics 1, no. 6 (1993).

5. Giacomo Leopardi, Zibaldone dei pensieri, ed. Rolando Damiani (Milan, Italy: Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, 1997), 1:189. For an elaboration of this thinking in relation to birds, see David Rothenberg, especially his fascinating discussion of the biologist Wallace Craig. Rothenberg, Why Birds Sing: A Journey into the Mystery of Bird Song (New York: Basic Books, 2006), 123–28.

6. I have drawn heavily here on Jack Zipes’s informative introduction to Carlo Collodi, Pinocchio, trans. Mary Alice Murray (London: Penguin, 2002), ix–xviii.

7. Collodi, Pinocchio, 14.

8. Agostino Lapini, Diario fiorentino dal 252 al 1596 [Florentine Diary 252–1596], ed. Gius. Odoardo Corazzini (Florence: G. C. Sansoni, 1900), 217.

9. Frances Toor, Festivals and Folkways of Italy (New York: Crown, 1953), 245. As with the fighting crickets of Shanghai, it is only the males who sing.

10. For a brief background to the Cascine and the festa, see Alta Macadam, Blue Guide: Florence (London: Somerset Books, 2005), 265; Cinzie Dugo, “The Cricket Feast,”; and Riccardo Gatteschi, “La festa del grillo,” Coop Unicoop Firenze,

11. Feliciano Philipp, Protection of Animals in Italy (Rome: National Fascist Organization for the Protection of Animals, 1938), 5, 9, 8, 4.

12. Martin Heidegger, What Is Called Thinking? trans. J. Glenn Gray (New York: HarperPerennial, 1976), 16.

13. Martin Heidegger, The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics: World, Finitude, Solitude, trans. William McNeill and Nicholas Walker (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995), 176.

14. Karl Jacoby, “Slaves by Nature? Domestic Animals and Human Slaves,” Slavery and Abolition 15 (1994): 89–99.

15. Philipp, Protection of Animals, 19.

16. Mauro Bottigelli quoted in Nicole Martinelli, “Italians Protest ‘Beastly’ Traditions after Palio Race Death,” Zoomata: A Close-up on Italy, August 17, 2004,

17. And all of them, I suspect, despite their differences, could agree with the philosopher Ian Hacking when he argues that “expanding the circle of moral concern” to include animals demands a sympathy with—rather than a sympathy for—more than just pain and suffering; it demands a “range of sympathies” such that one can, as Hacking puts it, “resonate to the state of the animal,” resonate, that is, as two tuning forks of equal pitch—even at a distance—resonate when only one is played. Hacking, “On Sympathy: With Other Living Creatures,” Tijdschrift voor Filosofie 63, no. 4 (2001): 703. Similar arguments, more poetically rendered, can be found in several of Alphonso Lingis’s brilliant essays; see, for example, “The Rapture of the Deep,” in Excesses: Eros and Culture (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1983), 2–16; “Antarctic Summer,” in Abuses (New York: Routledge, 1994), 91–101; and “Bestiality,” in Dangerous Emotions (New York: Routledge, 2000), 25–39.

18. See the news articles collected by Ufficio per i diritti degli animali,

The Quality of Queerness Is Not Strange Enough

1. George O. Krizek, “Unusual Interaction between a Butterfly and a Beetle: ‘Sexual Paraphilia’ in Insects?,” Tropical Lepidoptera 3, no. 2 (1992): 118.

2. Plutarch, Moralia, trans. Harold Cherniss and William C. Helmbold, Loeb Classical Library 406 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1957), 12.989.519–20.

3. Paul L. Vasey and Volker Sommer, “Homosexual Behaviour in Animals: Topics, Hypotheses and Research Trajectories,” in Homosexual Behaviour in Animals: An Evolutionary Perspective, ed. Volker Sommer and Paul L. Vasey (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 5. I have drawn extensively on Vasey and Sommer’s useful essay in this section. See also the immense labor of love that is Bruce Bagemihl’s Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999). Bagemihl adopts a very generous (and therefore contentious) definition of sex that allows him to include many interactions that might otherwise be construed as nonsexually social. But he effectively demonstrates his key point: that nonreproductive sex among animals is far more varied and widespread than scientists, for various reasons, have allowed. See also Joan Roughgarden, Evolution’s Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004), and the essays collected in Sommer and Vasey, Homosexual Behaviour in Animals.

4. Antonio Berlese, Gli insetti: loro organizzazione, sviluppo, abitudini e rapporti coll’uomo [The Insects: Their Organization, Development, Habits, and Relationship with Man], vol. 2 (Milan, Italy: Società Editrice Libraria, 1909), quoted in Edward M. Barrows and Gordon Gordh, “Sexual Behavior in the Japanese Beetle, Popillia japonica, and Comparative Notes on Sexual Behavior of Other Scarabs (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae),” Behavioral Biology 23 (1978): 341–54.

5. Vasey and Sommer, “Homosexual Behaviour in Animals,” 20.

6. Scott P. McRobert and Laurie Tompkins, “Two Consequences of Homosexual Courtship Performed by Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila affinis Males,” Evolution 42, no. 5 (1988): 1093–97.

7. Adrian Forsyth and John Alcock, “Female Mimicry and Resource Defense Polygyny by Males of a Tropical Rove Beetle, Leistotrophus versicolor (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae),” Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 26 (1990): 325–30.

8. George D. Constantz, “The Mating Behavior of a Creeping Water Bug, Ambrysus occidentalis (Hemiptera: Naucoridae),” American Midland Naturalist 92, no. 1 (1974): 237.

9. Barrows and Gordh, “Sexual Behavior in the Japanese Beetle,” 351.

10. Kikuo Iwabuchi, “Mating Behavior of Xylotrechus pyrrhoderus Bates (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) V. Female Mounting Behavior,” Journal of Ethology 5 (1987): 131–36.

11. See Vasey and Sommer, “Homosexual Behaviour in Animals,” 20–31.

12. Vasey, “The Pursuit of Pleasure: An Evolutionary History of Female Homosexual Behaviour in Japanese Macaques,” in Sommer and Vasey, Homosexual Behaviour in Animals, 215.

13. Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Lewontin launched their counterattack to “hyperadaptationist” theory in the following terms: “We fault the adaptationist programme for its failure to distinguish current utility from reasons for origin …; for its unwillingness to consider alternatives to adaptive stories; for its reliance upon plausibility alone as a criterion for accepting speculative tales; and for its failure to consider adequately … competing themes.” Gould and Lewontin, “The Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm: A Critique of the Adaptationist Programme,” Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 205 (1979): 581–98. See also two articles by Stephen Jay Gould, “Exaptation: A Crucial Tool for an Evolutionary Psychology,” Journal of Social Issues 47, no. 3 (1991): 43–65; and “The Exaptive Excellence of Spandrels as a Term and Prototype,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 94, no. 20 (1997): 10750–55.


1. David Jack, “2,000 Pound Fine for Importer of Animal ‘Snuff’ Videos,” Scotsman, August 1, 1998; Damien Pearse, “Man Fined for Obscene ‘Crush’ Videos,” Press Association, Home News, January 16, 1999.

2. The Mo Show, FOX TV, January 31, 1994.

3. Jeff Vilencia, American Journal of the Crush-Freaks (Bellflower, Calif.: Squish Publications) 1 (1993): 145–48.

4. Ibid., 1:130.

5. Ibid., 1:10, 149.

6. As well as from my conversations with Jeff Vilencia, the narrative in this section draws heavily on Martin Lasden’s excellent “Forbidden Footage,” California Lawyer, September 2000,;evid=1; Dan Kapelovitz, “Crunch Time for Crush Freaks: New Laws Seek to Stamp Out Stomp Flicks,” Hustler, May 2000; and Patrick Califia, “Boy-Lovers, Crush Videos, and That Heinous First Amendment,” in Speaking Sex to Power: The Politics of Queer Sex (San Francisco: Cleis Press, 2001), 257–77.

7. California Penal Code and Health and Safety Code quoted in Lasden, “Forbidden Footage,” 4.

8. Quoted in Kapelovitz, “Crunch Time.”

9. Ibid.

10. I owe this mapping to Katharine Gates. See her Deviant Desires: Incredibly Strange Sex (New York: Juno Books, 2000).

11. Carla Freccero, “Fetishism: Fetishism in Literature and Cultural Studies,” in New Dictionary of the History of Ideas, ed. Maryanne Cline Horowitz (New York: Scribner’s, 2005), 2:826–28.

12. Vilencia, Journal of the Crush-Freaks, 1:149.

13. Georges Bataille, The Tears of Eros, trans. Peter Connor (San Francisco: City Lights, 1989), 19, 70n23.

14. Edward Wong, “Long Island Case Sheds Light on Animal-Mutilation Videos,” New York Times, January 25, 2000. See also Edward Wong, “Animal-Torture Video Maker Avoids Jail,” New York Times, December 27, 2000.

15. Act to amend title 18, U.S. Code, to punish the depiction of animal cruelty, H.R. 1887, 106th Cong., 1st Sess., Congressional Record, 145, no. 74 (May 20, 1999): H3460.

16. “Hall of Fame” is Gallegly’s glamorous term. Officially, he was named in the U.S. Border Control Congressional Honor Roll.

17. Lasden, “Forbidden Footage,” 5.

18. “Rooney Backs ‘Crush’ Video Ban,” BBC News, August 25, 1999,; Associated Press, “Activists, Lawmakers Urge Congress to Ban Sale of Animal-Death Videos,” August 24, 1999; Lasden, “Forbidden Footage,” 5.

19. Associated Press, “Activists, Lawmakers Urge Congress.”

20. “Rooney Backs ‘Crush’ Video Ban.”

21. Testimony of Representative Bill McCollum of Florida, speaking for an act to amend title 18 on October 19, 1999, H.R. 1887, 106th Cong., 1st Sess., Congressional Record 145, no. 142, H10267.

22. Pros and Cons, COURT TV, September 3, 1999.

23. Testimony of Robert C. Scott (D-Va.), ibid., H10268. For an incisive discussion of these points, see Lasden, “Forbidden Footage.”

24. Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah, 508 U.S. 520 (1993).

25. Testimony of Representative Spencer Bachus of Alabama, speaking for an act to amend title 18, H10271.

26. Testimony of Representative Elton Gallegly (R-Ca.), ibid., H10270.

27. Testimony of Susan Creede to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime, September 30, 1999,

28. Gilles Deleuze, Coldness and Cruelty, trans. Jean McNeil, in Masochism, which also contains Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (New York: Zone Books, 1991), 40–41, 74–76.

29. Sacher-Masoch, Venus in Furs, 271.

30. Vilencia, American Journal of the Crush-Freaks (Bellflower, Calif.: Squish Publications) 2 (1996): 12–13.

31. William J. Clinton, Statement on Signing Legislation to Establish Federal Criminal Penalties for Commerce in Depiction of Animal Cruelty, December 9, 1999, at John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters, The American Presidency Project, University of California, Santa Barbara,

32. Adam Liptak, “Free Speech Battle Arises from Dog Fighting Videos,” New York Times, September 18, 2009.

33. Testimony of Representative Gallegly, speaking for an act to amend title 18, H10269 (emphasis added).


1. C. R. Osten-Sacken, “A Singular Habit of Hilara,” Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine 14 (1877): 126–27. All uncited quotations in section 1 are from this paper.

2. George Henry Verrall, obituary of C. R. Osten-Sacken, Entomologist 39 (1906): 192.

3. Edward L. Kessel, “The Mating Activities of Balloon Flies,” Systematic Zoology 4, no. 3 (1955): 97–104. All uncited quotations in section 2 are from this paper.

4. Thomas A. Seboek discusses the symbolic qualities of the empidid gift in the context of Peircian linguistics, although largely just to emphasize its inflexibility in comparison with human symbols. Seboek, The Sign and Its Masters (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1979), 18–19.

5. See, among others, Natasha R. LeBas and Leon R. Hockham, “An Invasion of Cheats: The Evolution of Worthless Nuptial Gifts,” Current Biology 15, no. 1 (2005): 64; Scott K. Sakaluk, “Sensory Exploitation as an Evolutionary Origin to Nuptial Food Gifts in Insects,” Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 267, (2000): 339–43; and T. Tregenza, N. Wedell, and T. Chapman, “Introduction. Sexual Conflict: A New Paradigm?” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 361 (2006): 229–34.

6. Georges Perec, Species of Spaces and Other Pieces, trans. John Sturrock (London: Penguin, 1998), 129, 136.

7. Joan Roughgarden, Evolution’s Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004), 171.

The Unseen

1. Karl von Frisch, Ten Little Housemates, trans. Margaret D. Senft (New York: Pergamon Press, 1960), 91.


1. These discoveries are routinely attributed to von Frisch, but it seems that at least some of the experimental work was completed independently, and possibly earlier, by Turner (1867–1923), a pioneer in ethology. Despite his doctorate and his authorship of scholarly papers (including the first by an African American to appear in Science), Turner spent the majority of his career teaching high school—it appears that he may have turned down academic positions, preferring to teach public school because of both a sense of social commitment and the additional time it gave him to pursue his research. Turner published his demonstration of honeybees’ ability to distinguish among colors in 1910. He is also credited with discovering the ability of insects to hear sounds and distinguish pitch, with recognizing the capacity of bees to utilize geographic memory, with showing that cockroaches are able to learn from experience, with documenting a characteristic motion of ants approaching their nests (“Turner’s circling”), and with developing methodology—particularly conditioning strategies—that would become basic in animal-behavior studies. See Selected Papers and Biography of Charles Henry Turner (1867–1923), Pioneer in the Comparative Animal Behavior Movement, ed. Charles I. Abramson (New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 2002).

2. Karl von Frisch, Bees: Their Vision, Chemical Senses, and Language (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1950).

3. But see the detailed critique of von Frisch’s methodology in Georgii A. Mazokhin-Porshnyakov, Insect Vision, trans. Roberto Masironi and Liliana Masironi (New York: Plenum Press, 1969), 145–54.

4. See Kentaro Arikawa, Michiyo Kinoshita, and Doekele G. Stavenga, “Color Vision and Retinal Organization in Butterflies,” in Complex Worlds from Simpler Nervous Systems, ed. Frederick R. Prete (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004), 193–94.

5. For a survey of debates on color and the problem of “color realism,” see Alex Byrne and David R. Hilbert, eds., Readings on Color, vol. 1, The Philosophy of Color (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1997), particularly the editors’ lucid introduction (xi–xxviii). Further evidence of this point can be found in color constancy, the ability of humans and other animals, including bees and butterflies, to recognize the color of an object under changing light conditions. Goethe famously revealed that color was also a function of additional relationships: those between an object and its neighbors. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Theory of Colours, trans. Charles Locke Eastlake (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1970).

6. Mazokhin-Porshnyakov, Insect Vision, 276.

7. Prete, introduction to pt. 1, “Creating Visual Worlds: Using Abstract Representations and Algorithms,” in Complex Worlds, 3–4.

8. Karl Kral and Frederick R. Prete, “In the Mind of a Hunter: The Visual World of the Praying Mantis,” in Prete, Complex Worlds, 92–93.

9. For a discussion of this problem in relation to the human mind, see John R. Searle, “Consciousness: What We Still Don’t Know,” New York Review of Books, January 13, 2005, a critical review of Christof Koch’s best-selling Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach (Englewood, Colo.: Roberts, 2004); and note also Koch’s recent comment: “We don’t understand how mind emerges out of this vast collection of neurons. We have no intuition. It’s like Aladdin rubbing a lamp, and a genie appears.” Quoted in Peter Edidin, “In Search of Answers from the Great Brains of Cornell,” New York Times, May 24, 2005.

10. Eric R. Kandel, “Brain and Behavior,” in Eric R. Kandel and James H. Schwartz, Principles of Neural Science, 2nd ed. (New York: Elsevier, 1985), 3. Indeed, much as the size of the human brain was once a measure of racial hierarchy, the marvelous complexity—and, as ever, the size—of the modern hominid brain is now a marker of human exceptionalism.

11. For a reliable popular introduction, see John J. Ratey, A User’s Guide to the Brain: Perception, Attention, and the Four Theaters of the Brain (New York: Vintage Books, 2002). For an appraisal of debates in the philosophy of mind that is both sympathetic to neuroscientific claims of biological primacy and suspicious of their reductionism, see John R. Searle, Mind: A Brief Introduction (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2004).

12. See, for important contributions, two works by Jonathan Crary: Techniques of the Observer: On Vision and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1992), and Suspensions of Perception: Attention, Spectacle, and Modern Culture (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2001); Martin Jay, Downcast Eyes: The Denigration of Vision in Twentieth-Century French Thought (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994); and Hal Foster, ed., Vision and Visuality (Seattle: Bay Press/ Dia Art Foundation, 1988).

13. David Howes, ed., The Varieties of Sensory Experience: A Sourcebook in the Anthropology of the Senses (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1991); Constance Classen, Worlds of Sense: Exploring the Senses in History and across Cultures (New York: Routledge, 1993).

14. On linear perspective, see Robert D. Romanyshyn’s rather overstated Technology as Symptom and Dream (New York: Routledge, 1989), and, for effective delineations of the discontinuities in and displacements of linear perspective, see Martin Jay, “Scopic Regimes of Modernity,” and Jonathan Crary, “Modernizing Vision,” both in Foster, Vision and Visuality, 3–28, 29–50. On the shift to the morphological, see Michel Foucault, The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences (New York: Vintage Books, 1994).

15. A fascinating discussion of some of the cultural components of vision along these lines can be found in Oliver Sacks’s celebrated essay “To See and Not See,” in An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales (New York: Vintage Books, 1995), 108–52.

16. Henry Mallock quoted in Michael F. Land’s excellent “Eyes and Vision,” in Encyclopedia of Insects, ed. Vincent H. Resh and Ring T. Cardé (New York: Academic Press, 2003), 397; I have drawn substantially on that article (393–406) for this section. See also Michael F. Land, “Visual Acuity in Insects,” Annual Review of Entomology 42 (1997): 147–77; and Michael F. Land and Dan-Eric Nilsson, Animal Eyes (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2002). Recent recalculations that take into account the poorness of human peripheral vision have reduced Mallock’s calculations to a much smaller but still unwieldy 400 inches diameter.

17. Land, “Eyes and Vision,” 397.

18. Robert Hooke, Micrographia, or Some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies Made by Magnifying Glasses with Observations and Inquiries Thereupon (1665; repr., Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications, 2003), 238.

19. Ibid.

20. Anton van Leeuwenhoek quoted in Land, “Eyes and Vision,” 394.

21. Sigmund Exner, The Physiology of the Compound Eyes of Insects and Crustaceans, trans. Roger C. Hartree (Berlin: Springer Verlag, 1989); originally published as Die Physiologie der facettierten Augen von Krebsen und Insekten (Leipzig, Germany: Deuticke, 1891). See Land and Nilsson, Animal Eyes, 157–58.

22. Land, “Eyes and Vision,” 393.

23. Ibid., 401.

24. Land and Nilsson’s choice of Charles Darwin to demonstrate the remarkable optics of the superposition eye is more than apposite. For creationists and proponents of so-called intelligent design, the eye is the Achilles’ heel of natural selection. Drawing on Darwin’s own uncertainties about the precise mechanisms for the evolution of the eye and the self-evident point that each of its elements must function both independently and collectively, they assert that such a complex, integrated structure could never have evolved piecemeal through natural selection. But Nilsson and his collaborator Susanne Pelger have recently proposed a convincing 364,000-year sequence of incremental developments and pathways by which an originary patch of light-sensitive cells could evolve through extant intermediary stages into the contemporary mammalian eye. See Dan-Eric Nilsson and Susanne Pelger, “A Pessimistic Estimate of the Time Required for an Eye to Evolve,” Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Science 256 (1994): 53–58; and the clear summary in Evolution of the Eye, PBS,

25. See Jakob von Uexküll, “A Stroll through the World of Animals and Men: A Picture Book of Invisible Worlds,” in Instinctive Behavior: The Development of a Modern Concept, ed. and trans. Claire H. Schiller (New York: International Universities Press, 1957), 5–80.

26. Von Uexküll, “A Stroll through the World,” 13, 29.

27. Ibid., 65.

28. Ibid., 67.

29. Ibid., 72.

30. Ibid., 80.

The Sound of Global Warming

1. David Dunn, The Sound of Light in Trees (Santa Fe, N.M.: EarthEar/Acoustic Ecology Institute, 2006).

2. John A. Byers, “An Encounter Rate Model of Bark Beetle Populations Searching at Random for Susceptible Host Trees,” Ecological Modelling 91 (1996): 57–66.

3. Dunn, CD liner notes for Sound of Light; David Dunn and James P. Crutchfield, “Insects, Trees, and Climate: The Bioacoustic Ecology of Deforestation and Entomogenic Climate Change” (working paper 06-12-055, Santa Fe Institute, 2006),; William J. Mattson and Robert A. Haack, “The Role of Drought in Outbreaks of Plant-Eating Insects,” BioScience 37, no. 2 (1987): 110–18.

4. David D. Breshears, Neil S. Cobb, Paul M. Rich, Kevin P. Price, Craig D. Allen, Randy G. Balice, William H. Romme, Jude H. Kastens, M. Lisa Floyd, Jayne Belnap, Jesse J. Anderson, Orrin B. Myers, and Clifton W. Meyer, “Regional Vegetation Die-off in Response to Global-Change-Type Drought,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 102, no. 42 (2005): 15144–48.

5. Dunn and Crutchfield, “Insects, Trees, and Climate.”

6. For the foundational statement on the soundscape and acoustic ecology, see R. Murray Schafer, The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World (Rochester, Vt.: Destiny Books, 1994). Schafer defines acoustic ecology as “the study of the effects of the acoustic environment … on the physical responses or behavioral characteristics of creatures living within it” (271), a formulation that signals the movement’s affinity with biological science.

7. Steven Feld in conversation with Donald Brenneis, “Doing Anthropology in Sound,” American Ethnologist 31, no. 4 (2004): 462. See also Steven Feld, “Waterfalls of Song: An Acoustemology of Place Resounding in Bosavi, Papua New Guinea,” in Senses of Place, ed. Steven Feld and Keith Basso (Santa Fe, N.M.: School of American Research Press, 1996), 91–135.

8. For extraordinary accounts of transduction and immersion, see Stefan Helmreich’s Alien Ocean: Anthropological Voyages in Microbial Seas (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009).

9. See Andra McCartney, “Alien Intimacies: Hearing Science Fiction Narratives in Hildegard Westerkamp’s Cricket Voice (or ‘I Don’t Like the Country, the Crickets Make Me Nervous’),” Organised Sound7 (2002): 45–49.

10. On musique concrète, see Pierre Schaeffer, “Acousmatics,” in Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music, eds. Christoph Cox and Daniel Warner (New York: Continuum, 2004), 76–81. A further key distinction between acoustic ecology and musique concrète is the latter’s concern with sounds as self-contained entities complete in themselves without reference to their source.

11. David Dunn, “Chaos and the Emergent Mind of the Pond,” on Angels and Insects (Albuquerque, N.M.: ¿What Next?, 1999); the quotation here and those in the following paragraphs are from the CD liner notes.

12. Doug Struck, “Climate Change Drives Disease to New Territory,” Washington Post, May 5, 2006; Paul R. Epstein, “Climate Change and Human Health,” New England Journal of Medicine 353, no. 14 (2005): 1433–36; Paul R. Epstein and Evan Mills, eds., Climate Change Futures: Health, Ecological, and Economic Dimensions (Boston: Harvard Medical School/United Nations Development Program, 2006). For a careful study suggesting that causative models centered on climate change sideline the remediable social factors critical to epidemiology (for example, health care, poverty, drug resistance, urban development), see Simon I. Hay, Jonathan Cox, David J. Rogers, Sarah E. Randolph, David I. Stern, G. Dennis Shanks, Monica F. Myers, and Robert W. Snow, “Climate Change and the Resurgence of Malaria in the East African Highlands,” Nature 415 (2002): 905–9.

13. Data from Dunn and Crutchfield, “Insects, Trees, and Climate,” 3, citing Dan Jolin, “Destructive Insects on Rise in Alaska,” Associated Press, September 1, 2006; Doug Struck, “‘Rapid Warming’ Spreads Havoc in Canada’s Forest: Tiny Beetles Destroying Pines,” Washington Post, March 1, 2006; Jerry Carlson and Karin Verschoor, “Insect Invasion!,” New York State Conservationist, April 26–27, 2006; Jesse A. Logan and James A. Powell, “Ghost Forests, Global Warming, and the Mountain Pine Beetle (Coleoptera: Scolytidae),” American Entomologist 47, no. 3 (2001): 160–73. See also Jim Robbins, “Bark Beetles Kill Millions of Acres of Trees in West,” New York Times, November 17, 2008, in which the additional point is made about lodge pole pine stands that “because fires have been suppressed for so long, all forests are roughly the same age, and the trees are big enough to be susceptible to beetles.” For an interesting account of mountain pine beetle activity in western forests, see Robbins, “Some See Beetle Attacks on Western Forests as a Natural Event,” New York Times, July 6, 2009.

14. Dunn and Crutchfield, “Insects, Trees, and Climate,” 4.

15. Thomas Eisner, For Love of Insects (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2003).

16. For overviews, see David L. Wood, “The Role of Pheromones, Kairomones, and Allomones in the Host Selection and Colonization Behavior of Bark Beetles,” Annual Review of Entomology 27 (1982): 411–46; and John A. Byers, “Host-Tree Chemistry Affecting Colonization of Bark Beetles,” in Chemical Ecology of Insects 2, ed. Ring T. Cardé and William J. Bell (New York: Chapman and Hall, 1995), 154–213.

17. Dunn and Crutchfield, “Insects, Trees, and Climate,” 8.

18. Jayne Yack and Ron Hoy, “Hearing,” in Encyclopedia of Insects, ed. Vincent H. Resh and Ring T. Cardé (New York: Academic Press, 2003), 498–505.

19. Dunn and Crutchfield, “Insects, Trees, and Climate,” 10.

20. Reginald B. Cocroft and Rafael L. Rodríguez, “The Behavioral Ecology of Insect Vibrational Communication,” BioScience 55, no. 4 (2005): 323, 331.

21. Dunn and Crutchfield, “Insects, Trees, and Climate,” 10.

22. Ibid., 7.

Ex Libris, Exempla

1. Claudine Frank, introduction to The Edge of Surrealism: A Roger Caillois Reader, ed. Claudine Frank (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2003), 28–31.

2. Roger Caillois, “Letter to André Breton,” in Edge of Surrealism, 84.

3. Ibid., 85.

4. Ibid. (emphasis in the original).

5. Denis Hollier, “On Equivocation (between Literature and Politics),” trans. Rosalind Krauss, October 55 (1990): 20.

6. Caillois, “Letter to André Breton,” 85.

7. Maria Sibylla Merian, Dissertation sur la génération et la transformation des insectes de Surinam (Hague, Netherlands: Pieter Gosse, 1726), 49, quoted in Roger Caillois, The Mask of Medusa, trans. George Ordish (New York: Clarkson N. Potter, 1964), 113.

8. On Bates, see my In Amazonia: A Natural History (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2002).

9. Caillois, Mask of Medusa, 118–20.

10. Ibid., 104.

11. Ibid., 117.

12. Ibid., 121.

13. Roger Caillois, “Mimicry and Legendary Psychasthenia,” trans. John Shepley, October 31 (1984): 19; Roger Caillois, The Writing of Stones, trans. Barbara Bray (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1985), 2, 3, 104.

14. Gustave Flaubert, The Temptation of Saint Anthony (1874), quoted in Caillois, “Mimicry and Legendary Psychasthenia,” 31.

15. Caillois, “Mimicry and Legendary Psychasthenia,” 27.

16. Hans Zinsser, Rats, Lice and History: Being a Study in Biography, Which, after Twelve Preliminary Chapters Indispensible for the Preparation of the Lay Reader, Deals with the Life History of Typhus Fever (Boston: Atlantic Monthly Press/Little, Brown, 1935), 183.

17. See William Gates, ed. and trans., An Aztec Herbal: The Classic Codex of 1552 (Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications, 2000).

18. Pedro de Cieza de León, The Second Part of the Chronicle of Peru, trans. Clements R. Markham (London: Hakluyt Society, 1883), 51, 219.

19. Virginia Sáenz, Symbolic and Material Boundaries: An Archaeological Genealogy of the Urus of Lake Poopó, Bolivia (Uppsala, Sweden: Uppsala University, 2006), 50–51; Reiner T. Zuidema, The Ceque System of Cuzco: The Social Organization of the Capital of the Inca, trans. Eva M. Hooykas (Leiden, Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1964), 100.

20. Günter Morge, “Entomology in the Western World in Antiquity and in Medieval Times,” in History of Entomology, ed. Ray F. Smith, Thomas E. Mittler, and Carroll N. Smith (Palo Alto, Calif.: Annual Reviews, 1973), 77.

21. George Poinar, Jr., and Roberta Poinar, The Amber Forest: A Reconstruction of a Vanished World (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2001), 129.

22. Jo-shui Chen, Liu Tsung-yüan and Intellectual Change in T’ang China, 773–819 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 32. Also, Anthony DeBlasi, Reform in the Balance: The Defense of Literary Culture in Mid-Tang China (Albany, N.Y.: SUNY Press, 2002), and Richard E. Strassberg, Inscribed Landscapes: Travel Writing from Imperial China (Berkeley: University of California, 1994).

23. Richard E. Strassberg, Inscribed Landscapes, 141; Liu Zongyuan, “My First Excursion to West Mountain,” in Strassberg, Inscribed Landscapes, 141.

24. Liu Zongyuan quoted in Chou Io, A History of Chinese Entomology, trans. Wang Siming (Xi’an, China: Tianze Press, 1990), 174 (translation amended).

25. Liu Zongyuan, Liu Tsung-yüan chi [Collected Works of Liu Zongyuan] (Beijing: Zhong Hua Books, 1979), quoted in Chen, Liu Tsung-yüan, 112.

26. Karl von Frisch, Ten Little Housemates, trans. Margaret D. Senft (New York: Pergamon Press, 1960), 141.

27. Ibid., 84.

28. Ibid., 107–8.

29. Roger Caillois, “The Praying Mantis: From Biology to Psychoanalysis,” in Edge of Surrealism, 79.

30. Von Frisch, Ten Little Housemates, 107–8.


1. Kawasaki’s website can be found at

2. See Miyazaki’s manga in Yoro Takeshi and Miyazaki Hayao, Mushime to anime (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten, 2002). Reports from 2003 suggest that the city government of Nagoya was hoping to build a development based on Miyazaki and Arakawa’s designs.

3. Matsuo Basho quoted in Haiku, vol. 3, Summer–Autumn, ed. and trans. R. H. Blyth (Tokyo: Hokuseido Press, 1952), 229.

4. Lafcadio Hearn, Shadowings (Tokyo: Tuttle, 1971), 101.

5. See K. Takeuchi, R. D. Brown, I. Washitani, A. Tsunekawa, and M. Yokohari, Satoyama: The Traditional Rural Landscape of Japan (Tokyo: Springer-Verlag, 2003).

6. See, for example, Yasuhiko Kasahara’s Kay’s Beetle Breeding Hobby, It is worth noting that Japan has long been the world leader in insect breeding. To the best of my knowledge, the country’s butterfly houses are still the only ones in which the animals are raised on-site rather than bought in as pupae.

7. See Harumi Befu, Hegemony of Homogeneity: An Anthropological Analysis of Nihonjinron (Melbourne, Australia: Trans Pacific Press, 2001). On Japanese ideas of nature, see Arne Kalland and Pamela J. Asquith, “Japanese Perceptions of Nature: Ideals and Illusions” and other chapters in Japanese Images of Nature: Cultural Perceptions, ed. Pamela J. Asquith and Arne Kalland (Richmond, U.K.: Curzon Press, 1997); Julia Adeney Thomas, Reconfiguring Modernity: Concepts of Nature in Japanese Political Ideology (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001); and Tessa Morris-Suzuki, Re-Inventing Japan: Time, Space, Nation (Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe, 1998). All of these authors work hard to historicize what is sometimes regarded—both inside and outside Japan—as a timeless and unique Japanese relationship with nature, showing how ideas of nature have taken particular forms at particular moments and trying to make sense of the coexistence of a widely held ideology of oneness with nature and long-standing commercial practices that have produced large-scale environmental destruction.

8. Tsunoda Tadanobu, The Japanese Brain: Uniqueness and Universality, trans. Yoshinori Oiwa (Tokyo: Taishukan, 1985). For a scathing response that locates Tsunoda’s work in the context of nationalist nihonjinron, see Peter Dale, “The Voice of the Cicadas: Linguistic Uniqueness, Tsunoda Tadanobu’s Theory of the Japanese Brain and Some Classical Perspectives,” Electronic Antiquity: Communicating the Classics 1, no. 6 (1993).

9. Shoko Kameoka and Hisako Kiyono, A Survey of the Rhinoceros Beetle and Stag Beetle Market in Japan (Tokyo: TRAFFIC East Asia—Japan, 2003), 47.

10. Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Marketing Guidebook for Major Imported Products 2004, vol. 3, Sports and Hobbies (Tokyo: JETRO, 2004), 235.

11. Kouichi Goka, Hiroshi Kojima, and Kimiko Okabe, “Biological Invasion Caused by Commercialization of Stag Beetles in Japan,” Global Environmental Research 8, no. 1 (2004): 67.

12. A survey of insect stores in Tokyo carried out by TRAFFIC East Asia, the regional network monitoring the wildlife trade, found two imported Dorcus antaeus stag beetles—a species classed as “nondetrimental” but whose collection is banned in its countries of origin—each selling for U.S. $3,344. See Kameoka and Kiyono, Survey.

13. Goka, Kojima, and Okabe, “Biological Invasion.”

14. Stag beetles can live up to five years, much longer than rhinoceros beetles, hence their relatively higher price. See T. R. New, “‘Inordinate Fondness’: A Threat to Beetles in South East Asia?,” Journal of Insect Conservation 9 (2005): 147.

15. Kameoka and Kiyono, Survey, 41.

16. JETRO, Marketing Guidebook, 3:242.

17. Kameoka and Kiyono, Survey.

18. See Goka, Kojima, and Okabe, “Biological Invasion,” for a detailed discussion of these concerns; see also Kameoka and Kiyono, Survey; and New, “‘Inordinate Fondness.’”

19. Goka, Kojima, and Okabe, “Biological Invasion.”

20. Yajima Minoru, Mushi ni aete yokatta [I Am Happy That I Met Insects] (Tokyo: Froebel-kan, 2004), 42. I am grateful to Yumiko Iwasaki for all translations from this book and those in note 20 below.

21. Konishi Masayasu, Mushi no bunkashi [A Cultural History of Insects] (Tokyo: Asahi Sensho, 1992), 29–30. For synoptic histories of Japanese insect culture, see also Konishi’s Mushi no hakubutsushi [A Natural History of Insects] (Tokyo: Asahi Sesho, 1993), and Kasai Masaaki, Mushi to Nihon bunka [Insects and Japanese Culture] (Tokyo: Daikosha, 1997), and for a review of these and other accounts, see Norma Field’s “Jean Henri Fabre and Insect Life in Modern Japan” (unpublished manuscript, n.d.), courtesy of the author.

22. Like all other narrators of this history (including everyone whom CJ and I spoke to about this), Konishi also emphasizes the collecting work in Japan by three foreign naturalists: Engelbert Kaempfer, Carl Peter Thunberg, and Philipp Franz von Siebold. All three returned to Europe to publish accounts of Japanese fauna, including insects (Kaempfer’s work was published posthumously in 1727; Thunberg’s was published in 1781; and Siebold’s in 1832), contributions that stand as the initial contact of Japanese nature with formal Western science.

23. The literature on the emergence of European science is, not surprisingly, huge. For a nuanced introductory view of the European scientific revolution, see Steven Shapin, The Scientific Revolution(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996). In The Formation of Science in Japan: Building a Research Tradition (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1989), James R. Bartholomew argues that institutional and social continuities from the Tokugawa period provided the basis for the rapid development of Japanese science in the Meiji period. For an interesting account of the ways in which scientific knowledge and institutions can travel, see Gyan Prakash, Another Reason: Science and the Imagination of Modern India (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999). For a programmatic revision of conventional scientific histories of the leap from pre-modern to modern, see Bruno Latour, We Have Never Been Modern, trans. Catherine Porter (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1993).

24. Shiga Usuke, Nihonichi no konchu-ya [The Best Insect Shop in Japan] (Tokyo: Bunchonbunko, 2004). Thanks to Hisae Kawamori for translations from this book.

25. See government of Japan, Ministry of the Environment, “List of Regulated Living Organisms under the Invasive Alien Species Act,” law 78, June 2, 2004,

Zen and the Art of Zzz’s

1. My thanks to Barrett Klein for introducing me to the literature on this topic.