up three fourths of all living organisms. They occupied earth long before
humans and have shared the earth with us for millenniums. Insects have
influenced human culture in myriad ways (e.g. the flea and its connection to
the Bubonic Plague destroying two thirds of Europe and the mosquito carrying malaria
world-wide). Insects are included in the creation myths of many indigenous
cultures. The praying mantis became a symbol of the Surrealist Movement. This
presentation will explore insects in diverse cultures and describe their
influence on music, art, superstitions, and foods.
John Stoffolano is an entomologist who has been
called the “Indiana Jones of fly research” by Yankee magazine. Dr. Stoffolano
has taught at UMass Amherst for 46 years and is currently writing a book on the
impact of insects on human culture. He has also published Tonino, the Adventure of a
Boy/Cricket from Boston’s North End.