What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

insect i.d.
Location:  Shelbyville, IN Midwest
September 22, 2010 1:57 pm
i have a green stinkgug-monarch butterfly-very tiny caterpillar-black hard shelled thin lined shape in the middle-where can i find scientific names 4 these? My son has a science project on insects.
Signature:  Thank you, Amy McClellan

Dear Amy,
With all due respect, we will not do your child’s homework, nor should you.  We are not in the habit of giving parenting advice, but we recommend that you have your son search our archives using our search engine, or visit BugGuide to research his own answers.  It is better that he fail now than later in life when there is no one available to do his work for him.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
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6 Responses to What's That Bug? will not do your child's homework

  1. [...] that is due in the imminent future.  The most popular posting on our site continues to be “What’s That Bug? will not do your child’s homework“.  Your email indicated that you have been attempting to ID this creature, and since there [...]

  2. SOMETHING says:

    That sounded pretty rude… You could have at least gave her the scientific names.

    • bugman says:

      Dear SOMETHING,
      Many things get lost in translation, and perhaps you have a different understanding of the term “rude” than that of our editorial staff. Our unabridged dictionary defines rude as “lacking delicacy or refinement; boorish; ungentle; unpolished; … uncivil or impolite in manner or action; insulting; impudent ….” We responded in a respectful manner and we advised the parent on some potential sources for the desired information. Plain and simple, not doing one’s own school work is cheating. As an experiment, we cut and pasted the names in the request into google and did a search. Here is what we found. Green stinkgug actually produced a desired result. See: http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=green+stinkgug&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8 The first result is Wikipedia and it actually corrected the spelling error, turning “gug” into “bug” and then providing the scientific name Chinavia hilare. Featured Creatures provides another scientific name Chinavia halaris. Another Featured Creatures page identified a different species, the Southern Green Stink Bug as Nezara viridula. Many, many more results are available with that one search. Moving on to monarch butterfly, at least three sites in the initial google search provided the scientific name Danais plexippus. Finally, “very tiny caterpillar-black hard shelled thin lined shape in the middle” is far to vague for us to provide any assistance, but google images nonetheless provides many visual choices. We provide a free service and we reserve the right to choose which requests we research. Our time is much too precious to respond to every desperate plea from parents and students, even through to the college level, because they are too lazy or they procrastinated. We stand by our conviction not to do other people’s homework. If that makes us rude, so be it.

      • I know how to define rude says:

        As a teacher I think it’s noble to refuse to simply provide answers to those looking for the easy way out and not looking to take the road less traveled (and that road seems to be traveled less and less as time goes on). I know how to define “Rude” as well as your editorial staff, and your responses have been the very definition of rude. She simply asked if you could help her to identify certain insects, or tell her where she can find a resource that could assist her with these particular insects. Initially, it sounded as though she was looking for a push in the right direction, and not to be handed the answers. I also understand you don’t have time to answer all the questions shot your way. What I don’t understand, if your staff is so over worked, and you must carefully pick and choose who you could be the most helpful to, which I’m sure is a daunting task, why publish Kim’s question with your rude, snotty, comment? Wasn’t there a question that were more worthy of your time? No doubt it was for the sole purpose of standing on your soap box to preach! At the time of her initial question, you had no idea, admittedly neither did I, what her intent was. It sounded to me as though she was a parent just trying to help her child, of unknown age or cognitive ability at the time she asked for your assistance, and not necessarily do the work for him. Aren’t parents supposed to try and help their children with their studies when they can, all in the name of taking interest in what their children are doing? I would be willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that mother’s time is twice as precious as yours, which not only makes you rude, it also makes you arrogant. Thank you for providing this free service, it’s a shame I will never use it again, and I will delete your site from my handout of acceptable online resources that I provide to my students at the beginning of each semester.

        • Bob says:

          ER NO!!!
          A parent ‘helping’ the child with homework would consist of the request, followed by any research that had been carried out and a request for basic pointers.
          Simply asking for the names of the insects and stating that it was homework, is just crass .
          That sort of parenting should at least be trying to teach the child the art of deception , by removing “it is homework” from the question.
          At least the kid is learning the life skills needed to get others to do their work for them.

  3. Spars with Mantids says:

    Brilliantly done! Not rude in any way. Well known as it should be that the ones who run this site do so of their own volition, their time must also be divided amongst any number of other tasks per day, noting that they have few personnel only makes things harder. That being the case I believe it was all in fairness to rightly refuse to help in this case, especially when simpler solutions could be found on large search engines that did not end up wasting someones time. Better it will be for a child/adolescent to learn how to stand on their own two feet now than be dependent on another for years to come.

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