Over the last 25 years that whatsthatbug.com has been online, we have been asked some seriously crazy questions.
One theme that has come a few times that deserves a special mention is (almost) a request to do our readers’ children’s homework.
As a principle, we do not entertain requests for bug identification tied to doing children’s homework. We believe that in today’s world where kids have information at their fingertips, it will serve them well to do some legwork and find out more about the insect that they have been asked to.
Here are a handful of “homework requests” that we have got in the past.
Letter 1 – What's That Bug? will not do your child's homework
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
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.
Letter 2 – Collection needs identifying
Subject: What are the names of these bugs
September 25, 2013 7:21 pm
You are really funny. See this posting.
Letter 3 – Bug Collection needs identification
Geographic location of the bug: Alabama
Time: 11:27 AM EDT
I am doing a bug project and I need to have this bug identified
How you want your letter signed: Evan
Your attached image is not of a bug, but of a collection that contains 15 creatures or creature parts that we suspect you are requesting us to identify for you. Additionally, we are presuming your “need” is in some way related to credit for a course of study for which you will be receiving a grade. Many years ago we posted a submission we titled What’s That Bug will not do your child’s homework and we still stand by that policy. We fully understand the pedagogy of teachers assigning an insect collection as a learning exercise in a science class, but we are appalled at the disregard shown by many desperate students who request (and often demand) our assistance as their deadlines approach. We suspect there was some lecture material on the taxonomy of identification provided to you in class, and that there is perhaps even a text book for your class that has some information that you could use to begin searching for the information you need to complete your bug project. You may search our extensive archives, or find other sources on the internet including BugGuide where you should be able to find the answers you desire within a few hours. We graciously decline your request for us to do your homework for you. If we have misinterpreted your request, please let us know.