‘Insecta’ documentary examines the lives of entomologists

|  December 7, 2017

A team of entomologists at the University of Arizona released a 26-minute documentary titled Insecta: Science That Stings, which details the lives of several entomologists.

Justin Schmidt, the “King of Sting,” is featured in the film. A biologist at Southwestern Biological Institute who is associated with the entomology department at the University of Arizona, Schmidt had insects of the order Hymenoptera sting him so he create what’s known as the Schmidt Sting Pain Index. A tarantula hawk’s sting ranks among the highest, and the bite reportedly made it in the film. (See “Entomologist rates stinging insect pain in new book” for details on his book about the stings.)

Entomology Today interviewed three entomologists involved in the film, which outlines their goals for the project. The synopsis? To tackle the general population’s negative outlook on insects and affirm their importance in nature.

Cody Sheehy, video coordinator at the university and Insecta filmmaker and producer, told the Casa Grande Dispatch: “People who appreciate insects will definitely enjoy this film, but Cara and I set out to connect with all the people out there who are terrified or disgusted by insects. We meet them where they are and take them on a journey that ends in the wonder of science and exploration. This film is for them.”

Cara Gibson, Ph.D., is assistant professor of practice and director of science communications at the University of Arizona Department of Entomology. She co-produced the film and was one of the entomologists profiled.

The Loft Cinema in Tuscan, Ariz., played a screening of Insecta last week, and later appeared on Arizona Public Media (PBS). The documentary is now available in full on YouTube — seen below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rL6_auHRfI&t=12s

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