Crickets, Fireflies, and an "Insectopedia"

All about bugs and their amazing life on the planet. We’ll crack open the big new “Insectopedia.”

Hugh Raffles is an anthropologist whose head was turned by bugs — by the world of insects that surrounds and affects and ignores us.

Sometimes it delights — in summer crickets and fireflies and the August whirr of cicadas. Sometimes it plagues — in termites and locusts and the fly that won’t go away.

Sometimes we obsess on insects. Usually we’re oblivious to the vast world of insect life that hums at our side.

But Hugh Raffles is not. He’s tuned way in with his new “Insectopedia.”

This hour, On Point: the bugs’ life that surrounds our own.


Hugh Raffles, professor of anthropology at The New School and author of “Insectopedia.” His essays have appeared in Natural History, Granta, The Best American Essays, and elsewhere, and he is the recipient of a 2009 Whiting Writers’ Award.

You can read excerpts from “Insectopedia” at the book’s website.

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