The Grasshopper's Dilemma | LifeVesting
relationships between grasshopper diversity, plant species composition, and habitat .. in leaf axils, grass stems, rotten woods, leaf litter, and in the upper soil layer [11, 13, a God's eye view such that truth is no longer relative to a particular. A grasshopper lands on a plant and eats its leaves for food. Mutualism is a symbiotic relationship in which both organisms benefit. for each plant species, while grasshopper incisive and molar strengths were estimated by a lever mechanics showed that the abundance of leaf chewers on bushes was negatively relationships among the biomechanical traits of plants and those of .. interaction network with the method developed by Ives & God-.
The main objective of this study was to survey indigenous technologies, processing methods and traditions in relation to senene consumption among the Haya tribe in Kagera region of Tanzania. Methods Our ethnographic study was conducted through semi-structured interviews. Questions focused on cultures, beliefs and traditions towards senene consumption. Processing, preservation and shelf-life as well as nutritional knowledge were also investigated.
Results Harvesting for household consumption was mainly done through wild collection. Traditionally made traps were mostly used for commercial harvesting. Interesting traditions and taboos associated with senene consumption were identified, with men monopolising the insects as food by declaring the insects taboo for women and children.
When A Grasshopper is Trying to Tell You Something - Southern Revivals
Deep fried senene in locally packed containers were mostly sold by street vendors, but also available from a variety of stores and supermarkets. Conclusion Beyond being just an important traditional delicacy, senene is becoming increasingly popular, providing opportunity for local businesses.
Indigenous technologies for harvesting, processing and preserving senene exist, but must be improved to meet food processing standards, thereby promoting commercialization.
This carries economic potential essential for improving incomes and livelihoods of women and smallholder farmers, improving household level food security. Senene, Edible insects, Indigenous processing, Tanzania, Ethno-entomology, Food, Grasshopper Background Anthropo-entomophagy is spreading globally [ 1 ]. Although not fully embraced by the majority of Western cultures, consumption of edible insects by humans anthropo-entomophagy has existed since ancient times [ 23 ].
In developed countries like Japan and Korea, the grasshopper, Oxya yezoensis [ 4 ], remains popular as an edible species and globally, Orthoptera like grasshoppers and katydids, e. The East African longhorn grasshopper R. It is easily confused with related species including Ruspolia lineosa, Ruspolia nitidula and Ruspolia dubia [ 9 ] who are also referred to as senene. The nomenclature of R. More than ten scientific names have been suggested since then [ 913 — 15 ].
Senene has been widely harvested and consumed as a traditional snack in Zambia and regions around Lake Victoria crescent including Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Democratic Republic of Congo. In these areas, indigenous people customarily consider senene and other edible insects to be highly nutritious and believe they have specific medicinal properties. This culture has now spread throughout Tanzania where senene is commercially available and widely consumed by different tribes.
Senene is also rich in vitamins and minerals with higher nutrients bioavailability compared to most plants; up to 2. A few studies on R. There are even fewer studies on culture, beliefs and indigenous technology associated with R. It is crucial to understand indigenous technologies, culture and beliefs associated with consumption of R. Main economic activities in this area include farming, fishing, livestock keeping and mining [ 18 ]. The natives of Kagera are mainly of Haya tribe for whom senene is an esteemed delicacy.
This hilly terrain region with thick tropical vegetation including forests and wide-open grasslands experiences two rain seasons. At this point, all we can safely assert is that at least some acridologists—including apparently three highly qualified and experienced practitioners—are collectively confused by the terminology applied to groups of grasshoppers.
Based on my experience, many graduate students and junior scientists working in this field are also somewhat bewildered by which term should be used to describe a group of grasshoppers in a habitat.
Psyche: A Journal of Entomology
However, this seems entirely too quick of a solution to the terminological problem. It is certainly possible that most workers are misusing or misunderstanding a term. Moreover, we cannot summarily conclude that all of the scientists describing grasshopper groups are necessarily referring to one and the same thing. To clearly frame the problem—along with possible solutions and their shortcomings—it is helpful to consider four possibilities. If so, the inconsistencies are not substantive at all.
However, the problem with the different expressions for groups of grasshoppers seems more than a matter of alternative words for the same entity. Hence, the possibility of substantive errors and misunderstandings is real. The manner in which grasshoppers are grouped could be an entirely subjective matter, such that there is no basis to argue for one formulation over another.
As such, one could be a realist about single grasshoppers but an antirealist about groups of grasshoppers [ 4 ]. Taken to an extreme, one could just as defensibly combine grasshoppers based on the potential they have as fish bait, the third letter of their scientific name, or the color of their tibia as one might group them in terms of competitive interactions, behavioral tendencies, or taxonomic relations.
But such a strong nominalist view strikes us as rather implausible. Certain groupings of grasshoppers seem to reflect nonarbitrary qualities of the organisms e. The Terms for Grasshopper Groups Are Objective Truths There could be an objective fact of the matter as to which term uniquely picks out a real thing in the world [ 5 ].
A realist might argue that groups of grasshoppers are actual, mind-independent entities and that these possess some unifying property that makes it correct to call them communities but not populations, for example.
Perhaps groups of grasshoppers are like deer herds, wherein the individuals have interactions or relationships which form a distinct entity. However, a strong realist position seems difficult to defend. It is not unambiguously evident what relationship among the grasshoppers makes the collective into an actual, objectively existing whole.
At least there does not appear to be a single candidate for such a relationship, as the interactions might be understood in various terms e. And this leads us to the fourth and most viable possibility. The Terms for Grasshopper Groups Are Interactional Perspectives The terms used to describe groups of grasshoppers could reflect neither purely subjective nor objective criteria.
There may be multiple, biologically compelling ways of identifying groups although it will also be the case that some approaches are absurd.
For the pluralist [ 67 ], there is more than one way of being right contrary to the objective absolutistbut it is still possible to be wrong contrary to the committed subjectivist.
That is to say, reality can be divided in many ways, but not just any way.
Symbiotic by Michelle Elmore on Prezi
Thus, the researcher has a particular perspective with respect to a line of inquiry and thereby picks out one of the biologically plausible ways to group grasshoppers. Such an approach to understanding some biological groups has been advanced—at least implicitly—by ecologists. In his analysis of the concept of communities, Underwood [ 9 ] described the subjectivist and objectivist views.
However, his contention that no definition will satisfy all—or even most—ecologists, opens the door to the possibility of a pluralistic approach. Perspectival Approaches to Individual Entities Is an axe a weapon or a tool? The group of implements to which an axe belongs does not seem to be objectively or at least singularly determinable. The right assignment of the axe depends on how it is used. Nor is the correct term for the axe merely a philosophical puzzle—the consequences of being wrong could be serious.
The problem of how to perceive an axe persists even when the instrument is not in the hands of others.
Grasshopper Totem and Symbolism
That is, my own intentions or interests are critical to what category of things the axe belongs to when I reach for the instrument. The subjective perspective of the individual engaging the objective entity is critical to our understanding.
The pluralism that arises from this understanding underwrites a philosophy of ecology that is called constrained perspectivism [ 11 ]. Starting with the categorization of an axe creates an accessible starting point, but groups of entities e.
We might contend that an axe is not a single item but is composed of a handle and a head, but these parts seem to be so intimately related in terms of the function of the whole that treating an axe as a particular item is appropriate. In fact, that is the matter we are trying to resolve: Perspectival Approaches to Collective Entities Imagine that a person walks into a room containing old furniture. The individual wants to describe what he sees and wonders about the correct term to use for the group of chairs, tables, lamps, and whatnot.
The challenge is whether there is a single, right way to convey to others what he has observed—is there an objective descriptor? It seems not, as the most accurate term will depend on his interests and those of the persons with whom he will be communicating. The interests of the observer and those with whom he is speaking are inextricably woven into choosing the right description.
This is not to say that there is no way to be wrong about a term for the furniture. In fact, there are at least two mistakes to be made. First, the man could simply use a term that does not pertain to groupings of furniture. Neither description is meaningful or appropriate for items of furniture—there is a category error in using such terms. Second, the man could use a term that is uninformative or even misleading to the listener.
Perspectival Approaches to Scientific Referents Before we consider the importance of terminology for groups of grasshoppers, it is useful to briefly consider two analogous cases in science and why the use of alternative terms mattered. In physics, there has been considerable debate as to the nature of light [ 1213 ]. Both the particle and wave advocates were able to construct sound arguments and compelling experiments in defense of their views. It matters a great deal in physics whether something is a wave or a particle, but at least with respect to light there is no objective fact of the matter.
Consider the case of Echium plantagineum in Australia [ 14 ]. So, is there a correct term for a group of grasshoppers? The American pragmatist William James [ 15 ] argued that: It can be efficient at all only by picking out what to attend to, and ignoring everything else,—by narrowing its point of view. Otherwise, what little strength it has is dispersed, and it loses its way altogether.
Man always wants his curiosity gratified for a particular purpose. This position would suggest that the acridologist must choose a perspective, that there is some particular interest being served by an investigation.
Terminology is thus pragmatic reflective of interestsperspectival based on where one stands conceptuallyand pluralistic dependent on more than a single, correct, or objective viewpoint. So there is a right term to use for a given situation—whatever most accurately conveys the intentions of the researcher and communicates this point of view to fellow scientists.
The Right Term for a Group of Grasshoppers: Conceptual Context If the pragmatic philosophy of constrained perspectivism with its pluralist solution is to be adopted by acridologists, there are three concepts to keep in mind as we consider the various terms that might be used to describe groups of grasshoppers. Role of Objectivity The acridologist faced with multiple terms for groups of grasshoppers might worry that the pluralist approach is a slippery slope.
Can objectivity check the slide toward radical subjectivism? I will have more to say about this later, but for the present it is sufficient to maintain that objectivity can limit pluralism in two ways.
If we think of a group of grasshoppers as a terrorist cell and launch a full-scale military attack to destroy them, the world pushes back through the economic costs, political repercussions, environmental damage, and social condemnation of our foolishness.
But our understanding is invariably domain-specific. One might even say that we should try to be as objective as possible about and within our subjective context. Nature of Groups In some biological settings, groups are readily observable. The group of cells comprising an organism is quite evident, and even some ecological groups are discernible e.Becoming One with God -- Pt 1 (Joyces Bootcamp: Knowing God -- Week 2)
However, most groups of grasshoppers that are studied by ecologists are not visible. This is not a challenge particular to acridology. Indeed, Reiners and Lockwood [ 11 ] made the case that: For the most part there are not directly observable properties of a group of grasshoppers that provide a kind of objective taxonomy.
That said, we may be able to infer qualities of the collective via sampling e. Furthermore, various instruments and measurements have been developed to discern the effects of the group e. As will be evident in the following section, the terms which we apply to groups of grasshoppers may well make a difference with regard to orienting the research agenda of science, communicating our findings, and perhaps even developing sound government policies and taking effective management actions.
These potential consequences should not be surprising in light of other cases in which how scientists have chosen terms and perspectives mattered see Perspectival approaches to scientific referents. Principled Relevance Assuming that the reader is not entirely on board with the framework of pragmatism that is captured by constrained perspectivism [ 11 ], there is a principled reason why the choice of terms in science matters.
That is, science is thought by many to be our closest approximation to the way the world actually is. If so, then the matter of what ecologists call groups of organisms is not an artificial controversy. Rather than making a philosophical mountain out of a scientific molehill, being clear and accurate in our language is vital to the practice of science.
We would not countenance saying that 3. Plausible Options The predominant terms used to describe groups of grasshoppers are assemblage, population, community, and guild.
Other terms for ecological groupings, such as association, inventory, and biocoenosis, can be subsumed under these more conventional descriptors.