Our playful entomologists

In the August 2016 Funny Times, a wonderful piece “The Name Game” by M.K. Wolfe, about binomial nomenclature for living things, but with special reference to the taxonomic names of insects (there are, after all, so very many of them). A copy of the piece (which you should embiggen for easier reading):


An entertaining tour of playful, even silly, names that have been adopted. As far as I can tell, these are all entirely accurate, even the insects  Agra vation, Lalsapa lusa, Pison eu, and Vera peculya.

Funny Times provides no information about either M.K. Wolfe or the piece: no identifying note about Wolfe, no source listed for the piece.  But somewhat surprisingly, she turns out to be a playwright and lyricist. From her blog:

Playwright and lyricist MK WOLFE co-founded (with actor and director Al D’Andrea) and for nine years served as literary manager and later managing director of the Third Step Theatre Company, an off-Broadway company in New York devoted to new works. Third Step produced several of her pieces … Since moving to California in 1993, Ms. Wolfe has continued to write in many disciplines.

Ms. Wolfe recently relocated to the East Coast and is producing director of a new theatre venture, Snowlion Repertory Theatre [in Portland ME].

… Ms. Wolfe has written in a variety of other media, having penned two children’s books, a radio play, and a screenplay entitled The Last Mammoth (with Hollywood animal trainer Brian McMillan et al). She has had articles on various topics published in local and national magazines and lectured on zoological topics at the Los Angeles Zoo, where she was also a volunteer keeper. She has worked as an animal trainer with film and TV animals, including African elephant Nellie and a variety of big cats.


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