such as "Introduction", "Conclusion"..etc
People from different cultural backgrounds worldwide look at the elements of nature as significant signals to predict a great range of situations. The behavior of animals and the appearance or characteristics of plants has guided the first observations and deductions human beings have had about the weather and other day-to-day events (Clausse 1973). For example, in Western Kenya individuals use toads, birds and white ants as indicators of the arrival of rains, while in the northeast of Tanzania the changes in the behavioral patterns of birds, insects and mammals are important signs (Prendergast et al. 1999). In Japan, the names of invertebrates are used metaphorically as synonymous of the seasons. Different names of arthropods, such as flea, housefly, mosquito, firefly, spider, and cicada are meant to be synonymous of summer (Dunn 2000).
Traditional knowledge about sensibility of animal species to the approach of bad or good times has been handed down by word of mouth throughout generations. It is very probable that a meteorological-sensibility allows certain animals to react to atmospheric variations and then indicate important weather phenomena. Insects serve as crucial examples in the listening of these phenomena. For the old Chinese farmers they were the best climatic indicators of change (Jin 1997). The cricket wodey mekeri (several species of blackish crickets are labeled under this name) appears in the passage from the dry season to the rainy season, which means the fields can be prepared (Seignobos et al. 1996). Among the Bushmen of the Kalahari the annual emergence of several insects was used as an indicative of the passage of time, and many insects had their names taken from the events that coincided with the time of their appearance (Green 1998).
Ladybugs are considered as foretellers of luck in many parts of the world (Majerus 1994), while wasps are used as indicators of danger in Japan (Ramos-Elorduy 2000). In some parts of Russia and France people think of a cockroach as a protecting spirit, and its presence in the house is viewed as fortunate; if the cockroach leaves, its departure is taken as a sign of bad luck (Lauck 2002). The common name of death-watch beetle, given to Anobium tesselatum F. (Ptinidae), sufficiently expresses the popular prejudice against this insect. It is believed that the solemn death-watch beetle clicks to hour of someone's death (Cowan 1999). In Northwestern Melanesia some native groups diagnose the illness of patients by the presence or absence of lice. Slight fevers can cause an exodus of body lice that indicates oncoming illness (Posey 1987). The good luck associated with the spiders is frequently related to money matters, and the belief in a money-bringing or gift-giving spider is widespread (Lauck 2002).
The science of semiotics refers to the study of signs and symbols in various fields, especially language (Thompson 1995). Considering animals, their images and transmitted signals are frequently transformed into perceived meaningful signsand then can be investigated through a semioticapproach. The semiotic significance of animals was studied by Marques (2002) from the point of view of the ethnoecology who said the semiotic approach assumes that the cultural/informational web is formed by intermingling not only the knowledge which is generated through the direct interactions between human experience and the stimuli of the environment, but also the feelings, beliefs and behaviors that human beings express.
The present paper aims to record the semiotic meanings that are given both to the appearance and/ or behavior of insect species according to the ethnoentomological knowledge of the inhabitants of the village of Pedra Branca, Bahia State, Brazil.
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