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Insects 2011, 2(3), 336-342;

Popularity of Different Lampyrid Species in Japanese Culture as Measured by Google Search Volume

3-13-29, Takejima, Nishiyodogawa-ku, Osaka 555-0011, Japan
Received: 18 May 2011 / Revised: 18 June 2011 / Accepted: 28 June 2011 / Published: 5 July 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects in Pop Culture, Art, and Music)
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I investigated the popularity of different lampyrid species (34 species) in Japanese culture as part of a study on cultural entomology. Popularity was assessed by the Google search volume for Japanese lampyrid species names in katakana and hiragana scripts, using the Keyword Tool of Google AdWords. The search volume of lampyrid species as “Genji-botaru” (Luciola cruciata Motschulsky), “Heike-botaru” (Luciola lateralis Motschulsky) and “Hime-botaru” (Hotaria parvula Kiesenwetter), in either or both katakana and hiragana syllabic scripts, was enormously high relative to other lampyrid species, indicating the biased attention of Japanese to these lampyrid species. In addition, search volumes for familial or common lampyrid name (“Hotaru”) was assessed and compared with that of 34 lampyrid species. This analyzing result showed that: (1) the search volumes for katakana and hiragana were 37.7 and 773.1 times higher for “Hotaru” than “Genji-botaru”, respectively; and (2) the search volume for all lampyrid species was clearly higher in katakana than hiragana, whereas the search volumes for “Hotaru” were clearly higher in hiragana than katakana. These results suggest that: (1) the Japanese public tends to perceive lampyrids with not a clear but an ambiguous taxonomic view; and (2) the attitude of the Japanese public toward lampyrids differs between those who perceive lampyrids with a clear taxonomic view (at species level) and with an ambiguous taxonomic view. View Full-Text
Keywords: popularity; lampyrids; Japanese culture; cultural entomology popularity; lampyrids; Japanese culture; cultural entomology
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Takada, K. Popularity of Different Lampyrid Species in Japanese Culture as Measured by Google Search Volume. Insects 2011, 2, 336-342.

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