Alex Wild writes in his Compound Eye blog:
Why are media insects misidentified?
That’s not a bee…. How does a fly end up advertising a book whose target audience, not to mention the mortified authors, will instantly recognize as a mistake?
Publishers, photo editors, and stock agencies—those entities that purchase from image creators—trust photographers to correctly identify their subjects. This system works well enough so long as image creators stick to broadly recognizable categories. A travel photographer isn’t going to misidentify the Eiffel Tower. When the subject matter turns technical, though, photographers are often out of their depth….
The result is photographers who don’t know what they’re shooting, photo researchers who aren’t trained to screen science uploads, and stock libraries that fill with inadequately identified material. The blind lead the blind and a fly comes to illustrate a tome on bees. Such errors are common….
(Thanks to investigator Mark Dionne for bringing this to our attention.)