Insects with severed heads live up to one year?

Hello all,

I see lots of places on the web where the same “fact” is regurgitated using almost exactly the same verbiage. The claim is that some insects can live up to one year even after their heads have been cut off, responding automatically to various stimuli.

I suppose a distributed neural system might have advantages, assuming it even exists. Does it really? If not, well, then, just what is it that responds automatically to various stimuli?

Now I’ve heard of some insects whose abdomens continue copulating even as the female starts nibbling on the male’s head, perhaps even into the thorax, and I suppose that’s one thing. But can insects go a year without food? If not, are their mouths not part of their heads? And if their mouths are part of their heads, how can they eat without mouths?

Finally, I thought most insects had a lifespan of considerably less than one year, even with heads intact.

You can imagine who I immediately thought of when this “fact” came across my screen. CE-E-EE-CI-II-I-L!!!

I am not sure about insects, but look up “Mike the Headless Chicken.”

Well, this site says

Insects can, apparently, live for some time without a head, but not “up to a year.”