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Bug of the Week is written by "The Bug Guy," Michael J. Raupp, Professor of Entomology at the University of Maryland.

Bug of the Week Academy Awards 2016


Red carpet fashions in the insect world rival anything seen in Hollywood.


This week the Film Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced the Oscar winners at the 88th Annual Award Ceremony. Bug of the Week takes a respite from its tropical adventures to recognize the accomplishments of the great cast of bugs we visited in 2015. It has been another fantastic year for insects and their relatives. By virtue of the fact that you are reading this message, you are a member of the Bug of the Week Academy. This is your chance to vote for some of your favorite characters and episodes. Three categories of accomplishment will be recognized this year. They are: “Glad they are tiny” award for scariest predator, “You ought to be in pictures” award for most beautiful insect, and “More than I needed to know” award for bugs behaving badly.

"GLAD THEY ARE TINY". The nominees are:

Common house spider, Parasteatoda tepidariorum, in a haunting sequel to Kathy Bates’ performance in Misery, an unfortunate cricket learns the cruelty of a serial killer in “Spiders in corners.”


The brachonid wasp Cotesia for its performance as a microscopic alien in “To sting a stinger”, for injecting her spawn into the body of a hapless caterpillar (not played by Sigourney Weaver).


The lycosid wolf spider in “Wolves on a summer’s night” goes cross genre with a stunning vampire-like performance as the exsanguinator of crickets.


Following years of apprenticeship under the tutelage of famed hot dog eater Joey Chestnut, Calisoma wilcoxi claims the title of cankerworm eating champion in “Ground beetles in the air.”


"YOU OUGHT TO BE IN PICTURES". The nominees are:


In her film debut, child actress Papilio polyxenes dazzles as a young foodie obsessed with discovering the perfect herbs to satisfy her adolescent hunger cravings in “Swallowtail trifecta.”





Iconic Danaus plexippus draws on her royal upbringing to retain dignity and beauty in the role of a peripatetic vagabond who braves lethal predators, crazed New England drivers, and horrific weather on a three thousand mile journey to her winter home in Mexico in “Monarchs and Mojitos.”





Rising Latino starlet Agraulis vanillae gives a sassy performance as a gorgeous temptress whose passion for passion fruit holds nasty surprises for untoward villains in “Beautiful but stinky.”




Anartia fatima, the banded peacock, is the sole male entry in this category who earned a nomination as the handsome and swashbuckling suitor of fair members of his species in “Dating games of peacock butterflies.”    




"MORE THAN I NEEDED TO KNOW". The nominees are:

Lovely tiger swallowtails reveal their ghoulish side along the banks of the Potomac River in “Butterflies behaving badly.” 


While shooting a scene for a soft drink commercial, a yellow jacket loses her composure and goes for an unexpected soda swim in “Beware of zesty drinks.”


A clever swallowtail caterpillar escapes abduction by delivering smelly, disgusting surprises to giant fingers in “Swallowtail trifecta.”


In the remake of “There will be blood”, Belizean black flies school unsuspecting students and teachers on the true meaning of bloodlust.


How to cast your vote: Click on Comment (below left);  type your votes into the box that appears, choosing only one nominee from each of the three categories; click on Post Comment (lower right); a login page will appear - click on the person icon (upper left); type in Your Name but skip the next 2 optional lines; click the white LOGIN box, and your ballot is cast!

Winners of the Bug of the Week Academy Awards will be announced next week. May the best bug win!