UGLY BUG CONTEST
Rules and Instructions
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE
2005 OMS Ugly Bug Contest is open to all
1. Collect bugs.
The bugs must be native to
2. Pick the ugliest or most unique(only one per school!). Small insects make the best entries because photography is easier and the images are typically of better quality.
3. Write a description of your ugly bug.
4. Mail it to OMS, using the attached form, to be received by September 30.
5. Check the Ugly Bug web site (www.uglybug.org) in December to see if you win!
Beginning of School-September 30
Collection of bugs, in-house preliminary contests
September 30 Bugs must be received by OMS!
September 30 – November 30
Bugs will be processed, photographed, and judged by OMS members
December 3 Winners will be announced!
Check the OMS web site, www.uglybug.org, to see if your bug was a winner. Only the winning schools will be contacted about receiving your prize. And even if you didn’t win a prize, your poster and bug photo will be mailed to you in the next few months.
Safety: OMS is concerned about the student’s safety while they are collecting insects so we will not accept poisonous bugs in the contest. All spiders and scorpions can be considered venomous, especially black widow and brown recluse, so the society has decided not to accept spiders or scorpions. Please read the suggestions at the end of this document for more information on potential hazards.
Condition: The bug must be in good condition; i.e., not crushed, dirty, or partially eaten.
Packaging: It is preferred that the bug is dead when
it is mailed. A live bug may be turned
into a dead bug by placing it in a freezer for about 48 hours. Bugs may also be preserved by immersion in
isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. If the bug
has a soft body (i.e. catepillar, tick, mite, chigger, etc), it should be
treated this way so that it doesn't shrink due to dehydration. Make sure the alcohol can't spill during
transit! Place the bug into a container
that will protect it during mailing.
Used 35 mm film canisters work well.
Small mailing boxes work better than
envelopes. Be sure to pack it so that it will not be damaged by
handling. One way to do this is to pin
it through the body to a piece of Styrofoam and placing it in a sturdy
container. Further processing will be
done at the OMS member's lab.
Only one bug per school may be submitted to OMS. If only one classroom at the school is participating in the contest, the bug can be from that classroom alone. We would suggest holding in-classroom and/or in-school preliminary contests, using magnifying glasses or stereomicroscopes (if available) to pick the very ugliest bug for submission. The decision of whether to have all students find a bug and write individual descriptions or to pick the ugliest bug first and write a description as a class is at the discretion of the teacher. In determining which bug is the ugliest, look at the head, or 'face' of the bug. This is what OMS members will attempt to photograph for judging.
Mail your ugly bug to the listed OMS member listed below. These people will also be your contacts for any questions regarding the contest. The Ugly Bug website (www.uglybug.org) is a source for information and you are always welcome to contact any other OMS member.
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In order for the bug to be included in the contest, it must be accompanied by a description (approximately a paragraph, though you may do more if you’d like). The quality and accuracy of the description will be taken into account in the judging process, and used to break any ties between ugly bugs. The description may include, but is not limited to, the following:
1. We call it a "bug", but what is it, really?
Give the bug's common name, and its scientific name if possible.
Peterson Field Guides are an excellent source for classifying.
**If you have internet access, the "Insects Home Page" (http://earthlife.net/insects) is a fabulous site with lots of fascinating bug information, help with naming and classifying, and extensive resource lists of other books and websites for more information.
2. Describe some things about this "bug"
Where does it live? What does it eat? How long does it live? How does it affect people or plants or animals? What is important about this bug?
3. Describe your collection of this "bug"
Where did you find it? (county, town, etc.) What did you observe about its surrounding habitat?
The ugly bug you send to OMS will be processed, coated with gold or another metal to make it conductive, and examined in the scanning electron microscope of an OMS member. The scanning electron microscope allows us to observe objects at very high magnifications. Instead of using light, as in the familiar optical microscope, the electron microscope uses a fine beam of electrons. Because light is not used, no color is seen. The photograph of your bug will be black and white. Electron microscopes can magnify objects from 10 times to more than 500,000 times! Depending on the size of the bugs submitted for the contest, they will only need to be magnified 10 to 500 times their original size..
Entries will be judged by a selected group of OMS members. Judging will be based on the 'ugly' appearance of the bug (as seen in its SEM photo), and the quality, accuracy and thoroughness of the description accompanying it. In the case of several bugs of the same type being submitted, the description will be used to distinguish between them and to break any ties. Last year's entries are posted on the Oklahoma Microscopy Society web site, at www.uglybug.org.
The grand prize for the 2005 contest will be a high-quality stereomicroscope of approximately $1000 value!. At least four runner-up prizes of microscopy curriculla and books will also be awarded. More prizes may be given based upon the number of entries received. All participating schools will receive a large poster highlighting some of the bugs from the contest, and an 8x10 photo of their own bug. Bugs will also be displayed on the internet at the Oklahoma Microscopy Society Web site, www.uglybug.org. OMS considers the bugs in the contest to be submitted on behalf of the school, and therefore any prizes awarded belong to the school itself and not to the student who originally found the bug.
MOST LIKELY "BUGS" TO BE FOUND
The phylum ARTHROPODA will be the likely source of the bugs. Arthropods have a characteristic chitinous exoskeleton. The name Arthopoda means "jointed legs" and refers to one of the basic characteristics of the group. Most of the bugs should fall into the ARACHNIDA and INSECTA classes.
Kingdom - ANIMALIA
Phylum - ARTHROPODA
Class – ARACHNIDA: spiders, scorpions, ticks, mites
Six pairs of appendages on the cephalothorax
Two pair for eating or stinging. Four pair for walking
Cephalothorax and abdomen
Often simple eyes, never compound eyes or antennae
Class – CHILOPODA: centipedes
Body: many segments all alike, one pair of legs per segment
Feed on small animals
Class – DIPLOPODA: millipedes
Same as Chilopoda except two pairs of legs per segment
Feed on vegetable matter
Class – INSECTA: grasshoppers, flies, beetles
Three body regions - head, thorax, abdomen
Compound eye; may also have simple eye or ocelli
Three pairs of mouth parts and three pairs of thoracic legs
A WORD ABOUT ENDANGERED BUGS…
There is one
A WORD ABOUT POTENTIAL HAZARDS OF BUG COLLECTING…
Use Care When Collecting Insects and Arachnids!
Many insects are capable of stinging and biting for protection from predators and therefore, should always be handled with care. Wasps, bees, cicada killers, horse flies, robber flies and numerous other flying insects can yield a powerful sting if provoked. Insects such as assassin bugs (wheel bugs, note wheel shape on top of thorax) and aquatic bugs (giant water bugs, backswimmers) do not sting, but have piercing mouthparts that inflict a painful bite.
Arachnids (scorpions and spiders) are venomous.
All spiders can bite inflecting pain from the chelicera (teeth) entering
the skin. The venom of a tarantula
probably will not cause a reaction in a human, but the size of the chelicera
can cause a nasty bite. There are two
spiders native to
Some other invertebrates that should be respected are centipedes (one leg per segment) since they are venomous. However, the millepedes (two legs per segment) are non-venomous and are safe to handle. Predators such as wheel bugs are also venomous and will still be accepted, but handle with care because they can yeild a nasty bite!
OMS is pleased to thank our corporate sponsors:
ConocoPhillips, Kerr-McGee, and Carl Zeiss Microimaging.
This contest could not be offered without the