Ugly Beauty

A Giant Robber Fly Face (picture taken by scientists at under a scanning electron microscope at the University of Oklahoma) This is the bug my students captured and sent in to be judged. We did not win

Back in September my students and I scoured the school grounds in order to find the ugliest native Oklahoman bug we could possibly locate. (See my first blog about this HERE)This fellow won their votes (I believe he was named Harry). We wrote a paragraph describing our bug and sent him away for judging.

Four looong months later, they finally announced a winner…and it was not the H.P. Robber Fly. But isn’t his picture awesome??

To see more great ugly bugs, check out the winners, and learn more about this great science contest Go To: http://www.uglybug.org

Here is our essay about old Harry Boomer Bug…Remember, we wrote this within a few weeks of school starting and 80 students had a say in what went into this short draft. I am very proud of what they put into this! ENJOY:

Our Ugly Bug contestant is a Giant Robber Fly. Giant Robber Flies are known by the Latin name “Promachus”, which translated to ‘Promachos” in Greek means ‘Champion.” Also known as a Bee Killer or an Assassin Fly, the Giant Robber Fly is classified as follows:

Kingdom – Animalia
Phylum – Anthropoda
Subphylum – Hexapoda
Class – Insecta
Order – Diptera
No Taxon (Orthorrhapha)
Superfamily – Asiloidea
Family – Asilidae
Subfamily – Asilinae
Genus – Promachus

Robber flies live in dry, not cold, habitats that include short grass and sparse plant life.

A few interesting facts about these bugs are that they eat other (larger) insects, have three simple eyes between their two compound eyes, and that they are hatch in the winter and later will die in the winter. These insects also do not have a mouth. They use their proboscis as both an injector of poisoned saliva and as a straw to suck their liquified food through.

We found this Giant Robber Fly (named Harry) behind the playground equipment in a sparsely vegetated area at the edge of a wooded space. This area is full of multiple species of insects such as mustard bugs, grasshoppers, praying manti, and dragonflies.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this contest. We hope you enjoy Harry’s ugly whiskers!

Sincerely,

The 5th Grade Class of Highland Park Elementary

Looking for Ugly Bugs….OR, Ms. Tyree it’s staring at me!

Yesterday my science classes went on an ugly bug walk. Along the way we discovered many things about ourselves and each other. My prissy princesses ran amuck to grab the ugliest, nastiest bugs they could find while some of my more snips and snails type boys squealed and ran from a locust. I, on the other hand, caught a golf ball. His is name is Frederick Marie and my Dad made fast friends with him 😉

During the last class hour a woman came from the newspaper to snap a few pictures and copy down a line or two about just exactly what it was I had them doing (for the record, there will be microscopes and a contest involved!). I figured we would wind up in the middle of the Sunday paper so it was much to my surprise, and many others’ delight, that we were a featured front page story in today’s paper. The students are thrilled with it and I am super proud of them!

Maybe some day my picture in the paper will look like I’m smart…

For now though, I have to go…the praying mantis keeps looking at me and I’m having flash backs to season 1 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer! *shudders*

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