Ugly Bug Contest 2009

The Ugly Bug Contest has been part of the Flagstaff Festival of Science and Mt. Campus Science Day since 1997. Ask-a-Biologist is pleased to extend the contest to the world via the Web.


Script: Jacob Sahertian and Jacob Mayfield
Video editing: Jacob Sahertian and Patricia Sahertian
Sound editing: Jacob Mayfield
Voice of the announcer: Jacob Mayfield
Bug colorization: Debra Page Baluch
Transcript: James Baxter


The video opens with the sound of a bell, like the kind used to start wrestling matches, and faint sounds of a crowd cheering. The screen contains red text over a concrete wall. The text says "Ugly Bug Contest - 2009".

The video holds on the text for a moment, and then zooms out. The "Ugly Bug Advisory" logo scrolls across the screen as the announcer starts speaking. The announcer speaks in the style of announcers for professional wrestling, with a deep voice that seems to echo, and draws out some words for effect.

Announcer: Ladies and Gentlemen, children of all ages, BEWARE! Dow AgroSciences, Northern Arizona University, and Arizona State University [the logo for each sponsor appears on the screen as it is announced] present the 2009 Ugly Bug Contest!

The camera appears to pan down and red text disappears out of frame. White flashing text appears that reads, "the main event," and then fades out, leaving only the concrete wall on the screen.

Announcer: For the main event I am pleased to introduce some of our contestants. Fighting for the order of Hymenoptera ("hymenoptera" scrolls across the screen in gold), with a record of twenty-five wins and two losses, weighing in at 60 milligrams, Polistes "The Shocker" Paper Wasp!

As the announcer is speaking, cracks start to appear in the upper left part of the concrete wall, and as he pronounces the name of the Paper Wasp, the wall breaks and the pieces fall away, revealing the Paper wasp behind it. When the wall breaks it makes a crumbling sound. "Polistes "The Shocker" Paper Wasp" appears in red letters at the bottom of the screen.

Announcer: ...and fighting from the order of Hymenoptera ("hymenoptera" scrolls across the screen in gold), with a record of twenty-one wins and two losses, weighing in at 120 milligrams, Apis "Sweetness" Honey Bee!

This time the concrete wall starts to crack in the lower left corner, and when it breaks we can see Honey Bee behind it. "Apis "Sweetness" Honey Bee" appears at the bottom of the screen in red text.

Announcer: and fighting from the order of Hymenoptera ("hymenoptera" scrolls across the screen in gold), with a record of twenty-two wins and four losses, weighing in at one milligram, Macrosiphon "The Blade" Aphid (the concrete breaks in the upper right corner, and the name of the bug appears at the bottom of the screen).

Announcer: and fighting from the order of Scorpiones ("scorpiones" scrolls across the screen in gold), with thirty-two wins and three losses, weighing at a whopping one gram, Hadrurus "The Stinger" Scorpion (the concrete breaks in the lower right corner, revealing the bug, and its name appears at the bottom of the screen).

Announcer: Who will be this year's ultimate champion? The choice is up to you.

As the announcer finishes speaking the middle part of the concrete wall breaks off and falls offscreen, accompanied by a crumpling sound; the bugs are now floating in black space, with concrete wall at the top and bottom of the screen. The view zooms in until all we can see is the black, and words appear.

The main text is white, and reads, "vote for the ultimate champion at (link in gold) by december 15, 2009 then download your own ugly bug coloring page and poster" with has smaller text under it that reads, "sponsored by: Dow AgroSciences, Northern Arizona University and ASU Institute for Species Exploration." This text remains on the screen until the video ends.

A picture of Earth, from space
How many people can the Earth support?

Be Part of
Ask A Biologist

By volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteers page to get the process started.

Donate icon  Contribute


Share to Google Classroom