Ugly Bug Contest 2010

You are now entering another dimension. A dimension of insects determined to be crowned the next ugly bug champion. The Ugly Bug Contest 2010 video is based on The Twilight Zone television series. (Best viewed at 480p)

Audio is from the Community Audio collection at, and the grasshopper video is from


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


The video opens with a black screen. Music begins. It is recognizably the opening theme music from the Twilight Zone television show, and as it plays parts of a sign flash on the screen in a checkerboard pattern.

At first only half of the sign is revealed, but then it is filled in with the rest of the image. The sign has a black border that contains stripes of black-white-black, and there is text on each of the three lines and it reads, "Ugly Bug Advisory View At Own Risk". The sign enlarges as the music builds, and then changes as the music crescendos, and screeches. The screen now reads, "The Ugly Bug Contest 2010" in white text on a black background. As the image changes again, the music continues with a soft drumroll, with a repetition of certain notes.

The screen is filled with a grasshopper. It is moving its front leg, mouth and head. The video stays on the grasshopper and it begins to narrate the video with a clipped delivery reminiscent of Rod Serling's narration of 'The Twilight Zone.'

Grasshopper: You've just entered another dimension. A dimension of insects. A micro-dimension where milkweed bugs, Assassin Bugs, crickets, and fruit flies crawl, walk, or fly, side by side to show off features that are the envy of the insect world, and quite possibly beyond.

As the grasshopper finishes speaking, the music gets louder and the screen is filled with a red and brown bug. 'Oncopeltus fasciatus,' the scientific name of this bug, sits at the bottom of the screen. More words appear in the center of the screen, one letter at a time (as though they are being typed). The new words are also white, and read 'Profile: Mike Milkweed, Bug term status: True bug'.

The image changes, and the screen is filled with a green, yellow and orange bug with an elongated head. The bottom of the screen show its scientific name, 'Reduviidae,' in while text. As before, white words appear as though typed in the center of the screen. They read 'Profile: Alex Assassin Bug, Bug term status: True bug."

Before the words have all appeared, the grasshopper starts speaking again. As the grasshopper speaks two more bugs are shown. 'Acheta domesticus, Profile: Chris Cricket, Bug term status: Informal usage,' is a beige color, and 'Drosophila melanogaster, Profile: Fran Fruit Fly, Bug term status: Informal usage,' is brown with big red eyes.

Grasshopper: Determined to be crowned the next ugly bug champion these insects, some experts at social media, post their latest activities on a website known in this dimension [the screen changes from Archeta domesticus to show the grasshopper once again] as ask-a-biologist. There you can explore a magnified view [here the screen switches to the image of Drosophila melanogaster] of the competitive world of bugs. A world filled with danger, mystery, and adventure. [the screen again changes to the grasshopper once again] A world where you will vote to decide which bug’s fate hangs in the balance.

The music gets louder and more intense, then stops.

The image of the grasshopper goes black, and the screen shows words that read, 'Vote for your favorite at by December 15th, 2010'. And as we watch the screen, smaller white text appears one letter at a time. The text eventually reads, 'then download your own ugly bug coloring page and poster'.

The screen goes black again, and then words scroll from the bottom of the screen to the top. They say, 'sponsored by: Northern Arizona University (NAU), ASU International Institute for Species Exploration (IISE), Arizona Imaging and Microanalysis Society (AIMS), Dow Agrosciences, ASU School of Life Sciences (SOLS)'.

The video ends.

Congratulations Assassin Bug, the Ugly Bug Contest 2010 winner

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