The Entomological Society of America has announced a Limerick Contest for the Annual Meeting!

Prizes will be awarded for the top three most creative limericks, as judged by an anonymous panel of entomological punsters. The limerick topic can be anything about arthropods, the Annual Meeting, ESA’s officers or other well-known entomologists, just keep it clean! 

I predict some very entertaining limericks will be submitted.  (And why does this sound like something Tom Turpin dreamed up?)

Alas, the ESA’s admonition to “keep it clean” seems to run directly contradictory to what a limerick is all about.  Nearly all descriptions seem to contain the word “bawdy.” They are described thusly: “The true limerick is always obscene” and “From a folkloric point of view, the form is essentially transgressive; violation of taboo is part of its function.”

I pointed this out on Twitter and a few other social media spots, and was instantly deluged with requests to have an UnClean Entomology Limerick Contest. So here you go.


My deadline will be October 1, 2011.  Submit your entries in the comments on this post!


  1. Limericks should be naughty and transgressive, but not gross or squick-inducing.
  2. All taboo violation must be consensual.
  3. The basic Limerick form is couplet/triplet, or AABBA (where A and B represent rhyming words, not Swedish pop bands).
  4. The Limerick must have an arthropod theme of some sort.
  5. Aedeagus and smegma don’t rhyme. Let’s not even go there.
  6. Bribes are encouraged and accepted via PayPal.

I’ll get you started with this classic:

A flea and a fly in a flue
Were caught, so what could they do?
Said the fly, “Let us flee.”
“Let us fly,” said the flea.
So they flew through a flaw in the flue.

Let the Games Begin!

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!


  1. Praying mantises thus copulate
    While a snuff movie they assiduously emulate
    the male from behind
    begins with a grind
    While the female doth him decapitate

  2. OK, another:

    An extreme S&M thug
    Is the male of the species the bed-bug
    He’s truly a prick
    With an injurious dick
    Shagging his mate on the rug

  3. Jennifer Chesworth September 9, 2011 at 7:28 am

    A sailor was playing at dice
    and won him a mermaid, how nice.
    But her privates were crawling.
    “You’ve got crabs, how appalling!”
    She assured him, “Not crabs, sir. They’re lice.”

  4. There once was an aphid from Texas,
    Who didn’t not know what sex is.
    She thought her ovipositors
    were mandibular appendages
    and instead of coming she went

  5. A Venus fly trap couldn’t catch a fly.
    It pondered and wondered why.
    Then one day it could tell,
    if it emitted a certain smell,
    it’d resisted by no Musca domestica guy.

  6. A young lad in a whorehouse quite drunk
    Caught a case of the crabs, who’da thunk
    “My kingdom! And Rubies!
    For a curse on Phthirus pubis!”
    He screamed, while scratching his junk.

  7. At a halloween party themed dirty
    The Bee said to The Flower all flirty
    With consent, I’ll disrobe ya
    For nectar, I’ll probe ya
    You’ll like it – it won’t at all hurty.

    Why, sir! said The Flower, taken aback
    I’ve had quite my share in the sack
    Been with proboscises
    That made me go, ‘Oh noesises!’
    So it’s no go till I see what you pack.

  8. I’ll say this about the membracid
    Their horns are never flaccid
    Made from augmented wings
    they’re wondrous things
    One look and the ladies ain’t lucid.

    I’m actually from the place in Ireland called ‘Limerick’ so this awkward rhyme proves that you can’t inherit talent from where you grew up. :)

  9. So I’m already breaking the rules but nonetheless shall enter a malacological limerick.

    Banana Bob was a slug without malice
    who fell deeply for slimey young Alice.
    Though all foot, and no arms,
    he was not without charms.
    Won her with his dolichophallus.

  10. There once was a honey bee drone,
    Who refused to make the queen moan.
    “If I just get one shot,
    She’d better be hot,”
    He said as he did it alone.

  11. These are awesome, everyone!

  12. Seriously, what’s the point of a clean limerick?

  13. There once was a girl who loved bugs,
    And thought those who hurt them were thugs.
    But the lice didn’t care,
    And infected her hair,
    Now no one will give her some hugs.

    sorry for the general lameness of this, but it’s all I got.

  14. The mayfly is singin’ no blue-blues.
    He knows Nature’s makin’ no boo-boos.
    His doubled-up penes
    Are not extra weenies:
    The love of his life has two hoo-hoos.

    The queen bee grows fat on royal jelly
    So she can grow eggs in her belly.
    Her suitors she’ll goad
    Till their testes explode.
    What else could she do, without telly?

    The red velvet mite is the warden
    Of sperm that he sprays on his garden.
    A lovelorn female
    Tracks his long silky trail
    And will sit on his sticks, if you pardon.

    Drosophila, species bifurca
    Can take a long distance to jerka.
    His sperm runs two inches.
    (Dear lord, how that pinches!)
    To unzip, this fly goes berserka!

    Non-limerick extra: My love bug song “The Nearctica Waltz” at
    Thanks for the contest! :-)

  15. Nearly gravid the culex would probe
    for the finest meal under my robe
    Her proboscis would poke
    So collossus the joke
    Twas the best night I’ve had on the globe

  16. The Mosquitoes Buzz Translated

    If I told you my babies depended
    on your corpuscles could they be lended?
    I would take but a little
    try my best not to spittle
    Neuroinvasive disease not intended

  17. gah! I meant

  18. The Bed Bug’s short life is no fun,
    Sipping blood without seeing the sun.
    When faced with the chore
    Of making some more:
    Traumatic insemination

  19. There was a white fly from Dahjeling
    green leaves in abundance she was feeling
    she spotted her mate
    who grumbled you’re late
    then jumped her and sent her reeling.

  20. Ahh grasshopper said the fly
    those holes are so big my oh my
    You’ve had your fill
    and eventually you will
    cause the plant to fall over and die!

  21. A flesh fly has been feeling,
    Like her innards have been pealing.
    The problem you see,
    Was vivipary,
    “It’s a girl!” she said, exploding.

  22. A bedbug was up in a tizz
    With a lady in which he might jizz
    But before they could start
    She cut out his heart
    With a member much bigger than his

  23. Our resident latrodectus
    Though venomous, haven’t yet pecked us.
    But many a widow
    Has made many a kiddo,
    And the progeny just about wrecked us.

    (Bonus reading.)

  24. There once was a bug full of stink
    Wanting to poke a girl with his dink
    She put up her shield
    So the male did yield
    And off through the leaves he slinked

  25. I tried to make a naughty limerick but it came out like this. Sigh.

    Arthroda’s a group full of taste, yeah?
    It includes the subphylum Crustacea
    With lobsters and crabs,
    Dandy shrimp up for grabs.
    Eat em raw if that’s where it takes ya.

  26. There once was a fellow named Paul
    Whose wang was exceeding small.
    He buggered a bug
    On the edge of the rug
    And the bug didn’t know it at all.

  27. A male pillbug abandoned the land,
    To find relief for his masculine gland.
    He ventured into the sea.
    Made sweet love with a Mysidae.
    But external fertilization is bland.

  28. There once lived a spider named Pamela
    Who was nice for a largish tarantula
    But when she got scared
    She turned and prepared
    And hit me dead on with her fecula

  29. A fruit fly froze in horror
    At the name Saphophora.
    “Taxonmist pricks,
    It’ll never stick!
    ‘Drosophila’ forevermore!”

  30. A tick met a mite in Nantucket
    She said if you bite it, I’ll suck it
    But the human had DEET
    From his head to his feet
    Bugs need food too, WTF it!

    Am I the only non-entomologist contributor? Am I being really stupid? I’m OK with that…..

  31. Laika, I’m not an entomologist, either — just a fan!

  32. Entomology isn’t in a fancy diploma…it’s in your heart!

    At least that’s what I tell myself as I plod lazily through community college.

  33. Laika–everyone is welcome!
    And well done–
    Bonus points for using Nantucket :)

  34. As the stink bug took a big leak
    The inch worm said, “hey man, you reek!”
    Oh, I wouldn’t be so smug
    Said the odiferous bug.
    At your angry inch, I did peek!

  35. There once was a boy named Hakeem
    Who pleasured himself with whipped cream
    Till a trail of ants
    Marched out of his pants
    Terminix was called with a scream!

  36. It is true when they say the bed bug
    has the sexual grace of a thug
    by thrusting with might
    right through a sternite
    and leaving no seminal plug

  37. A gypsy moth knew she’d been cursed:
    “Being gynandromorphic’s the worst!
    Though my pheromone trails
    Lure all the best males,
    My left side always hits me up first!”

  38. Love it! Bonus points for using “gynandromorph” :)

  39. I have a healthier penchant at writing text
    Than expertise about your buggy insects
    Scoffed the doodlebug in a way so rude
    “Mr Ant, downhere you are screwed!”
    That’s the closest this poem gets to sex!

    What makes this comment really fun for me is that I am inspired by your blogging. Not that I am going to become and ento-ma-whatever, but that you have made looking at the insect world a little more entertaining with your writing style. I mean, com’on! If you can laugh reading a post about lecherous lice vs. South American defoliation habits, you have to blame the writer!

  40. *I am good with words, not typing (and=an)

  41. A polite fly flew home from school.
    It took the long way home, being a fool.
    Tired and looking to sit,
    it spotted some occupied dog shit
    And said “Pardon me, may I borrow this stool?”.

  42. A flea and a fly in a flue…
    “…now ‘ang about, ‘old it you two !
    I’ve seen you before,
    ‘ere’s me fist, there’s the door,
    now get out of it ! bugger off, shoo !”

  43. I think any decent young fellar
    would see the position, and tell her
    that to wed a crustacean
    is frought with frustration –
    you wouldn’t undress her, you’d shell her.

  44. In the Duc D’Etraigne’s house there’s frustration
    ‘cos he loves to screw crabs with elation,
    and the servants, you see,
    they’re forbidden to pee –
    at least while D’Etraigne’s in the ‘stacean…

  45. An ant of the old genus Ponera
    Had a date at the island of Gomera.
    Cos the island is great(*),
    It was a bit late,
    So it did it herself with her femora.

    (*) For an ant.

  46. […] and BugGirl encouraged her readers to entertain us all with some lewd limericks! […]

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