Entomological Limerick Contest!

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!

Circus of the Spineless #60!

It’s the first Monday of March! Spring is in the air!
In fact, 2 weeks from now is the official end of winter and beginning of Spring.  (For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway.)

And….well. We all know what spring is about.


Sex is a common obsession with biologists. In fact, there is a Flickr Group called Insect Porn.

There is nothing wrong with that, of course. Whatever 2 (or more) consenting adult insects choose to do together is completely healthy and natural. So, on to this month’s emissions. Uh, submissions.

Sleeping with the Fishes covers Deep Sex! I mean, Deep Sea Sex. By krill.  Shameless little buggers!  (Here’s the video. You know you want to watch it.)

Kevin covers barnacle sex and Mr. Darwin.  Including a link to Isabella Rosselini’s educational film on barnacle reproduction.

Wandering Weta blogs about Behind the Red Door.   All about tubeworms.  Which are not like trouser snakes. Really.

Sadly, it appears that the Johnson’s Tiger Beetle isn’t getting any in Missouri. Which may be why the population appears to be extirpated, according to Beetles in the Bush.  (I would like to point out that I have shown great restraint in not making even worse sexual innuendo out of “Johnson” and “Bush.”)

Since we’re talking about tiger beetles, I want to bring this project to your attention–it’s a Kickstarter project about one of the rarest insects in the US–the Salt Creek Tiger Beetle.  (Kickstarter is a way for filmmakers and artists to raise cash online.)  He only needs about $1500 more to fund his project, so consider tossing him some cash. He promises not to spend it on hookers and blow like some Hollywood types.

Deep Sea News covers the Release of the Daphnia Genome. These adorable little crustaceans often don’t bother with sexual reproduction. You could say the Sisters are Doin’ it for Themselves.

And, of course, there is always the inevitable result of sex–offspring.  Dragonfly Woman has some awesome photos of giant water bug eggs! Some of these are the result of electron microscopy–extreme closeup!


Ok, there is a limit to my ribaldry.   Or, at least a limit on a school night!

10,000 Birds has a series of great photos of Dragonflies, as does Wild Sri Lanka‘s post on  dragonflies.

Slugyard has a nice photo of a Dance Fly, and Real Monstrosities covers Hydras!

This post was not submitted, but I include it because it has photos of Membracids! Squee!! Adorable.

Composing this month’s CoS was exhausting.  So, how about some Napping Ants?! But…they’re supposed to be workaholics! Wild about Ants explains.

Next month’s Circus will be hosted at NeuroDojo. You can find his email here.  It remains to be seen if I will ever be allowed to host a Circus of the Spineless again, after working blue on this one.