Bug’s Life Rap

The extremely talented and clever students in my  ESPM40 Insects and Human Society class made a variety of cultural entomology/ insect art projects this semester. I am going to share a few of them on my blog. To start, I present Anthony Castro’s  song “Bug’s Life” that covers many of the topics from the class and his eight favorite orders. Listen to the song at the link below and the lyrics are down further, if you want to sing along.



Bug’s Life by Anthony Castro

It’s a bug’s life
It’s a bug’s life
It’s a bug’s life

Verse 1
Let me introduce a topic on them little creepy crawlies
Sit right back in your seat it’s time for entomology
We’re looking at them species of phylum arthropoda
And step inside the bug’s life, don’t forget what I told ya
Like us humans they got symmetry bilateral in fact
But they’re nerve cords are down low and heart is in the back
Yea they might be upside down but inside out too
They got this exoskeleton that’s hard to break through
Zooooooming on in, super class hexapoda
Let’s break down their body into bullet points to note uh!
1 Antennae, 3 Body Regions
Head, thorax, abs, and 6 walking legs complete it
Outside cuticle, non-living
Epidermis, cells be living
Light for flight, tube design
Lose that shell when it comes time
An exoskeleton is primo for that sizeChorus

Verse 2
Now there’s a lotta lotta bugs how do we know what’s what?
Thanks to my boy Linneaus we can classify them up
Let me place in my or der, 8 of em exactly
I’ll break it down one by one, sit back and follow me
Ephemeroptera the mayflies
Orthoptera the crickets
Hemiptera the true bugs
Thysanoptera the thrips
Coleoptera are beetles
Hymenoptera’s got bees
Lepidoptera’s got moths
Diptera flies 1 2 3!


Verse 3
Deep down in these bugs is a little bit of chemistry
We’ll shed a little light on their internal complexity
They use pheromones to control their crowd
Or aggregation, recognition, to alarm them out loud
And there’s kairomones, cross-species deal makers
A shout out to teamwork, an assist to hearer
Don’t forget allomones, now we playing heavy D
These signs are meant to warn ya, shoo fly don’t bother me!
It’s a bug eat bug world and only strong survive
Adapt to change quickly or get eaten alive
Like the bombardier beetle, now he’s packing some heat
Armed with artillery, this bug can’t be beat
But if you don’t carry cannons, there ain’t no need to run
Adapt some mimicry and the job will get done
We can go Batesian and fool em, even though we’re harmless
Or Mullerian and let em know you don’t mess


Verse 4
Only one more little topic needs some introduction
These bugs didn’t just appear, but they came through reproduction
They got a few sneaky tactics that they carry up their sleeve
So let’s lay em out now before we pack up and leave
Some bugs look for a mate and they wanna try to court her
Pheromones in the air or some signals flare to warn her
Maybe bring a nuptial gift, get it quick and don’t get beaten
But pass your genes on quickly or you just might get eaten
Then they copulate
And inseminate
Some will die in the process just to recreate
Hope for a fertile mate
And the eggs get laid
That my friends is how a bug’s life gets made



About Kip Will

I'm an insect systematist with expertise in carabid beetles, who is always happiest in the bush.
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