First contest of 2011!

aquatics montage 1
Aquatics montage 1 (This is the prize if you choose option #1)

As promised, it’s time to have a contest!  Up for grabs: an insect coffee mug hand drawn by The Dragonfly Woman.  I’ll even give the winner a choice!  1) You can have the aquatic insect mug I featured on my blog a while back (pictured at left), which depicts a stonefly nymph, dragonfly nymph, crawling water beetle, water boatman, predaceous diving beetle, mosquito pupa, blackfly larva, mayfly adult, caddisfly larva (out of its case), and a hellgrammite.  Or 2) if aquatic insects aren’t your cup o’ tea, I’ll make you a custom mug!  You can choose up to 3 insects and I’ll create an entirely new mug just for you.  My only restriction: no dragonflies!  I know, I know.  It’s ironic The Dragonfly Woman won’t do dragonflies, but the paint pens I use aren’t fine tipped enough to allow me to put in all those teeny tiny little wing veins – and if I’m honest with myself I’ll admit that I don’t have the patience to put them all in anyway.  If you can’t live without an odonate, I can do a damselfly or any immature odonate easily enough.  And whether you go with option 1 or 2, the mug will be white with a black design because that’s how I roll.  I’ve posted a few photos of other mugs I’ve done to give you a more complete idea of my style and how a mug with only a single insect on it might look.

hellgrammite mug

Hellgrammite mug

The mugs I make are microwave safe and dishwasher resistant.  However, due to the fact that the paint is on top of the glaze, you can extend the life of your mug by hand washing it as needed.  Scouring the outside repeatedly will wear the paint out, so don’t go scrubbing the outside with steel wool or anything.  Of course, if you’re me and you wash your tea mug at work, oh, every 6 months or so (i.e. only when you can no longer see any white on the inside), then by all means stick the mug in the dishwasher.  It can definitely withstand the 20 washes it will get before you accidentally drop it on your tile floor and it ends up in 100 pieces…  :)

aquatic montage 2

Aquatics montage 2

So, just how does one go about winning a mug?  There are 3 ways to enter and you can enter up to three times if you wish:

  • Method 1) Leave a comment below with the name of your favorite insect.  If you’re not an entomologist, common names or even the name of a group of insects (e.g. dragonflies) will do!
  • Method 2) Follow me on Twitter (I’m @dragonflywoman2), then leave a comment below to let me know you are now a follower.  (I kinda sound like a cult leader phrasing it like that…)  Just so you know what you’re getting yourself into by following me, I use Twitter to share news about insects, aquatic biology (including some marine), and other interesting bits of biology.  News about bats creeps in from time to time too because I love bats and I can’t help myself.  I tweet about 15 times a day.
  • Method 3) “Like” my new Dragonfly Woman page on Facebook, then leave a comment below to let me know you’ve done so.  I created the page so that I could post notices about new blog posts, the occasional interesting news tidbit, and photos related to my blog separately from my regular Facebook account.  I would also love for other people to post insect photos and interesting news there!  I promise I will resist the urge to bombard you with status updates and other things that will clog your Facebook news feed.

I’ll accept entries for one week, then I’ll write all the entries on slips of paper and have my husband draw one.  I’ll announce the winner here and contact him/her by e-mail to make arrangements for shipping the mug.  Easy, right?  Just make sure you send me a valid e-mail address or I won’t be able to notify you if you win!

Good luck!


Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © 2011


44 thoughts on “First contest of 2011!

  1. My favorite insects are … Cicadas! it’s hard to choose just one. and I looooove your mugs! (and your posts)

    I’ve also “Liked” you on FACEBOOK

  2. I joined your twitter cult (buggeek)…and I also liked your facebook page.

    My favorite insect is probably Toxorhynchites rutilus (the Elephant Mosquito), though I work with termites….

  3. My favorite insect? I think the Ladybug (some call them Ladybirds) might do!
    How about my least favorite? That’s easy! MOSQUITOS! (I know, I know … they have their place, and there are some very good ones .. like the ones that eat other mosquitos .. it’s the ones that bite ME that I’m not too fond of.)
    Good luck with your contest!

  4. Odonates are my favorite insects. That being said, I probably prefer damselflies, since they (like me), are slow, stupid, and easy to catch. Going even further, I like the SLOWEST, STUPIDEST, EASIEST TO IDENTIFY OF ALL–Calopteryx maculata, the Ebony Jewelwing.

  5. Love insects (hard to pick a favorite, but hover flies and solitary bees are cool – I only know latin names of plants though); also spiders, fungi, lichens, and love your cup – looking forward to more enlightening posts. I liked your facebook page.
    Thanks for the dragonfly i.d!

  6. My favorite insect when I was a child was bumblebees (Bombus).
    I kept some dead, that I had found in the garden, in a jar and caressed them time to time.
    Now a days … I don’t know, there are so many interesting and beautiful insects … Mantis , noisemaker cicada, beautiful butterflies, important bees …

    I liked your facebook page and follow you on twitter.

  7. Aphids! Aphis nerii is my favorite summer aphid–bright yellow body with black “tailpipes” and other protrusions. They are often found lining the stems and backs of leaves of climbing milkweed or other common milkweeds. Known as the “oleander aphid” for its primary host, it is unmistakable on your favorite milkweeds in summer.

    Also “like” your FB page!

    • I am right there with you on the unicorn mantid! They’re so amazing. I hope you’ll post a photo on your blog if you ever see one!

  8. My favorite insect, wow, so hard to choose. I’d say ambush bugs, genus Phymata. Or perhaps Lethocerus americanus. Or maybe Mantis religiosa. Can you tell I like raptorial forelegs?

    Already following you on twitter, just liked you on facebook.

    Love the mugs!

  9. I’ve come to appreciate the snow flea. I live in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where most every insect hunkers down for the winter. Then, in a winter warm up, up pops thousands of snow fleas looking like pepper pieces on the snow.

    • Gelastacorids are very cool. And they’re hard to see and/or catch, which I think makes them even better! Any ol’ insect that you can just scoop up in the backyard isn’t nearly as exciting. :)

  10. Gotta love the tephritids!!! Funky behaviors and cool symbionts ;)
    I can’t pick just one species. LOVE the mugs. Wow – how amazing!

    I also liked your FB page. Keep up the cool posts.

  11. My current favorite insect is the Scuttle Fly, Megaselia taylori (Diptera: Phoridae) – but I hope to switch to another favorite soon! :-P

  12. Since your brought up bats, can I claim bats as my favorite insects? No? Hm. Okay. Then I may have to go with the ebony jewelwing damselfly. Or, no, wait, bumblebees! No – syrphids! Wait! Fireflies! Um…I can’t choose just one! Can I still enter your contest?!?

  13. Two entries for me, if I understand your directions correctly:

    My favorite “insect” is Aphonopelma chalcodes–also known as the desert blonde tarantula, the Mexican blonde tarantula, the Arizona blonde tarantula, and sometimes the Tucson blonde tarantula.

    I “liked” the Dragonfly Woman page on Facebook.

  14. Pick a favorite? How can I pick a favorite! Picking one among all the myriad wonders? You might as well ask which limb I’d most like to lose!

    If I had to pick one, it would have to be the Variable Dancer, Argia fumipennis. It’s the only local damselfly with black wings (well, the only remotely common one, there’s a Jewelwing or two, but I never run into those). The dark color of its wings let’s you follow their movement as the animal flies, giving an impression like a fairy. It’s simply mesmerizing.

    But I would be remiss to not mention a few other good friends.

    Walking sticks for starting a four-year-old on a long path.
    Harvestmen for opening me up to the amazing world of arachnids-that-are-not-spiders.
    Blues, for being both drab and beautiful at the same time.
    Green Lynx spiders, Peucetia viridans
    The regal jumping spider, Phidippus regius
    And whirligig beetles, because if you don’t love whirligig beetles, there’s something wrong with you.

    I’ll stop myself here before I list all of them!

    • I second your opinion of whirligigs! I think they’re simply amazing.

      I am quite surprised by the number of people who have said that this question is too hard to answer! Of course, I don’t have a single favorite either… :)

  15. Well dang it, I was going to say toad bugs, Gelastocoridae. I was so jealous of that guy who was always able to see them when I took Aquatic Ento.

    I was already following you on Twitter and have liked the Facebook page too.
    Can I submit a second entry for my daughter too?
    She doesn’t have a facebook or twitter account, but she does like insects. She wavers between butterflies and ants. She is not quite four.

    • I think the guy who mentioned the toad bugs in his comment was the one who kept seeing them in your class! It was either him (young guy, brown hair, usually rode in the front seat with me) or David (older, glasses, blond hair, drove the other car on field trips and therefore was stuck with that miserable woman who complained her way through class and needed guards to pee – really wish I had a photo of the pee guards!). They were both really good at finding things. I, on the other hand, almost never get toad bugs, no matter how many trips I go on or how many places I visit, so I was jealous of them too.

      Wow, I remember crazy details about people and events in classes I’ve taught. You guys were my first, so I think I will always remember you best of all!

      I’m so glad your daughter likes insects, though it doesn’t surprise me having you as her mom. I’ll put her name in the hat!

  16. Can’t believe I wasn’t already following you on twitter & facebook, but I am now! On twitter, I’m Spirit Haven Farm… :D My absolute favorite insects are the spiders… find them fascinating! Sometimes drives my family crazy, but I even *carefully* capture and relocate the black widows & brown recluses when I find them in the house.

  17. Following you on twitter :)

    My favourite insect is The Comet moth (Argema mittrei). It’s so beautiful, I’ve even got a tattoo of it! Close second is actually an arachnid. It’s the Fen Raft Spider which is a semi-aquatic European spider.

  18. I “liked” you on Facebook.
    My favorite insect is/are Mantispids. (I had one look up at me when I peered at it with a dissecting scope. It was a surprise that came out of a wolf spider egg sac.)

  19. My favorite insects are cuckoo wasps (Hymenoptera:Chrysididae), not only because of their flashy, gem-like appearance, but because of their devious cleptoparasitism.

    My favorite species (at least right now) is Chrysis pacifica, the cuckoo wasp I encounter most frequently.

    Here’s a scan I made of one of them.

    I’ll be following you on Twitter and liking you on Facebook shortly!

  20. My favourite insect is the Bomardier beetle, because of his extraordinary method of attack. Don’t know of another insect like it

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