Tom Turpin
Professor of
Purdue University








At this time of year, it seems that almost everyone anticipates the holidays by preparing a wish list.  And what if that were true of the insects?  Perhaps an insect's letter to Old Saint Nick might include the following requests:

The monarch butterfly would like a new crown, while the emperor moth needs a new throne.  The royal walnut moth, on the other hand, would like a large kingdom.  The queen butterfly wants a pretty carriage.

The bedbug needs a nightcap, and the Mexican bean beetle wants a new sombrero.  The earwig and the earworm could both use some earmuffs.

The wooly bear needs a haircut, and a mirror would be put to good use by the handsome fungus beetle.  The painted lady butterfly might request some more makeup.  How about some deodorant for the stinkbugs, the sweat bees, and odorous house ants?  Any maybe some salve for the blister beetle?  And the dung beetle?  Well, how about some toilet paper?

A brass spittoon would be appropriate for the spittlebug, and a trumpet for the hornworm.  The engraver beetle would like a trophy.

The billbug could use dome extra cash.  The paper wasp would like a subscription to the New York Times, and the praying mantid needs a new Bible.  The book louse could use a volume of Shakespeare.

The cutworms can always use new scissors.  A few building permits would suit the cranefly just fine.  For the carpenter bee, a new saw and hammer, perhaps?  And the inchworm sure could benefit from having a metric ruler.

A dinner could make a hungry mealy bug happy.  The rice weevil could use a supply of soy sauce.  The Japanese beetle could use some chopsticks. 

Several yards of canvas would come in quite handy to the tent caterpillar.  The lacebugs would appreciate some shuttles for tatting.  And the webworm, being a master weaver, could certainly use a loom.

The stag beetle would be most appreciative of a date, and the damselfly has been wishing for a knight.  The ladybug would like to be introduced to a gentleman.  The toad bug, on the other hand, would settle for a kiss.  The dance flies would appreciate a gift certificate to Arthur Murray's.

The robber fly could use a mask.  A tungsten light would be welcomed by the leaf miner, and his friend, the digger wasp, needs a shovel.

Skipper butterflies and the red admiral might like boats, while a map would be just the thing for the rove beetle.  A gypsy moth might like a new crystal ball, and a new trampoline would be great for the circus beetle.

The sharpshooter leafhopper needs a target, and the armyworm could use some new fatigues.  The wool maggot needs a sweater, while the snow flea would like some skis.

The corn borer and the drone fly would like to be more witty, and the crazy any might want the name of a good psychiatrist.

The questionmark butterfly would like an answer, and the comma butterfly could use a misplaced phrase.

No-see-ums and the obscure scale have one very simple request.  They would just like to be seen during this holiday.

But even though these insects' wishes might not come true, one of our wishes certainly does when we wish that the insects leave us alone so we can enjoy our holiday.


Writer: Tom Turpin
Editor: Olivia Maddox