Assassin takes gold

Meet the winners of this year's Ugly Bug Contest

Jef Akst
Jef Akst

Jef Akst is managing editor of The Scientist, where she started as an intern in 2009 after receiving a master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses.

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The aptly named assassin bug, known for injecting toxic saliva into its prey's innards before sucking out the nutrients, has taken the crown in this year's linkurl:Ugly Bug Contest,; accumulating more than 10,000 votes (30 percent).
linkurl:Assassin bug;
Northern Arizona University forestry and natural sciences researcher linkurl:Marilee Sellers; started the contest, designed to entice kids of all ages to have fun learning about the creepy-crawlies of the world, more than 10 years ago with some posters featuring high quality electron micrographs of insects.
linkurl:Yellow dragonfly;
Now fully up-to-date with videos and social media pages for each insect contestant, voting is open to the world. This year the contest's 10 arthropod hopefuls attracted more than 36,000 votes -- more than quadruple last year's tallies.
linkurl:Jewel wasp;
With 27 percent of the votes, second place went to the mighty yellow dragonfly, which spends its youth underwater breathing through gills. And the jewel...

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