Ento-musings from the University of Kentucky Department of Entomology

Monday, December 21, 2009

Spiders vs. Gators

by Blake Newton, UK Extension Entomologist

Kentucky basketball fans received even MORE good news this weekend, when the Richmond Spiders defeated the Florida Gators:

This is good news, of course, because U of KY fans always cheer when a U of Florida team drops a game. In fact, for many UK fans, especially basketball fans, the UK-v-Florida rivalry status falls somewhere between UK-v-Tennessee and UK-v-Duke... and that's rivalrous, folks. Go Cats!

I also realized during the Spiders-vs-Gators game (yes, I watched it just to see Florida lose) that I couldn't think of very many other college teams that have an arthropod as a mascot. This doesn't seem right, especially since arthropods (that's insects, spiders, and their relatives) account for, according to some informal estimates, about 75% of all animal species.

So... below I listed all of the college teams that I could find with an arthropod as a mascot. Can anyone else find any others? What about pro, semi-pro, high-school, or little-league???

University of Richmond - Spiders
Georgia Tech - Yellow Jackets
U of Texas at Brownsville - Scorpions
St. Ambrose University (Iowa) - Fighting Bees
Sacramento State - Hornets
Alabama State - Hornets
Black Hills St (S. Dakota) - Yellow Jackets
Montana St - Yellow Jackets
University of Wisconsin-Superior - Yellow Jackets
Cedarville University (Ohio) - Yellow Jackets

I also found the University of Rochester "Yellow Jackets," a college singing group. They wear yellow jackets while singing, apparently.

Oh, and by the way: sport's-rivalies aside, the University of Florida has one of the best entomology departments in the U.S. In fact their Featured Creatures website was one of the primary inspirations for our KY Critter Files site.


  1. How about the Savannah Sand Gnats, the single A minor league affiliate of the New York Mets? I think that a "sand gnat" is a fly in the biting midge family, Ceratopogonidae.

  2. The University of Arkansas-Monticello sports teams are called the "Boll Weevils."

  3. The USC-Sumter mascot is the Red Imported Fire Ant! Not to be messed with!