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Monday, March 04, 2024

More than 150 oversized ladybugs, spiders, butterflies and the occasional praying mantis invaded Turlington Plaza on Tuesday morning.

For the UF course Bugs and People and 20 percent of their final grade, students flocked to the plaza to entomology professor Carl S. Barfield's 20-year tradition of the Medieval Bugge Faire.

Students, in groups of five or fewer, were responsible for researching the bug of their choice and preparing a dish.

"The dish must look exactly like that bug in shape and color," Barfield said. "Exactly like it."

Ten extra-credit points were given to each student who arrived dressed like a bug.

The Scorpion Slayers, Crazy Critters and other self-named groups showed up with ladybug cupcakes, cookie caterpillars and spider sundaes.

The dishes were complete with a name, list of ingredients and recipe directions.

UF freshman Mackenzie Hellstrom made her family's recipe, Ants on a Log in a Pond. The dish consisted of raisins to resemble ants, celery to resemble a log and Jell-O to resemble a pond.

"It was a treat my mom always used to make me when I was younger," Hellstrom said.

Bugs and People is a 1000-level science course usually taken by students who want nothing to do with a career in biology or entomology.

UF sophomore Andrew Ruiz said he originally enrolled in the course just to complete three of the six science credits he needed for his major.

Ruiz, a telecommunications major, said he ended up looking forward to each lecture, even at 8:30 a.m.

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"I learned interesting facts I would have never imagined to be true," he said. "Did you know there are at least four different species of mites living in the average human eyebrow?"

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