The Insect Order Song

Set to the tune of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “I am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General”

There’s Collembola, Thysanura, Diplura, and Protura,
and Archaeognatha rounding out the list of wingless insecta
(although if we are honest with ourselves we will admit, trala,
Collembola, Diplura, and Protura are not insecta).


Odonata’s dragonflies; the Mayfly’s called Ephemeroptera.
These two orders begin the list of those we call the Pterygota.

They’re called this because they are the first ones to possess two wings–
which they can use to aid them some in flying and in catching things. (CHORUS)


Then there’s Plecoptera, the stoneflies, and dear Grylloblattodea
(rock crawlers have long names and they’re as pretty as a hernia)
Phasmida are the stick-insects, grasshoppers are Orthoptera.
And then there are the earwigs (ew!) who belong to old Dermaptera (2x)


Embioptera spin their webs in warm climates like Bahamas
Dictyoptera, or cockroaches, might nestle in your pajamas.
This is not too ideal, nor will it get you many dates, my friend,
so you should clean your space, and yes, to cleaning cracks and cupboards tend.


Isoptera, or termites, will eat your poor decaying wood.

Zoraptera’s extremely rare, but they might taste extremely good.

You might not think they’re eatable, but lots of people surely do,
and maybe with a pinch of salt, someday you, friend, will think so too (CHORUS)


Then there’s Psochoptera, Mallophaga, and Siphunculata, da-doo-dee,
These are the bark and book, biting, and sucking lice respectfully.
The true bugs are Hemiptera, the thrips are Thysanoptera,
the lacewings are your garden friends Neuropter, not Neuroptera. (2x)


Coleoptera are beetles, and stylops are Strepsiptera.

Mecoptera are scorpionflies, fleas are Siphonaptera.

True flies are Diptera; we have just three more before we’re done.
Lepidoptera’s the moths and butterflies; that’s oft a favorite one.


Trichoptera are caddis flies; ants and bees are Hymenoptera
Those black-and-yellow stingers mark the end of all the Insecta.

They’re all diverse and different, at times grotesque and marvelous,

and if you memorize their names then you will oft rejoice in bliss! (CHORUS)


But if you want to know the truth, I’ll tell it to you plain and clear–
you’ll need to know these names for your Entom final exam this year,
So if you know what’s good for you, and even if you’re feeling blue,
you’ll memorize the names of these insects, who far outnumber you! (2x)

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