Pop Quiz

1. Got miller moths? This year may -- or may not -- see a record number of the flappers. According to one expert, the moths are flourishing because:

A. They always do well under Republican administrations.

B. A mutant strain has been discovered that's twice as hard to swat.

C. Ozone is a moth's best friend.

D. The Farmer's Almanac predicted it.

2. Among the people taking note of the billion-moth march:

A. Senator Wayne Allard, who denounced the pests on Channel 7.

B. The lead singer for Matchbox Twenty, who commented on them profanely from the Pepsi Center stage.

C. A restaurateur in Idaho Springs, who offered $50 to anyone who would eat a tossed salad chock-full o' them.

D. Former Georgetown mayor Koleen Brooks, who had one tattooed on a very special part of her anatomy.

3. Moths aren't the only things bugging us. Those lucky enough to be around water last weekend were subjected to clouds of insects that are special because:

A. Their meconia doesn't stink.

B. They fly (loosely) in formations.

C. They are the only insects that molt twice as winged adults.

D. They just don't seem to care.

4. Those thick clouds were probably mayflies, members of the insect order Ephemeroptera, Greek for:

A. "Hard on the eyes."

B. Unprintable.

C. "Like spirits of the gods, only smaller."

D. "Lasting but a day."

5. Worse than millers or mayflies, by far, are the nasty Ips beetles, which are ravaging piñon forests in the region. Which is a hallmark of their dirty work?

A. Excrement-packed tunnels.

B. Oozing sap.

C. Mounds of mandibles.

D. Sacs of dead eggs.

6. Speaking of crawlies, this state has which two types of deadly spiders?

A. Black widow.

B. Green sniper.

C. Brown recluse.

D. Yellow tarantula.


1. A. It must be the GOP: The last big influx was in the era of Bush I; before that, it was an Eisenhower thing.

2. B. The singer wondered at the moths flitting in the spotlights.

3. C. The dun stage comes first, then another color.

4. D. Lasting but a day. These bugs swarm, then die. Fish love 'em.

5. A. Excrement-packed tunnels. No wonder the trees give up the ghost.

6. A, C. The others aren't found anywhere, as far as we know.


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