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Entomology students host Insect Fear Film Festival

The 38 Annual Insect Fear Film Festival (IFFF) Featuring Fleas will be held on Saturday, February 27, 2021 and will be hosted by the Entomology Graduate Students Association in the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The 2021 festival will be online via Zoom at egsa/ifff/. Registration is required but free. Activities will begin at 5 p.m., and films will begin at 7:30 p.m. A full schedule and a registration link will be available on our website. This year’s festival will feature an actual flea circus,a virtual insect petting zoo, flea Bugscope, flea crafts, a virtual tour of the INHS insect collection, and a virtual gallery of the annual IFFF art contest featuring insect themed artwork by local K-12 students.

This year’s Insect Fear Film Festival will be “Featuring Fleas!” There are over 2,500 species of fleas worldwide and all are highly specialized blood-feeding parasites that live on birds and mammals. Only a small subset feed on humans, and of those some are responsible for spreading deadly diseases like typhus and the bubonic plague. Fleas lack wings, but their highly specialized hind legs allow them to jump up to 50 times their body length, which makes them one of the most impressive jumping animals relative to body size. Their agile acrobatics even inspired 19th century watchmakers to create tiny flea circuses! This tradition is survived with our special guest, Dr. Tim Cockerill from Falmouth University in England, whose fleas will be performing for us. This year, IFFF will be featuring 100 years of flea films, shorts, and documentaries. Child and adult-size T-shirts with this year’s logo are available for purchase. Inventory is limited, so to guarantee you get a shirt, please mail or drop off pre-orders by February 16th (see website).

We look forward to seeing you virtually on February 27! For more information, please visit the IFFF website, our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, or contact Jon Tetlie ( or Scott Clem (

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