10th Annual Bug Fest

The Academy will hold its 10th annual Bug Fest, an all-ages festival that celebrates insects of all kinds with hundreds of live critters, roach races, bug walks, and even insect-tasting, on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 12 and 13.

These Buffalo Beetles enjoying a meal can fly. See them at Bug Fest and also enjoy buggy cuisine, crafts, and more. Photo by Mike Servedio/ANS

Millipedes, centipedes, scorpions, stick insects, caterpillars, tarantulas, live beetles—including one of the world’s longest—and many more species of your favorite bugs will be wiggling around the museum during the Academy’s most popular festival.

Visitors will be able to hold a cockroach, count the legs on a centipede, witness insects walking on water, examine insect decomposers up close, and talk with Academy entomologists about their favorite specialties. Popular Cajun chef Zack Lemann will whip up foods cooked with healthy insects at 1 p.m. both days and will hand out samples of chocolate chirp cookies and other buggy treats from 11 a.m. to noon and 3 to 4:30 p.m. both days.

“We’ll have more than 120 species of live insects on display throughout the museum,” said Academy Insect Specialist and Bug Fest organizer Karen Verderame. “Our Butterflies! exhibit will have some new species flying, too. And for the first time we’ll have a baby bug scavenger hunt through the museum.”

Cheer on your favorite roach in the Roach Race 500. Photo by Meredith Dolan/ANS

Bug Fest is a great opportunity to learn the science behind the news headlines and talk with Academy experts about mosquitoes and invasive (and sometimes destructive) species including lanternflies and ash borer beetles. Some of these insects that can wreak havoc in the backyard will be on display as part of the museum’s research collection of some 4 million insects.

Despite the more than one million insects that scientists have already identified, experts estimate there are millions more to be discovered.

“Bugs run the world and are more diverse than any other living thing on earth,” Verderame said. “They are pollinators, nature’s recyclers and exterminators, and are an important food source for many other living things. The more we know about them, the more success we’ll have for a sustainable future.”

Touch your favorite live insects and live to tell about it. Photo by Mike Servedio/ANS

Bug Fest, sponsored by Western Pest Services, takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Discount tickets are available at ansp.org and by clicking the button.

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Here are some more activities. For a full list, visit ansp.org.

Predator or Pollinated?

Celebrate the unique connections between bugs and plants. See plants that eat bugs and learn how to make your backyard a paradise for local pollinators.

Roach Race 500

Cheer on your favorite roach as it tries to conquer three different tracks in the famous Roach Race 500.

Bug Picasso

Watch as creative cockroaches and maggots crawl and scurry across paper to create one-of-a-kind works of art. Take home a unique piece of art.

Live Invertebrate Stage Show

See bugs magnified on the big screen.

Bedbug-sniffing Dog Demonstrations

Meet the canines and their companions that help sniff out bugs that bug us at home.

Bug Walks

Join Academy entomologists on an expedition outside the museum to see what species of invertebrates live there.

Crafty Critters

Create a bug-themed craft to take home.


Post by Carolyn Belardo

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