Visitor in front of butterfly display at the entrance to Bugs Alive exhibition

Bugs Alive!

Included with museum entry
$0 to $15

For what they lack in size, bugs make up in numbers: there are over 150 million insects for every human on Earth. These six-legged wonders have conquered almost every habitat we've got. But just what makes them so successful?

In Bugs Alive! you'll see, hear and smell the world of insects, spiders, snails and other invertebrates. Specimens fill the exhibition: brilliant beetles and beautiful butterflies cover the walls while naturalistic enclosures hold living, thriving insects you can't see captive anywhere else. You'll learn about what they eat, how they breed and how they contribute to ecosystems by pollinating flowers and decomposing waste. You can observe a colony of green tree ants work around their leafy nest, a mantid stalk its prey, or watch aquatic insects in their watery realm. Giant models of insect mouthparts and body systems show you just how intricate these little animals are. Or not so little: record-breakers in the Insect Hall of Fame represent the largest, heaviest and longest insects, alongside the longest-lived and most poisonous.

The Quarantine Room holds rare living examples of exotic tarantulas, and local spiders, like redbacks and orbweavers, show the eight-legged inhabitants of our own backyard. The Big Bug Theatre busts common myths and challenges the view of bugs and spiders as the stuff of nightmares and horror films.

The live displays change over regularly, so each visit has something new. Visit Bugs Alive! to confront your fears of creepy-crawlies or simply behold the marvels of the invertebrate world.

The Thorny Devils can be seen on display on Fridays at 2.30pm in the black house ant display (provided there are active ants for them to eat!).


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