North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences to Host BugFest
Twelve-year-old Edtzon Arias works up the courage to eat his cicada kebab.
Photo by Karen Swain/NCMNS
Mexican red-rump tarantulas, brown marmorated stinkbugs, whip-tail scorpions, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, tobacco hornworm hawkmoths, death feigning beetles and dragonflies.
No, it’s not a description of a creepy insect-filled movie. It’s just some of what you can see at the largest one-day bug-centric event in the country — BugFest, which takes place Sept. 16 at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Visitors will be introduced to a range of arthropods from North Carolina and around the world. This free event offers bugs and bug experts, games and activities, live music, movies and presentations to entertain and educate the entire family.
Female common whitetail
Photo by Chris Goforth/NCMNS
‘The Secret Lives of Dragonflies’
Did you know the dragonfly is one of nature’s most impressive flyers, and some can fly at speeds up to 35 mph, or even backward? Did you also know that dragonflies spend most of their lives underwater? Or that some dragonflies have been known to catch and eat hummingbirds?
At 10:30 a.m., learn how you can get your kids involved in our Dragonfly Detectives citizen science project. At 1:30 p.m. enjoy “The Secret Lives of Dragonflies,” a presentation by John Abbott, director of research and collections at the University of Alabama.
Visitors cheer on their favorite roaches at the “Roachingham 500.”
Photo courtesy of NCMNS
There will be a live tarantula and scorpion feeding demonstration at noon. You can also enjoy watching Captain Spalding getting shot from a cannon during the crowd-favorite Alberti Flea Circus. Test your balance and tenacity in the Stag Beetle Battles, or place a bet on your favorite cockroach as you watch the Roachingham 500.
If looking at all these insects makes you hungry, you can grab a plate of buggy food at the Café Insecta, where local restaurants offer a variety of free bug-filled fare ranging from Wiggly Biryani to Mongolian Mealworms. Eating bugs might sound weird, but not eating bugs is even weirder. Whether it’s Mexican agave worms or South African locust porridge, bug-filled dishes have found their way into the culinary palates of up to 80 percent of countries on Earth. And yes, they’re good for you. Whole insects are high in fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
BugFest is sponsored by Terminix Companies of Eastern North Carolina and BASF. For more information about the event, including a complete list of presentations, exhibits and activities, visit bugfest.org.
Source: North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences