Bugs: the Mega World of Minibeasts

by Insiders Dunedin

Delve into the world of bugs at the Otago Museum

Make way for the small but mighty, the misunderstood but essential, the weird and the wonderful – this summer at the Otago Museum. Bugs: the Mega World of Minibeasts promises to introduce visitors to the lives of these tiny, strange and special animals that make up over 80% of the world’s species. The exhibition is now open and will run until 10 May 2015.

Bugs – or, as the exhibition defines them, arthropods including insects, arachnids, terrestrial crustaceans and myriapods -- have developed extraordinary adaptive skills and some peculiar behaviours over the millennia, like navigating by the stars, super-strength and near-perfect camouflage. These incredible abilities underpin the exhibition.

An interactive bug gym, created in collaboration with the team at Otago Polytechnic’s innovation workSpace, will give visitors a chance to see how they match up against some of the bug world’s heavyweights. They can compare their strength to a dung beetle’s, their silk-spinning ability to a silkworm’s, and can try to jump as a high as a froghopper.

Over 800 specimens from the Museum’s collection feature in the exhibition, in the form of pinned specimens and vials of bugs preserved in alcohol. There are also some live exhibits - a cockroach house, a dung beetle display and a huhu terrarium give visitors a chance to observe bug society. A large selection of minutely detailed macro images, as well as close-up photographs by renowned wildlife photographer Rod Morris, capture a level of detail usually hidden from the human eye, and reveal the unexpected elegance to be found in bugs.

For more information - otagomuseum.nz/bugs-the-mega-world-of-minibeasts/



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