Huge Bugs Take Center Stage at Virginia Living Museum


January 8, 2016

Photo courtesy of YouTube.

Stag beetle. Photo courtesy of YouTube.

BIG BUGS, a new exhibit at the Virginia Living Museum (VLM), is giving people a chance to see insects from a whole new perspective.

First opened Dec. 31, this exhibit features the Madagascan sunset moth, the bombardier beetle, dragonfly, stag beetle, orb-web spider and say’s firefly. And since the title is BIG BUGS, these insects had to be larger than life.

And these huge creations do more than just sit there and look pretty. They are animatronic.

The invertebrates are made by Billings Productions, the creators of popular animatronic dinosaur exhibits, from a combination of steel, fibreglass and a urethane compound skin material. In addition, the bugs are powered by a pneumatic system that enables smooth and fine movements.

Photo courtesy of YouTube.

Orb-web spider. Photo courtesy of YouTube.

This exhibit is about more than just pleasing the public; it’s about showing the importance of insects and explaining why we should value them.

The VLM combines this animatronic exhibit with a live bug show with video magnification and a display of 20 banners of color photographs by famed Harvard scientist/photographer Piotr Naskrecki.

Visitors can also view live invertebrates in displays, including Giant Hissing Cockroaches that live in the savannah forests of Madagascar, Blue Death-Feigning Beetles, Mealworms–the larva of the Darkling Beetle, Tarantulas and Millipedes.

BIG BUGS is open until April 17.

Interested in checking it out? If you do, we want to hear about it!


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