‘Big Bugs’ come to Virginia Living Museum

Big Bugs, a larger-than-life animatronic exhibit featuring super-sized critters, is on display at the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News through April 17. You’ll see the Madagascan sunset moth, the bombardier beetle, the dragonfly, the stag beetle, the orb-web spider, and the Say’s firefly, as well as a display of live insects, beautiful photographic banners of bugs and other invertebrates, and live animal programs.


“This exhibit will encourage an appreciation of the amazing diversity, complexity, and beauty of earth’s most common animals — insects — which make up 99 percent of life on earth,” said the museum’s Fred Farris.

The super-sized (5- to 12-feet-long) invertebrates are made by Billings Productions, the creators of animatronic dinosaur exhibits. All have been painstakingly designed based on extensive research and in consultation with experts.

From super-sized to actual size, 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 larvae of the darkling beetle), tarantulas, and millipedes.

On weekends, the museum is presenting theater-style live programs in the Changing Exhibit Gallery. Learn more about these animals — and some of the animals that rely on them.

The live insects in the program will be video magnified and shown on a 65-inch screen.

Overhead are beautiful color photographic banners by award-winning Harvard entomologist, photographer, and author Piotr Naskrecki. The banners explore the fascinating world of invertebrates — insects, arachnids, and their kin.

More information on “Big Bugs”:

The exhibit is included in regular museum admission. The Virginia Living Museum is open daily, 9:00am–5:00pm.

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