Bugs Alive!

Now Showing

Harlequin bug
Harlequin bug
Source: Museum Victoria
Photographer: Alan Henderson

Explore the amazing world of insects and spiders!

Bugs Alive! includes over 100 species of live insects and spiders, thousands of specimens from the museum's collection, giant models and exciting interactive exhibits.

EVENT DETAILS

Event Type: Permanent Exhibition

Daily, Now Showing
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Science and Life Gallery

Included with museum entry.
MV Members receive FREE museum entry.

Comments (37)

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Natina Brennan 24 March, 2014 16:55
Hi, how long is the Bugs Alive! exhibit showing for?
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Discovery Centre 29 March, 2014 13:31
Hi Natina - Bugs Alive! is a permanent exhibition, so you can expect to see it buzzing around for some time yet.
Kathy stubberfield 16 March, 2014 18:25
I would like to set up some permanent public insect displays. Can you help me? Or point me in the right direction.
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Grace Martinez 12 February, 2014 20:11
We are wondering how to keep soldier beetles alive in our bug viewer long enough to observe them at close quarters (before releasing)? Our children are fascinated by them. What do soldier beetles eat? Do they have temp requirements? Thank you :-)
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Discovery Centre 21 February, 2014 13:00
Hi Grace! Adult Soldier Beetles are attracted to many flowering plants. They love sunflowers and milkweeds. They eat nectar, pollen, secretions from damaged trees and also smaller insects such as aphids and other small pests. Temperature ranges found in our local gardens are fine. A suitable habitat should include an area with moist mulch.
Callum 11 January, 2014 17:31
Do you know when the nuptial flights for any species are in Ringwood, Victoria?
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Paul Seymour 11 December, 2013 15:38
I'm currently trying to find some Harlequin Bugs that I can use in my short film. Not to be harmed of course, purely to capture shots of them on film. Where should I start looking to find or buy some? Thoughts?
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Olivia Hill 10 April, 2013 15:10
Why are Sipyloidea larryi also known as the Hurricane Larry Stick Insect?
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Discovery Centre 14 April, 2013 11:48

Hi Olivia,

This species was named by Jack Hasenpusch whose home at Innisfail was devastated by Cyclone Larry in 2006. Much of the surrounding rainforest was also devastated, and many stick insects were collected (including new species) as they escaped from trees that were destroyed.

Katrina 30 December, 2012 17:21
Hi, I have an unusual spider on my front porch that I've never seen before and can't identify on any of the websites I've looked at. I have photos. How can I go about identifying it? Thanks.
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Discovery Centre 31 December, 2012 09:14
Hi Katrina! Send us a photo and message through our Ask the Experts page, or if you have several photos, email us at discoverycentre@museum.vic.gov.au - we look forward to helping you out!
Wai-Hong 28 November, 2012 22:29
We have a stick insect population boom. May I please drop some by the Museum?
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Discovery Centre 9 December, 2012 12:21
Hi Wai-Hong, apologies for the delay in replying to your message. Can you tell us what species of stick insects you have surplus?
Liam 8 August, 2012 18:46
Do you have a Fire Ant Colony?
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Discovery Centre 10 August, 2012 13:04

Hi Liam, No, Museum Victoria does not have a colony of Fire Ants. We only have native ants in our live collection.

kade 14 June, 2012 17:05
its me again i also want to know how to look after antlion and antlion facts and for the museum i have some baby spiny leaf insect
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Discovery Centre 29 June, 2012 10:16

Hi Kade, antlions are relatively easy to look after but are not particularly exciting pets as they are invisible most of the time. You need fairly loose, dry sand and a good supply of ants. The antlions will set up their own pits if the sand is right, and they’ll require a spray of water every day or so.

Small ants are preferable, and it’s best to keep adding ants at regular intervals so there is a steady supply. When fully fed, the antlions will pupate at the base of the pit and emerge some time later, the time taken depending on the species.

If you’re willing to drop some spiny stick insects to the Museum, we’re always happy to add them to our collection.

kade 14 June, 2012 08:39
what dose the australian wood scorpion eat?thank you
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Discovery Centre 15 June, 2012 14:24
Hi Kade, the wood scorpion, Cercophonius squama feeds on small invertebrates generally less than 10 mm in body length. You can find out more at this link.
robert 25 May, 2012 22:03
What do you guys feed your giant burrowing roaches and are they handable for educational purposes?
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Discovery Centre 27 May, 2012 15:02

Hi Robert,

We forwarded your enquiry to Museum Victoria’s Live Exhibits team, the Museum’s animal keepers, who responded with the following information:

Giant Burrowing Cockroaches feed on dead gum leaves in the wild, collecting them from the forest floor and dragging them into their burrows as stored food. In captivity, they will also readily feed on finely chopped apple, as well as carrot and cucumber.

They are definitely handleable but can be easily overhandled. Opinions differ on this subject, but there is anecdotal evidence that too much handling can shorten their lives. If they are taken out of their enclosure and handled more than once a day, we suspect it will have a detrimental effect.

 

finn robinsen 21 April, 2012 08:42
hi if im right you have a green headed ant/Rhytidoponera metallica colony and was wondering how to get a queen or when their nuptial fly t is
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Discovery Centre 22 April, 2012 11:12
Hi Finn, We don't have a Green Headed Ant colony at Melbourne Museum - we have Green Tree Ants, Meat Ants, Jumping Jacks and Bullants. We can't find any records for the precise timing of nuptial flights for this species, but it is most likely early spring. If you know the location of current nests, the best bet for obtaining a queen is to search for queens returning from their flights on warm spring afternoons.
Carol 14 January, 2012 13:52
I have searched the Internet to find a beetle that is in plague proportions in our Eycalypts. Millions of them. They have: six legs; grass green bodies; a small band of orange at the tail; a small band of orange below the head and they are orange underneath? Can anyone tell me what they are and should I be worried? If they are a problem, what should I do? Thanks
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Discovery Centre 15 January, 2012 11:35
 

Hello Carol,

The Discovery Centre has received many enquiries over the last few weeks about swarms of beetles in suburban gardens in and around Melbourne; they are Plague Soldier Beetles, Chauliognathus lugubris.

Take a look at our recent 'Question of the week blog' on these beetles to see if yours are the same please note that for homeowners who may be hosting huge numbers of this colourful species, don't be too concerned, following the mating swarm the beetles tend to disperse.

If these are not the same as the beetles at your house the Discovery Centre does offer an identification service

Before submitting your identification request, please read our guidelines for using our identification service.

Follow this link to our on-line form and scroll to the end to submit identification requests photographs are compulsory.

Alex Ferguson 6 January, 2012 22:01
One thing I noticed may be lacking in the exhibit are some live centipedes. I could donate an Ethmostigmus rubripes some time, nice large specimen that would look good on display.
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Discovery Centre 29 January, 2012 16:49

Hi Alex, thank you for your offer of centipedes. A centipede display currently exists in Bugs Alive, in the section that deals with venoms (opposite the screen playing bug horror movies). We also have Ethmostigmus rubripes in our collection but, as we have only one place to display centipedes, this species rotates on display with species of desert centipedes.

tahlia 21 December, 2011 23:05
hi im the bug freak of my school same with animals but im more focussed at bugs right now the flowers were out a while ago matis nyphs everywhere! i got the name bug girl for a obvious reason . i've read every bug book in my library . my fave bugs are matids and rino beetles. my fav thing to do is catch centipedes at my uncles farm even though i've been bitten 2wice
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Elizabeth Walsh 30 November, 2011 11:02
As a member of the local Friends of Native Wildlife in Bayside, our bushland crew have seen on two occasions at the beach recently a wasp spider. Suggested it is an import. What would be the best place to investigate this for our local knowledge please.
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Discovery Centre 30 November, 2011 11:11
Hi Elizabeth, the Museum does have a free identification service. Please feel free to have a look at the guidelines here.
harry 7 July, 2011 20:58
I want a Goliath stick insect. Mine just recently died. Is it possible for me to purchace one from Melbourne museum.
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harry 7 July, 2011 20:54
is it possible for anyone to buy any live bugs from melbourne museum
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crumpet 6 April, 2011 10:57
1 luv bugz aliv
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Geoff O'Connor 11 January, 2011 22:47
Upon a recent visit to Melbourne i visited the museum and spoke to someone regarding stick insects eggs , i currently kept spiny leafs , but would like some other species . If you could help out with some eggs for myself , it would be greatly appreciated .
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Enis Besirevic 8 December, 2010 09:48
I have a chistmas beetle!!! What do I feed it? Whats is it's habitat? Dose it bite hard?
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Discovery Centre 8 December, 2010 16:53

Hi Enis, Christmas Beetles feed on gum leaves and their chewing causes a characteristic zig-zag hole in the leaves. Young Christmas Beetles, called Curl Grubs, live in the soil and feed on plant roots and organic matter. You can feed adult beetles with small branches of gum leaves placed in a jar of water to keep them fresh. Spray the beetles with clean water once a day and change the gum when it no longer looks fresh.

Because of their different food needs, adult beetles and grubs are found in different habitats – gum trees for the adults and pasture for the grubs. They are therefore most common in suburban parklands or the edges of farmland.

Adult beetles have stout mouthparts but don’t bite, but their strong claws can get a firm grip on your hand if you let them.

Matthew Nicolici 11 September, 2010 11:40
You should get a Camponotus sp colony in the bugs alive Exhibition. Just thinking out loud.
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