Queensland Museum is buzzing with excitement and crawling with curiosity as hundreds of tiny heroes from the insect world will be put under the microscope in the newest exhibition Insect Agency, opening on Friday 15 September.
Insect Agency features more than 1,300 insect specimens, from the tiniest wasps to brightly coloured butterflies, Dracula Ants, Dung Beetles, to stick insects in a mind-blowing diversity of shapes, colours and species.
This brand-new exhibition provides a unique opportunity to delve into the astonishing world of insects, offering a blend of education, entertainment, and inspiration.
Queensland Museum Entomologist Dr Chris Burwell said insects are the most biologically diverse group of animals on the planet – almost three-quarters of all animal species on earth are insects.
“While many of us are quick to swat away a fly, slap a mosquito or flee from a wasp in the outside world, it is these very insects that have fascinating tales to tell,” Dr Burwell said.
“Insects are amazing, and their ecological contributions far outweigh the squirm factor. Many go through some quite mind-blowing transformations, and they have found ways to survive in nearly every environment on this amazing planet.
“From maintaining healthy ecosystems, pollinating our crops, to providing inspiration for new technologies, they really are six-legged superheroes.”
Visitors will also be able to see nearly all 348 species of Queensland butterflies on display – which make up more than 75 per cent of Australia’s 450 butterfly species, design their own virtual insect through digital interactive exhibits and view a large-scale world map dedicated to beetles from around the globe.
There’s also an enormous aluminium cast of the internal structure of a bull ants’ nest that weighs almost 130 kilograms – highlighting that ants (and termites) are our underground ecosystem engineers.
Don’t miss the opportunity to embark on this FREE bug-tastic adventure into the world of insects that exists beneath our feet, above our heads and all around us.
Insect Agency interesting facts
- Over 1,300 insect specimens from the Queensland Museum Network collection will be on display.
- See nearly all 348 species of Queensland butterflies on display – which make up more than 75 per cent of Australia’s 450 butterfly species.
- Did you know some flies cannot fly as they don’t have wings?
- Learn about the Dracula Ant, whose jaws can snap shut at a speed of 320 kilometres per hour!
- There are about 500 native species of dung beetles in Australia and about 100 of those have still not been given names.
- There are more beetles than any other single group of organisms in the world.
- Learn about our hardworking dung beetles – Australia has more than 450 different species of native dung beetles. In fact, Queensland Museum Network has the world’s best collection of our native dung beetles.
- Queensland’s and Australia’s largest, or at least the longest insect, is the Gargantuan Stick Insect, Ctenomorpha gargantua. Females can grow to 30 cm long from the head to the tip of the abdomen. To date, this enormous insect has only been found in the rainforests of the Wet Tropics region in north Queensland.
Insect Agency, Level 2 Queensland Museum from 15 September 2023 to 7 July 2024.