Bug Ambassador Bios
Our What’s Buzzin’ Blog catalogues fun arthropod sightings our fans have had over the seasons here in Montana. You can read about everything from the delicate Green Lacewing spotted near Wise River, MT, to the pair of common Melissa Blues found right here in Missoula.
Interested in one of our super cool color changing t-shirts but don’t live nearby?
Resources for plants important to butterflies and other pollinators
- Caras Nursery
- Marchie’s Nursery – 1845 S. 3rd St. W. Missoula MT; 542-2544
- Montana Native Plant Society
- Native Ideals Seed Farm
- Learn how to attract pollinators to your yard
- Learn how important pollinators are to the food we eat
- Building a butterfly garden in your own backyard (link submitted by a Girl Scout Troop in Idaho, thanks girls!)
Kid & Teen Friendly Resources
- The Wild Kratts TV show on PBS has a great website and great episodes that address biomimicry. Their content is accurate and fun.
- The Bug Chicks are two entomologists based in Oregon that create great videos and have an online Junior Entomologist program that is definitely worth investigating!
- Learning the difference between a millipede and a centipede can be exciting and challenging. Here is an easy to follow infographic on the subject. It is geared towards adults but is a good way to ground your own understanding of the topic before engaging with the young bug lovers in your life.
- The SciShow is a locally produced video series that covers a wide range of topics. Here are a few of our favorites:
Common Questions Answered Via Video
There are a few things about the world of arthropods that we are unable to show to our guests first hand at the Insectarium. Through the power of video, here are a few of those things we can’t always show you in person!
Many of our guests are fascinated by the two molts we have on display at the front desk. Since molting happens only every 9 months or so, it is hard to showcase to our guests. Thankfully, there are plenty of molting videos online. There is also a great article (and video) from The Bug Chicks on this topic. We hope to someday capture our own timelapse video of one of our spiders molting but until then, check out this one we have collected for you.
Praying Mantis Eating the Head of Her Mate
We get a lot of questions about praying mantises and their tendencies to eat their mates after (or during!) mating. This video shows two examples of this behavior.
Goliath Bird Eating Tarantula Hunting
Here at the Insectarium guests get to see Polly, our resident Goliath Bird Eating Tarantula, spending a lot of time resting in her flower pot burrow. This is because she is nocturnal, which means she is more active at night when we are closed! This video from National Geographic shows a spider of Polly’s same species on the move and hunting at night time.
Byron Weber Discusses Montana Butterflies
The classroom at the Insectarium is named after past board member Byron Weber. Byron was a consummate naturalist who even discovered a new species of butterfly in the Sweet Grass Hills of Montana. We often get asked what type of butterflies can be found in Montana and it might just be best to let Byron do the talking.
Observation Bee Hive
The observation beehive at the Insectarium was installed in July 2017. Our visitors can now watch as the busy bees go about their business. What is normally obscured by the dark wooden sides of a traditional beehive can now be observed by our guests. Visit our Observation Beehive page to learn more about our amazing observation beehive!
STEM Video Playlist
This ScienceTake video series put out by the New York Times is very well done and insightful. There are all kinds of short videos about different research into a variety of topics, including many on arthropods. The videos are about two to three minutes long, you’ll be surprised how much you learn in such a short amount of time!