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TRAVELIN’ WITH JACQUELINE | Insectapalooza & Nabokov’s Butterflies

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

 

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I attended Insectapalooza this past Saturday at Comstock Hall, where I witnessed the good, the bad and the ugly. However, before I delve into my experience, I’ll get the formal stuff out of the way: admission was $3 per person and free for kids aged three and younger. I’ve also attached photos of two sides of a handout from Insectapalooza to show everything the event offered:

 

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

I’ll start off with the bad and the ugly, which is the first event I visited—Bug Innards. This exhibit featured a cockroach that had been cut open and spread out for a few hours but was still alive due to a constant dripping supply of water mixed with what I think was sugar. Grody! The flayed cockroach was placed on a plate under a microscope for our viewing pleasure:

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Now let’s zoom in:

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

And we’re going to zoom in one last time to get a microscopic view of its innards:

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

After this Hannibal-esque display, I wanted to get my face painted. There were a variety of choices, including a spider on its web, a small rainbow-colored butterfly on the side of your face, a huge butterfly that would cover your entire face, a bee, a ladybug, a scorpion and a caterpillar. I settled on this:

I would like to caption this either “Say Hello to My Little Friend” or “The Girl with the Scorpion Tattoo.”

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

As you can see from the map side of the handout, the Butterfly Room was right next to Crafts (Face Painting) Room, but I didn’t have time to visit the former due to a  ridiculously long line and I didn’t want to waste my time waiting when I could see more exhibits  (I got to Insectapalooza a little after 1 p.m., and the event ends at 3 p.m.). And so, I left the basement for the second floor, determined to finally see Vladimir Nabokov’s butterfly collection in the Insect Diversity exhibit, a wish that was fulfilled:

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

This is not the entirety of Nabokov’s collection that Cornell possesses, only what was chosen to be displayed.

Among the other specimens shown at the Insect Diversity exhibit were:

moths,

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

stick insects,

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Goliath beetles,

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

butterflies,

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

leaf insects,

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

green beetles that resemble the grub that Timon and Pumbaa from Lion King eat (HAKUNA MATATA!)

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

and even more beetles.

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

After seeing all the dead specimens, I wanted to see some arthropods that were still alive, so I went to the Arthropod Zoo, where I saw this beauty:

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

I was also able to see live bumblebees in the Pollinators exhibit:

If you look closely, you can distinguish the queen bee from the rest of the colony. As Trump would say, she’s YUGE.

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Finally, I decided to end my visit with a quick peek at the Battle of the Bugs exhibition, which featured ladybugs, aphids, and parasitic wasps. They were a ton of ladybugs:

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

On my way out I noticed the merchandise they were selling—pretty cute:

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Quach

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed Insectapalooza! The abundance of exhibits and activities ensures that you get a great bang for your buck, and the large number of people at the event makes for a fun, lively and educational atmosphere. I will definitely return to Insectapalooza next year (and earlier) to check out the Butterfly Room, which allows you to interact with live, roaming butterflies!

See you in two weeks’ time, and I hope y’all have a spooky Halloween!

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