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Iowa State Bug Zoo Welcomes Visitors this Weekend

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Iowa State Bug Zoo

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University is inviting you to spend a day at its zoo – but not the kind with furry animals.

This kind involves the creepy, crawly creatures.

“The Insect Zoo has been around for almost 20 years,” said Greg Courtney, a professor at Iowa State. “It was one of the things that I helped to develop, so it started out as a pretty small endeavor. But it has since become one of the more popular outreach programs we have here at Iowa State.”

Iowa State has kept upwards of 40 to 50 bug species at a time in its insect zoo over the years, but researchers say focusing on a smaller amount at one time is smartest. There’s a variety of insects you’ll find, including hissing roaches, walking sticks, and tarantulas. The second annual Bug Village, an open house meant for the public, is Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Molecular Biology building on campus. Courtney says it’s an especially popular event for the kids.

“It’s a hands-on program, I think people – especially kids – love to handle the insects, love to see live insects – especially the big showy ones,” he said.