Bug Fest 2013 Features Live Masters of Deception, August 10 and 11 : Four Little Monsters Blog
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Bug Fest 2013 Features Live Masters of Deception, August 10 and 11

by EJ on 07/09/13

A message from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University...

This summer’s Bug Fest at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University celebrates the amazing insects that make their living as masters of deception. The annual festival on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 10 and 11, features scores of live bugs, insect tastings, outdoor insect walks, short talks by Academy scientists, live music and lots of hands-on fun for kids. Bug Fest is free with regular museum admission.

“This year we’re celebrating bugs that use camouflage to hide in plain sight or act like other insects for a variety of reasons,” said Karen Verderame, an insect specialist and supervisor of the museum’s Outside In exhibit. “They use mimicry, camouflage and protective resemblance that make them the ultimate masters of deception.”

Think of the brown stick insect camouflaged on a branch to hide from predators or the yellow-and-black-striped flower fly that mimics a bee or wasp in appearance and sound as it visits flowers.  These are common occurrences in nature, and now Academy visitors can see these tiny creatures up close, learn what bugs use their clever guises for and even find out how to identify them.

Kids can get buggy on the dance floor at the Masquerade Bug Ball, get their faces painted and get an insect tattoo; at the Bug Ball anything goes! Cajun chef Zack Lemann, a crowd favorite, will have plenty of samples of foods he prepares with nutritious insects.

Now in its sixth year, Bug Fest is an outgrowth of the Academy’s robust research and education programs and its Entomology Collection of 4 million preserved insects. Founded in 1812, the Academy is America’s oldest natural history museum.

Visitors to Bug Fest, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., can enjoy these activities on both festival days:

  • Get a unique perspective into the world of camouflage and mimicry during the interactive “Identify Theft” show with live bugs. 11 a.m.
  • Watch Cajun chef Zack Lemann cook yummy buggy dishes including chocolate chirp cookies.
  • Be dazzled with insect trickery by magician Jeff Carson. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
  • See amazing displays from the Academy’s world-renowned Entomology Collection.
  • Cheer your favorite roach on at the Roach Race 500. Every half hour from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Join Academy entomologists on an insect expedition through nearby Logan Square and Sister Cities Park. On the hour from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Hear Academy entomologist Isa Betancourt describe how insects use disguises as defenses, and see the real insects that display mimicry. Noon and 12:30 p.m.
  • Learn how to collect, pin and care for insect specimens in this hands-on demonstration, and take home a pinned beetle.
  • See a fascinating photo presentation of unusual bugs from the backyard as well as from the far corners of the globe. The presenter is children’s book author and director of the Academy’s Visual Resources for Ornithology Doug Wechsler. 3 p.m.

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