June 20, 2008 - "Insectarium"

From hissing cockroaches to butterflies in flight, the Audubon Insectarium offers 40,000 live and 15,000 mounted specimens. Tempted to call it the bug museum? That's okay. Chief Entomologist Jayme Necaise says, "It's like an aquarium for fish, but it's all about bugs--so it's the Insectarium."

There are pre-historic insects in amber, millipedes and metallic frog beetles--a giant ant colony and Herbie the Love Bug to tell you all about love bugs. Climb behind the wheel, and--lo and behold!--the windshield is a movie screen. The movie is something you have seen all too often in real life, love bugs smashing into the car.

Elsewhere, shrink down and get a bug's eye view under your back yard. But watch out. The trap-door spider will get you! The huge bug startles visitors as he springs from his hideout.

At every turn entomologists, bug experts, are there to help. Back to Jayme Necaise: "Insects rule the world. We think that they're living in our world. Really we're living in their world. Without insects we would cease to be as humans."

Creepy and crawly or just plain gorgeous--they're all at the Insectarium. It's in the Customs House at Canal & Decatur.