Newswise — Dance with dragonflies and tango with tarantulas: It's Insectapalooza 2009 at Comstock Hall on the Cornell University campus, Saturday, Oct. 3, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is free and fun for all ages.
Flutter away in the Butterfly Room. Tour the world-class Cornell Insect Collection and see samples of the more than 5 million specimens. Enjoy tropical creatures like the rhinoceros, Hercules and harlequin beetles, and giant Goliath beetles from equatorial Africa. And for the “pepsis” generation: View tarantula hawks, which are giant wasps the size of a man’s hand! They paralyze tarantulas and then use their bodies to raise babies.
New this year: Be among the first New Yorkers in 15 years to see the state’s official insect – the nine-spotted lady beetle. They were feared extinct. But this past spring, a 6-year-old girl in Oregon discovered them while participating in Cornell’s “The Lost Ladybug Project.” John Losey, Cornell entomology professor, retrieved the live specimens and is now raising them with high hopes of releasing them throughout New York.
Learn about mutations, understand how insects affect human and animal health, and find out about invasive species, genetically modified organisms and biological control. Don't forget to attend the cockroach races or to build your own bug. Meet faculty, students and staff who study insects to protect food, health and biodiversity systems. You can even bring your favorite insects and spiders to be identified by experts.