Insects come in an incredible array of sizes, shapes, and colors. Generally speaking, though, they all have the same basic elements. They have three body segments (head, thorax, and abdomen), three pairs of legs, and the adults have one or two pairs of wings. That means that butterflies, grasshoppers, and ladybugs are all insects! Let’s take a closer look at some cool bugs. Once you’ve explored a few, click here to download a handout on how to make your own insect at home.
Looking for more ways to engage with nature? Check out our educators’ top five tips!
The Nature Museum team loves bugs! We’ve even written a poem about them! Click here to watch a video of educators Anna and Becca reciting it. Then click here to download a pdf of the poem Bugs Alive! and read it with your young scientist.
Guiding Question: Can you think of bugs that fly? That jump? That are big? That are small?
Darkling beetle Critter Connection
Did you know that we have a number of bugs that live at the Nature Museum? Darkling beetles are just one of the crawly critters you can find in the Istock Family Look-In Lab. Click here to watch Rebecca’s virtual darkling beetle Critter Connection.
Guiding Question: How do we know that darkling beetles are insects? What other insects can you think of? Do they eat the same foods as darkling beetles?
Live Animal Feeding: Sunburst beetles
Not all bugs live on land, some live in the water! Check out this video to watch Marjorie feed our aquatic sunburst beetles.
Guiding Question: What do the sunburst beetles eat? How is that different from what darkling beetles eat?
Explore an exotic beetle species!
This beautiful insect is the shining leaf chafer beetle (Chrysophora chrysochlora). This species is native to Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, but this particular preserved specimen calls our Ravenswood collections facility home. Click here for a larger photo.
Guiding Question: What do you notice about this beetle? What traits do you think it has to help it survive?
Enjoy a story with Marjorie!
We’re bringing you another virtual story time with Marjorie! Click here to watch her read “A Beetle Is Shy.”
Guiding Question: What similarities did you see between the beetles in the book and other insects we’ve talked about (like butterflies)? What differences?
Behind the scenes!
Did you know that darkling beetles go through metamorphosis? When they’re in their larval stage they’re often called superworms, and superworms are one of our box turtles’ favorite treats! Click here to see them having a quick snack.