Apparently in Victoria there is a miniature zoo dedicated to bugs, so naturally I had to go check it out. They had many different types of stick insects, as well as some stick insect like insects, a bunch of arachnids, and numerous beetles, etc. I wound up spending almost 2 hours there despite it not being very large. They ran a tour with a guide taking us around the two rooms of displays and telling us a bit about each type of organism. The guide also took some of them out of their displays and let us hold them (the ones that wouldn’t fly away or attempt to shed limbs out of fear).
I am not excessively interested in bugs, so my main enjoyment of this zoo came from just looking at the different morphologies of the insect world, and taking pictures. Unfortunately a lot of my pictures do not look great, but I have posted a few of the good ones here:
One thing I thought was really cool was a giant set up of a leaf cutter ant colony. It was a bunch of clear boxes mounted to a wall, and connected to one another with clear tubes. It was interesting to see the farming of the fungus, and also the guide pointed out two unique parts of the colony. The first was essentially a composting area, where all the waste was deposited. The second was the ant graveyard, where all the dead ants were taken after they died. Our guide told us that the ants that carry out the dead never return to the colony afterwards (apparently because the ant that died may have had some kind of pathogen or something). Also, as a result it is typically the older ants who only have a few days left to live that take responsibility for carrying out the dead ants.
(it may be best to watch the following video without sound, since it is mostly just kids yelling in the background…)