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So Many Tales ... Insects in Human Cultures

The So many tales... Insects in human cultures travelling exhibition.
Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Michel Tremblay)

So Many Tales ... Insects in Human Cultures, a cultural travelling exhibition!

Ever since prehistoric times, and on every continent, insects' fascinating behaviour and astounding beauty have inspired enduring myths and legends, splendid jewellery, and everyday objects.

This ethno-entomological exhibition So Many Tales ... Insects in Human Cultures was produced using items and specimens collected from around the globe by Head of Collections Stéphane Le Tirant. It pays tribute to the many intimate bonds, ancient and modern, between insects and humankind. Prepare to be surprised!

Ever since prehistoric times, insects and people have adapted to each other in countless and fascinating ways. So Many Tales … Insects in Human Cultures invites the public to explore this diverse relationship through three major themes: insect myths and legends, the magnificent adornments inspired by and created from insects, and the role insects play in our everyday life and the objects that surround us.

Visitors to this exhibition will learn about the role of butterflies in Mexican folk tales; of sacred scarab beetles in ancient Egypt; of stinging ants in Amazonian initiation rituals; of cricket combatants in China and Japan; of beetle-inspired ceremonial necklaces in South America; and more. In the process, it demonstrates that many cultures do not share the common western view of insects as pests.

In addition to dozens of mounted insect specimens, this exhibition contains approximately 150 artifacts from the personal collection of Stéphane Le Tirant, chief curator at the Montréal Insectarium. This subject matter will appeal to a wide range of audiences, young and old.

Exhibition components

  • More than 50 mounted insect specimens
  • 1 double-sided vertical display case (214 x 107 x 112 cm)
  • 2 double-sided vertical display cases (214 x 76 x 92 cm)
  • 5 two-level glass display cases with lighting (88 x 71 x 71 cm)
  • 4 single-level glass display cases (88 x 71 x 71 cm)
  • 2 vivariums on modular bases with insects and other arthropods (the choice of species depends on their availability) 
  • 8 banners featuring macrophotographs of insects

Programming material

  • Background material on some of the objects presented (French only)

Material for sale

  • Des insects et des hommes, ouvrage collectif, Éditions EMCC, 2004 (French only)

Promotional material

  • Exhibition poster
  • Press release

Space required

  • Without the macrophotographs: approximately 40 m2 (430 sq.ft)
  • With the macrophotographs: approx. 70 m2 (750 sq.ft)


  • Exhibition rental fee: $3,500 (6-week period)
  • Transportation fee: Paid by host institution, varies with location


  • The exhibition is evaluated at $100,000 and insurance is paid for by the host institution

Reservations and information

Noémie La Rue Lapierre, director of Friends of the Insectarium

Friends of the Insectarium
4581 Sherbrooke St. East
Montréal, Québec  H1X 2B2

Phone: 514 872-7097
Fax: 514 872-0662

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