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We Are the Insects

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A reproduction of the family Proscopidae at the "We Are the Insects" permanent exhibition.
Photo: Insectarium de Montréal (Étienne Boucher-Cazabon)

In this exhibition, you will learn that insects live everywhere and you will learn how their many shapes and colours let them eat, hide, defend themselves and find a mate. You’ll also see how insects play many roles essential for the survival of humankind.

You’ll marvel at the beauty of giant scarab beetles from the tropical forest, admire twinkling fireflies and thrill to an insect symphony!

The exhibition features the most beautiful naturalized insects from around the globe, a large variety of intriguing live specimens, stunning photos and interactive fun.

Throughout your visit you’ll be accompanied by our friendly guide, Prosco. A proud and worthy representative of the insect world, he will be delighted to introduce you to all his compatriots. He’ll explain why there are so many insects and why they are found everywhere around the globe. You’ll finally learn why they are such a phenomenal success!

You’ll also find out where and how insects live, what and how they eat, and how they defend themselves. You’ll learn how they communicate and how they attract a mate when the time comes to reproduce. Lastly, you’ll see how insects contribute to the health of the environment and realize how important it is to protect these valuable allies.

A foretaste of the exhibition

(Video in French only)

Your guide, Prosco, will be waiting for you at the Insectarium!

Follow the guide!

Just imagine! There are over one million known insect species. To keep things straight, scientists have come up with ingenious systems for naming and classifying them. Can you identify an insect? Take the test, with the “Is this an insect?” game.

We live everywhere!

Insects live in forests, on savannahs, in, on and around bodies of water and even in deserts of sand and ice! You’ll see a butterfly that can withstand the cold, scarab beetles that clean up the environment by eating dung, and aquatic insects that breathe by means of a “snorkel”, among other marvels. Amazement guaranteed!

A time for everyone

Some insects are active during the day, others at dawn and dusk. Still others, like moths, wait until dark to come out. Learn about their tricks for getting around, feeding and communicating.

Different tastes

Insects dine on a wide range of foods, from leaves to seeds, sap, nectar, pollen, other insects, and carrion. It’s a real feast! Some of them grind up their food, while others suck it up or lick it. Their mouths are equipped with “utensils” of different shapes, adapted to their specific diets. Bon appétit!

Self-defence champions

Horns, spines, venom, irritating hairs, stingers... Insects have quite an arsenal at their disposal! Some species opt to run away or conceal themselves instead. Walking sticks and leaf insects, for instance, are true masters of disguise. Can you spot them?

Reproduction pros

Most insects have very short lives, so when it comes time to reproduce, they have to be efficient! Before mating, of course, they have to find a partner. Learn about some seduction techniques worthy of Casanova himself, from bright colours to heady scents and irresistible love songs!

For the love of insects

Insects colonized the planet millions of years ago. Yet now the survival of many species is threatened by us humans, with our pollution, habitat destruction, illegal trade and so on. Learn how some organizations, in Canada and abroad, are working to protect insects and how you can do your part.

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