The Bug Zoo

The Bug Zoo is home to hundreds of insects from around the world!  Here’s some exciting displays waiting for you:

  • Tarantula Tree–A large tree that holds some of the largest bodied spiders on the planet.  There’s also education on spiders, including venomous species that live in Northern Michigan.
  • Beetle Boulder–This exhibit houses many different kinds of bugs, including blue feigning death beetles and millipedes, mantis and more.
  • Honeybee Observation Hive–Take pleasure in knowing that the bees are safely tucked behind glass while you are able to observe the inner workings of a hive!  Watch the bee dance, and keep an eye out for her majesty, the Queen Bee!
  • Dr. Duke Elsner’s Crawl Space–This exhibit is dedicated to Dr. Duke Elsner, our resident Entomologist, who has collected thousands of bugs in his career and has generously allowed his private collection to be displayed!  Featuring local bugs, moths and butterflies as well as educational information on the art of bug pinning.
  • Frogs! Amphibians are explained with poison dart frogs, horned frogs, tree frogs and firebelly toads who love to greet visitors.  Watch for “Squishy,” our Iberian Rib Newt who lives with the frogs in our Paludarium.
  • Axolotls!  If you don’t know what an “Axolotl” is, please come visit and meet them!  These amazing creatures are highly endangered in the wild, and have been bred in captivity and studied by scientists for generations.  Why?  Because these animals, in the salamander family have the ability to regenerate limbs.  They also breathe through external gills, and always seem to have a smile on their face….Weird and wonderful, Axolotls can teach about genetic diversity as well, demonstrating albino and melanistic traits.

PLEASE NOTE:  If you fear spiders, we only display spider/tarantula info and species in ONE area of the zoo, that can be easily avoided if your fear is too great.  Our goal is to educate you, not scare you beyond enjoying your visit.  Please let our staff know if you have Arachnophobia or need special accommodations in the zoo.