Bugs represent the largest group of animals on Earth! They account for at least 75% of all known animal species and without them, larger animals could not exist. While insects can destroy crops, spread disease, and be a nuisance, they clean up environmental waste, pollinate many flowering plants and provide the food necessary for larger animals to survive!
Assembled by our entomologists, the Insect Preservatory contains several hundred preserved insect specimens. It showcases some of the largest, most beautiful, and most biologically interesting bugs in the world. Insects from every continent except Antarctica are represented in the Preservatory, including all sorts of beetles, stick insects, praying mantises, flies, wasps, and many more!
Some of our experts’ particularly favorite specimens are:
- Bee-Mimicking Robber Fly – Disguising itself as a bumble bee, this large predatory fly is safe from its own predators as it hunts for its prey. Also, you can find them right here on Long Island!
- Atlas Beetle – Also known as a rhinoceros beetle, this massive, horned, Asian beetle looks dangerous and intimidating. However, its horns are useful only for competition for mates; they are quite harmless and feed on decaying fruit.
- Titan Longhorn Beetle – This South American beetle is the largest beetle in the world and extremely rare.
- Bullet Ants – These South American ants have one of the most painful stings of any insect. Although their colonies are not the largest, a sting from one of these guys is like getting shot with a bullet!
- Giant Termites – These African termites are some of the largest in the world. They are responsible for constructing massive colonies out of sand and dirt that can be more than 15 feet tall.
Come and take a look at the rest of our specimens!