Bug Day 2021

What will you discover?

What will you discover?

**Please note that registration is now closed. Registration is required to attend.**

Calling all entomologists, future entomologists, and lovers of all things bugs! The museum is hosting Bug Day 2021 on Saturday, July 24 and we want to see YOU here!

What to See & Do

Bug Day 2021 will feature the museum's scientists and researchers showing-off a large variety of insects from the museum's entomology collections that are rarely exhibited to the public, including some of our fossil insects! The event will also offer a variety of live insects on display, preserved non-insect invertebrates, insectivorous mammal museum specimens, and bug-themed activities for children and youth! Museum experts will also be on hand to demonstrate insect sweeping techniques and how scientists pin bugs for entomology collections!

Live Specimens

Giant vinegaroon
Mastigoproctus giganteus; Family Thelyphonidae – whip scorpions

Tailless whip scorpion
Paraphrynus carolynae; Family Phrynidae - tailless whip scorpions

American giant millipede
Narceus americanus; Family Spirobolidae – spirobolid millipedes

African giant millipede
Archispirostreptus gigas; Family Spirostreptidae – spirostreptid millipedes

Mexican redknee tarantula
Brachypelma hamorii; Family Theraphosidae – tarantulas

Preserved Specimens

Neptune’s goblet sponge
Cliona patera; Family Clionaidae – clionaid demosponges

Giant sea spider
Order Pantopoda – sea spiders

Giant tailless whip scorpion
Charon grayi; Family Charontidae - tailless whip scorpions

Giant tropical centipede
Scolopendra sp.; Family Scolopendridae - centipedes

Giant tropical millipedes
Order Spirobolida - "round-backed" millipedes

Yellow-winged walking sticks
Tagesoidea nigrofasciata; Family Lonchodidae – lonchodid walking sticks

Giant walking stick
Phasma gigas; Family Phasmatidae – walking sticks

Tropical Lanternfly
Cathedra serrata; Family Fulgoridae – fulgorid planthoppers

Tropical Locusts
Family Acrididae – grasshoppers and locusts

Eastern dobsonfly
Corydalus cornutus; Family Corydalidae – dobsonflies and fishflies

Violin beetle
Mormolyce phyllodes; Family Carabidae – ground beetles

Tropical jewel beetle
Megaloxantha bicolor; Family Buprestidae – jewel beetles or metallic wood-boring beetles

Tropical stag beetle
Odontolabis dalmani; Family Lucanidae – stag beetles

Goliath beetle
Goliathus sp.; Family Scarabaeidae - scarabs

Five-horned rhinoceros beetle
Eupatorus gracilicornis; Family Scarabaeidae; Subfamily Dynastinae – rhinoceros beetles

Hercules beetle
Dynastes hercules; Family Scarabaeidae; Subfamily Dynastinae – rhinoceros beetles

Harlequin beetle
Acrocinus longimanus; Family Cerambycidae – longhorn beetles

Tropical long-horned beetle
Petrognatha gigas; Family Cerambycidae

Titan beetle
Titanus giganteus; Family Cerambycidae

Sabertooth longhorn beetle
Macrodontia cervicornis; Family Cerambycidae

Birdwing butterflies
Family Papilionidae – swallowtail butterflies

Morpho butterflies
Morpho spp.; Family Nymphalidae - brush-footed butterflies

Madagascar sunset moth
Chrysiridia rhipheus; Family Uraniidae – swallowtail moths

White witch moth
Thysania agrippina; Family Erebidae – erebid moths

Atlas moth
Attacus atlas; Family Saturniidae – silk moths

Children's Activities

In addition to all of the specimens on display, the event will feature a variety of bug-themed children's activities led by the museum's education team!

Registration and Admission

Pre-registration is required to attend this year's event and can be done so online (links below). Only a limited number of registrations will be accepted on a first-come-first-served basis. Regular admission rates apply.

The event is divided into two time blocks. Please note that reservations are only valid during the time block that you select. While you may arrive at any time within your selected time block, we recommend arriving towards the beginning of your selected time block to make sure you have time to experience all of the offerings.

  • Block One: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Block Two: 1:30 to 4 p.m.

Admission is FREE for VMNH Members, members of ASTC Passport participating institutions, and EBT card holders. Otherwise, general admission rates apply:

  • $10/adult ages 18-59
  • $5/children and youth ages 3-17 and seniors ages 60+
  • Free for children under 3

Questions? Please contact us at information@vmnh.virginia.gov for more information!

  • Bug Day 2021 Time Block One Registration
  • Bug Day 2021 Time Block Two Registration

The museum uses Blackbaud for Bug Day 2021 online registrations and payment.

map of Virginia and surrounding areas

Please Visit Us Soon


Tuesday - Saturday: 10am - 4pm
Sunday - Monday: Closed


$10 for ages 18-59
$5 for ages 3-17, seniors 60+, and college students
FREE for children under 3, museum members, and members of ASTC participating institutions

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