St. Louis Zoo and Insectarium

After the field project presentations and clean-up the field equipments in the lab, all the students decided to go to St. Louis Zoo (free, by the way) to pay Mr. Ed Spevak and the insectarium a visit.

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)
Before heading back to the apartment to put my stuff away first, I came across this Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia) on the sidewalk in the drizzling rain.  I gently picked it up and put it on a tree where it has more shelter.  What a beauty!

We were at the zoo with only about 1.5 hours to spare before closing, so we only had time to visit the insectarium.

Not many zoos (or gardens) in North America focus on pollinators in their displays.

Mr. Spevak telling us the history of this place and some of the stuff he did once he became the Curator of Invertebrates at the zoo.

Informative and simple signs to show the public the importance of pollinators.

Bee houses - incredibly easy to make.  Tied up bamboos sticks or hollowed sticks will do.

A paper wasp display inside the Insectarium.

How pollination works with bees.

The roles that St. Louis Zoo plays in reintroducing an endangered insect species back into the wild, not common in conservation.  See here for the recent news about the reintroduction.

A really cool display on Leaf Cutter Ants!

The ants in action!

Check this out.

Leaf cutter ants (Atta cephalotes)
We were fortunate enough to be shown to the other side of the glass and was able to see these ants close-up.

Leaf cutter ants (Atta cephalotes)

Another popular part of the Insectarium - the butterfly wing!

Some of the butterflies housed here.

Unknown exotic butterfly

Unknown exotic butterfly

Unknown exotic butterfly
Great opportunities to photograph exotic butterflies.

This is the other side of the glass.  Much more insects to see.

They house bumblebees as well!


Since the American Burying Beetle (Nicrophorus americanus) is an endangered species, any dead specimen cannot be discarded and must be kept.  Therefore, there are many many drawers such as this one above.  Since all of them are raised in captive, everything about them is documented, and they can be useful to someone interested in studying their pedigree.

A very well-camouflaged insect that shakes like a leaf when startled.

Well, that is all from my field course in St. Louis.  We will be driving back to Ontario tomorrow, and this time next month, I will be camping in Yukon once again!  Can't wait!

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