The Montreal Botanical Garden, Part II: the Insectarium

The Insectarium, viewed from the entrance above

This was my first visit to the Insectarium. It is a short walk from the Botanical Gardens, and is one of Montreal’s most popular tourist attractions. Your ticket to the gardens includes the entry fee for the bugs!

Apparently the exhibit of free flying Monarch butterflies is a must-see, but I missed the opening by a couple of days, so I had to content myself with the permanent collections.

The largest Coleoptera? Whatever - it's huge!

The tropical insects never fail to amaze me. Here is what may be the largest coleoptera in the world (but of course, entomologists are still debating this). It is about the size of a house sparrow, but much scarier looking.

The Cobra butterfly

This cobra butterfly is so named because the markings at the tips of its wings look like cobra heads. Nothing like that in New England, that’s for sure.

Beautiful, aren't they?

I loved the impossibly bright colors of many of the tropical butterflies. Imagine living in a place where these amazing creatures are fluttering around.

The Atta ant exhibit is open to the room.

Before leaving, I stopped for a while at an intriguing display of “atta”  – or Leafcutter – ants. There are enclosed food and shelter areas at each end, but the middle consists of bare branches wide open to the room. The curators have laid down scent trails, and the ants simply follow them, scurrying back and forth, carrying leaves they have cut. For me, this was the highlight of the visit.

One of the ants, carrying a leaf.

For more information on the Insectarium, click here.

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About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.
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