Opening Update: The BUGarium is not officially open to the public yet. However, your visit to the Botanic Garden may be during a "soft opening" period and you may be able to get a sneak peek at our newest exhibit while we "get the bugs out!"
Please respect that our soft opening times can change without notice and are dependent upon final preparations being done by staff and that public access to the BUGarium is not guaranteed until we have our official Grand Opening at a later date.
The BUGarium, opening soon at the Botanic Garden, will engross you in the fascinating lives of arthropods. The complex will feature naturalistic habitats designed to reveal the unseen wonders of “bugs” from around the world. It will be located near the PNM Butterfly Pavilion and Dragonfly Sanctuary Pond. Ground-breaking and construction for the new building began on June 25, 2014.
Notice: the Dragonfly Sanctuary Pond is closed during the BUGarium construction.
About the BUGarium
The BioPark has been raising and collecting insects for the BUGarium in the Arthropod Rearing Lab, which is not on exhibit, since 2006. The new 3,500-square-foot building will feature different insect and other arthropod species from around the world, including Malaysian walking sticks, giant bird eating tarantulas and southwest velvet ants. Some of the exciting exhibits planned include:
- A working bee hive
- A tropical tree home to leaf cutter ants
- Aquatic insects that seem to connect to the outside dragonfly sanctuary pond
- A nocturnal exhibit allowing viewing under infra-red light of tarantulas, giant katydids and African scorpions
- A cluster of individual bubbles housing the social communities of naked mole rats
What’s a Bug?
We think of bugs as small animals with lots of legs--spiders, bees, millipedes, scorpions, butterflies and so on. Scientists call these animals with hard exoskeletons, jointed legs and segmented bodies arthropods. They use the term true bug to describe a specific type of insect with piercing and sucking mouthparts. The BUGarium will feature all kinds of arthropods and a few other surprises.
Eww! Why Bugs?
Bugs can’t be ignored. Eight of ten animals on Earth are arthropods, and we can’t live without them. They pollinate flowers, feed other animals, eat dead things and play other important roles in the ecosystem.
Bugs also tell good stories. How do ants stay organized? What makes spider silk strong? How does moth perfume smell? At the BUGarium, you will be able to hear their stories and discover their hidden world.