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Bugfest '12

Discussion in 'Zoo Trips (Man Made Habitats)' started by Anonymity82, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. Anonymity82

    Anonymity82 Arachnoprince

    I got to see some cool animals in person and they offered a sample buffet of weird bug foods for free. I was hoping for something more than crickets and mealworms but at least it was for free! I will never eat crickets or mealworms again. Nasty!

    Now for the negative review. It was pure chaos. I expected a lot of kids but there was more than I expected. None of the exhibits had any roped off lines so some people, like myself, found the line and waited patiently while all these other people just shoved their way in essentially cutting in line but it's not really their faults because there was no actual "line." People also come from both sides of the line so it's pushing from both directions. I took a bunch of pictures but with the dirty glass mixed with amount of people pushing from all directions I was unable to take enough to get that good photo of each exhibit. I did get a couple of good photos though.

    The information some of the volunteers handed out at the tables was absolutely terrible. I feel like they just put people wherever without actually prepping them with ANY information. I asked if the Giant African Millipede was on the Cites list (I was pretty sure it was but couldn't remember at the moment) and they looked at me with blank stares and said "The Sight Es list?" which is fine I guess. Not a big deal.

    Next, one of the kids asked which one of the tarantulas eats birds and the man pointed to the A. metallica and said "The pink toe, that one eats birds" while it was next to a T. blondi/stirmi called the "Goliath Birdeater." I'm pretty sure either of these tarantulas will eat a bird if the opportunity presents itself but they made it sound like it was the pink toe's only form of food. Not a bid deal.

    The use of the word poisonous was tossed around like confetti on New Years Eve. Fine, not a big deal. People make that mistake all the time.

    I was talking about the Pleuroloma flavipes they had there and we were talking about how it smells like cherries. One of the girls looked appalled and told me not to smell it because it contained cyanide insinuating that I would get poisoned by smelling them. I would be long gone by now. Not a big deal.

    A guy running the scorpion table proceeded to tell groups of people that the Arizona Bark Scorpion is "very deadly" and I never wanted to punch someone in the face so hard before, that is until I was on the fourth floor of the science museum. JK of course but you get the point.

    Not one person could tell me how to pronounce Argiope.

    The last table I went to, the one that made me want to leave in a hurry, couldn't give me any scientific names or their common names for their 3 tarantulas they had on display. That would have been fine but then this kid came up to the table and a couple of other people and asked if these tarantulas were "poisonous." The girl told him "NO" and that the only "poisonous" spiders are the black widows and the brown recluse! AHHhhh! I didn't even correct her, I just left.

    I also head from a few of the people running the tables that brown recluse were indeed in NC as if they weren't extremely rare in this state.

    I was hoping to learn something there. It's as if they just told people to say whatever the hell they wanted. I basically got blank stares and shrugs for most of my questions. Even simple questions like "How long do [enter creatures name here] live for?"

    In the days to come I'll probably forget about this and start remembering the better parts of the fest. I'll update if that happens :).

    It was fun overall though. I tend to focus on the negative so I'll try to throw some positive in there. The Spark con was literally one block away and that was a lot of fun. Some of the tables knew what they were talking about and sounded well informed. The allowed people to touch the molts of scorpions and tarantulas and they even allowed people to handle millipedes, tarantulas, stick bugs, and the Chinese praying mantis. All of which were docile and didn't seem to irritated by being passed around. The people were very gentle and very alert while watching the children handle the creatures. It's nice to see kids and even some adults becoming more interested in animals that aren't "cute and cuddly" too.

    It's also always a pleasure seeing Rob from ExoInsects there. I also got to meet a local enthusiast which is always nice. I've been talking to him on FB recently so it was nice to meet him. It's also funny to find out that the three of us all knew a fourth local enthusiast separately. It's a small world and even smaller one for arachnid enthusiast!
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
  2. Elytra and Antenna

    Elytra and Antenna Arachnoking Old Timer

    Isn't this the one that was supposedly themed mantids this year?
    Pretty much all your complaints are about getting answers that it would be neat to know the details on or stories behind like invertebrate myth busters. Various scientific papers on what we have decided to term venom used the word poison for how many decades, centuries? How much cyanide gas does a Pleuroloma produce on average and how much do you have to inhale for it to have any effect? Would you feel it? How much is cyanide and how much is benzaldehyde? I've taken some huge wiffs of masive pissed-off colonies of other polydesmids and have wondered if there really is a chance I'll fall over dead or at least feel a little sick. They emit a gas, not a fluid like the juliformia. I've never encountered cyanide poisoning so I don't know how it would feel. Is there really only one pronunciation for Argiope? Scientific nomenclature isn't a spoken language whereas you say potato is. Maybe you could find the answers and post them here?
  3. Anonymity82

    Anonymity82 Arachnoprince


    I had fun. I ate bugs for free. They had a lot of cool creatures there. I was a little harsh on the teenagers running the tables. Basically a lot of people volunteered and just got placed wherever. I thought venom was a proven term for venomous animals. They're not poisonous right? They're venomous? I guess if it hasn't been settled in science than I should lay off. It wasn't that though, it was the fact that she said the only two poisonous spiders were black widows and brown recluse. Plus the fact that many people spoke of their many encounters with brown recluse living in their sheds or barns...

    I had a guy swear up and down that he has them at his house. He even said he has them at work. He showed me one and it was a running crab spider... He just looked blank and then swore he had them at his house still. Whatever buddy lol.
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