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Six-legged beauties prance, pray and pose their way to BugFest 2012, Saturday, Sept. 15

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — August 27, 2012       
Arts, Entertainment, Travel, Science, Food Editors. Images available.    
Contact: Emelia.Cowans@naturalsciences.org; 919.707.9837

BugFest 2012: Mantids

(RALEIGH) — We all know that praying mantises pray, pose and PULVERIZE their mates (the females anyway), but whether these beautiful and delicate creatures are minding their business, hanging out on a tree or staring at you through your screen door, there’s no denying, this very graceful insect is absolutely fascinating. For that reason, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences celebrates the mantid as our theme bug for BugFest 2012. Can you believe these pretty insects are more closely related to cockroaches than grasshoppers?

BugFest—hailed as the Museum’s biggest event of the year and the largest, one-day, bug-centric event of its kind in the country, will be held on Saturday, September 15 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. All four floors of the Museum, Bicentennial Plaza, Jones St., Edenton St., and for the first time, the Museum’s new wing, the Nature Research Center (NRC), will become ‘bug central station’ with more than 100 educational stations, presentations, displays and live music. Now in its 16th year, BugFest continues to be one of the keystone events at the Museum where visitors turn their fears into fascination, complete with a full day of educational fun for the entire family.

Boasting crowds of more than 30,000, BugFest never disappoints, but what keeps visitors coming back for more is undoubtedly the Café Insecta—BugFest’s free bug-food emporium. Chefs from Rocky Top Hospitality, The Market Restaurant and the Chef’s Academy Culinary School of Morrisville, will create a host of bug-filled dishes for everyone to enjoy until it runs out! Traditional food and drink are also available for sale on the plaza and inside the Museum’s new Daily Planet Café, NRC.

Presentations at BugFest will be held in the SECU Daily Planet, (NRC), the Window on Animal Health, (NRC), and Windows on the World, Main building. Featured speakers in the Daily Planet include Dr. Mark Moffett, also known as “Dr. Bugs” and the “Indiana Jones of Entomology,” who will present, “Adventures Among Ants” at 12 p.m., Dr. Meg Lowman, NRC Director, who will present “Stalking Bugs By Hot Air Balloon” at 1 p.m., and Rick Trone, Mantid Expert, who will present ”Praying Mantids: Insect Predators” at 4 p.m.

Featured Museum speakers in Windows on the World include Helen Chappell, Exhibit Developer, with “A Tick Bite Made Me Allergic to Meat” at 10:30 a.m., Dr. Michelle Trautwein, Asst. Biodiversity Lab Director, with “Arthropods of Our Homes” at 11:30 a.m., and Bill Reynolds, Curator of the Arthropod Zoo, with “An Introduction to North Carolina Arthropods” at 2:30 p.m. A full list of all the presentations at BugFest can be found at www.bugfest.org.

The Jim Alberti Flea Circus returns with his amazing cast of delightful performers, including Paddy O’Reilly Shaughnessy, who waves an Irish Flag, Captain Spaulding, who is shot from a cannon, and the daring, diving, bikini-clad Dardenell who does the traditional flea circus high dive.

The Main Stage on the Daily Planet Plaza will feature several live bands including the Graffiti Monkeys, Victoria Lee, and the Trophy Husbands. In between sets, the crowd can take part in “Mantis Bingo!” On Edenton St., visitors can get in touch with their creative and environmental sides at the Scrap Exchange table, participate in a “Mantis Craft” activity or joust with a friend in the Stag Beetle Battles!

The KidZone will feature the Roachingham 500, where you can “bet” on the fastest Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches in the land;  the Arthropod Olympics (Dung Beetle Races, Ant Races, Bee Races), Bug Bounce, Cameron the Caterpillar (large walk-through caterpillar-shaped tunnel), face painting (small fee) and “Buggy” Story Time.
Movies at BugFest include “Bugged,” a documentary about the Asian long-horned beetle that invaded the United States in the mid 1980s and is currently listed in the top 100 of the World’s worst invasive species. The 1957 thriller, “The Deadly Mantis” kicks off the “Evening Insectival” from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Evening cooking demos and the “Bug Love Station” about pheromones and how bugs attract mates are also nighttime favorites.

Terminix Companies of Eastern North Carolina is the Lead Sponsor of BugFest. Additional sponsors include the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station, Armstrong Cricket Farm, and Pepsi Bottling Ventures. All BugFest activities are free unless otherwise noted on-site. For more information about BugFest, call 919.707.9879 or 919.707.9890.

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, August 28, 2012