re than 30,000 people crowded into downtown Raleigh this weekend at the Museum of Natural Sciences for Bug Fest, an annual event dedicated to the celebration, appreciation and scientific nature of insects.
This year’s special theme was cicadas, both for display and for Café Insecteca, where free, bug-inclusive dishes were available to visitors.
The event featured “buggy” displays, presentations and an evening “Insectival” for nocturnal bugs and live music, said Jack Leff, a senior biology major at Appalachian State University.
Wade Harrell, owner of the Harrell House Bug Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico, visited for Bug Fest and hosted a booth titled “Scorpions and Other Arachnids.”
Ultraviolet lights accompanied the displayed arachnids, whose exoskeletons glowed under UV lights, Harrell said.
“No one is sure why some scorpions glow under UV light,” Harrel said. “It may just be another side effect of the components of their exoskeleton, or they might just have the need to retain moisture in some of their other habitats and the natural water proofing in their skin just happens to be fluorescent.”
Scorpions use venom to catch prey and defend themselves, but most are not dangerous to people, Harrell said.