You Be Buggin’

If slurping the worm from a bottle of tequila is the closest you’ve come to consuming insects as food, you’re in a cultural minority. Sautéed de-winged dragonflies, fire-roasted ants, and termite-baked breads in other countries are considered delicacies – but this love of larvae just hasn’t caught on in the States… yet. Today, the Museum of Discovery and Science (401 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale) questions your resistance to arthropods as food -- and to bugs in general -- in its newest exhibit: RoboBugs.

See the insect world from a bug’s eye view on Saturday and Sunday, when you stand in the shadow of a 22-foot mechanical mantis. Learn what’s kept species like Atlas Beetles, stick insects, swallowtail caterpillars, and desert locusts in the evolutionary heavy-weight division for all these centuries by exploring their anatomy: refashioned in metal and represented by mega-giant robots. (We know that you’ll want to ride the locust, but please, practice restraint.) Also on exhibit are oodles of interactive stations that will teach you more about what it’s like being the little guy in a big, big, world. Perhaps the most squirm-inducing moments of the opening weekend festivities will occur during the afternoon bug tastings. Yes, bug tastings. Pop back a chocolate-covered cricket, or be a traditionalist and opt for the plain variety; the museum crew will be on hand to give background information on which bugs can be eaten, and which you should continue avoiding eye contact with. Also, get the low-down on life down low with guest lecturer Thomas Dykstra, PhD, a bug doctor who knows more about creepy crawlies than Steven King; he’ll be speaking at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Perplexingly enough, this pro-bug extravaganza is sponsored by Truly Nolen. Tickets range $8 to $15. Call 954-467-6637, or visit
Sept. 29-30, 2007

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Jamie Laughlin