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The Victoria Bug Zoo

Updated on December 5, 2012

Experience The Touch Of Exotic Bugs

While in Victoria, British Columbia the summer of 2011 we visited, for the second time, the Victoria Bug Zoo. This lens will discuss The Victoria Bug Zoo, and the animals there. It is a wonderful living museum that allows you to learn about the world's insect community and hold exotic bugs in your hands.

You can walk through the exhibits and see the collection of living bugs, or join a tour where the staff person conducting the tour describes each bug and allows you to hold most of them. (Children are not allowed to hold the tarantula because they would be severely injured if dropped.)

The Victoria Bug Zoo is located in downtown Victoria at 631 Courtney Street.

Thank you to the staff of the Victoria Bug Zoo for reminding me what bugs I had photographed. I have provided links to websites where I gained information about each species.

Link to The Victoria Bug Zoo

This link will take you to the Victoria Bug Zoo website.

Mexican Red Leg tarantula
Mexican Red Leg tarantula

The Mexican Red Leg tarantula

The Mexican Red Leg tarantula (Brachypelma smithi) has a black head and orange patches on the joints of its legs. The second element of the legs is orange-red. If disturbed, they will kick urticating (or irritating) hairs from their abdomens and back legs, rather than bite.

I was hesitant to place the tarantula in my hand, but I held my breath and did it.

Expand Your Library On Trantulas

The Tarantula Keeper's Guide: Comprehensive Information on Care, Housing, and Feeding
The Tarantula Keeper's Guide: Comprehensive Information on Care, Housing, and Feeding

Terrarium hobbyists interested in acquiring a truly exotic pet as well as life science students will find virtually everything they need to know about keeping a tarantula in captivity. This book includes detailed information on the natural history and biology of these fascinating creatures, and the care chapter has been completely updated and revised. The book is filled with color photos and scientifically accurate line art, most of which examples are new to this second edition. Since its initial publication, hobbyists have come to consider this book the "Bible of Arachnoculture."

Tarantulas and Other Arachnids (Complete Pet Owner's Manuals)
Tarantulas and Other Arachnids (Complete Pet Owner's Manuals)

This volume advises on Tarantulas and other arachnid maintenance and care. Advice and instruction covers feeding, housing, health care, training, grooming, protection against hazards, and more. Texts emphasize pet care basics and are easy for all readers to understand, but most titles also present facts that even experienced pet owners and breeders will find new and useful. All books in this series are filled with high quality full-color photos and instructive line art.


A 93 page guide.

Emperor Scorpion
Emperor Scorpion

The Emperor scorpion

The Emperor scorpion (Pandinus imperator) is native to Africa. It is one of the largest scorpions in the world and can have an average length of 20 cm (7.9 inches). It lives for 5 to 8 years.

Sensory hairs cover the pincers and tail that allows the scorpion to detect prey through vibrations in the air and ground.


The Vinegaroon

These Arachnids are commonly known as Vinegaroons. Vinegaroons only use six legs for walking having evolved their first two legs to serve as antennae and/or sensory organs. Vinegaroons range in size from 25 to 85 mm (0.98 to 2.2 inches) in length with most species not longer than 30 mm (1.2 inches).



Centipedes are Arthropods, which are invertebrate animals (no vertebral column) with an external skeleton. Despite the name, Centipedes have an odd number of pairs of legs (15 or 17 pairs of legs, but never 16 pairs).

Some centipedes can be hazardous to people because of their bite. Although not fatal in adults, the bites can be quite painful and be accompanied by swelling. The bites can be more dangerous to children or people with allergies.

The Madagascar Hissing Cockroach
The Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

Hissing Cockroach

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach (Gromphadorhina portentosa) is one of the largest species of cockroach, reaching 5 to 7.5 cm (2 to 3 inches) when fully grown.

The Madagascar Cockroach hisses by forcing gas through their breathing pores found on each segment of their thorax and abdomen. The hiss can take three forms: The disturbance hiss, the female attracting hiss, and the fighting hiss (only used by males).

The Madagascar Cockroach is sometimes kept as an exotic pet. Some states in the USA require a permit to keep them.

As much as I hate normal size cockroaches I had no problem petting this one.

How to Raise and Train Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches
How to Raise and Train Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches

A complete guide to the care of America's favorite pet, the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. You'll learn everything a pet owner needs to have happy, healthy roaches including housing, feeding, handling, training, and breeding your little pets. This expertly written guide was created especially for beginners.

Invertebrates as Pets: Keeping and Caring for Millipedes, Centipedes, Scorpions and Tropical Cockroaches
Invertebrates as Pets: Keeping and Caring for Millipedes, Centipedes, Scorpions and Tropical Cockroaches

A complete guide to keeping invertebrates as pets. Housing, feeding, handling. Includes information on popular species such as emperor scorpions, giant African black millipedes, Vietnamese giant centipedes, and Madagascar hissing cockroaches.

Leaf Insect
Leaf Insect

Leaf Insect

Leaf insects use camouflage to take on the appearance of a leaf. When it walks it rocks back and forth to mimic a leaf blowing in the wind. They occur in South Asia, and SE Asia to Australia.

This was one of my favorites. It was wonderful to see the camouflage on its wings.

Thorny Devil
Thorny Devil

Thorny Devil

The Thorny Devil, also called the New Guinea Spiny Stick (Eurycantha calcarata) looks more like a branch than a twig. Females reach lengths of 11 to 15 cm (4.3 to 6 inches). Males grow to a length of 11 cm (4.3 inches). Unlike other stick insects, the Thorny Devil lives on the ground and not in trees or bushes.

Muppet Hopper
Muppet Hopper

Proscopia sp. (Muppet Hopper)

Proscopia are long and slender stick grasshoppers. Most are brown and have eyes high up on the head near the antennas. Males grow to about 9 cm (3.5 inches). Females reach 14 - 15 cm (5.5 to 6 inches).

Holding the Proscopia was amazing. It was so light that you could hardly feel it in your hand.

Giant Bush Cricket
Giant Bush Cricket

Malaysian Giant Katydid

The Malaysian Giant Katydid (Macrolyristes sp.), also called the Giant Bush Cricket is the largest species of Katydid in the world. Katydids are related to grasshoppers but they have longer antennae and their wings have a leaf like appearance.

This was my other favorite bug during the tour. I loved how nature had evolved this Katydid to look like a leaf.

Millipede Mustash
Millipede Mustash

The Ultimate Experience

At the close of the tour I got to put a millipede on my upper lip for a mustache, so when my picture was taken, no one would recognize me. It felt like a thousand suction cups on my upper lip.

Readings About Bugs

Smithsonian Handbooks: Insects (Smithsonian Handbooks)
Smithsonian Handbooks: Insects (Smithsonian Handbooks)

Packed with over 650 crystal--clear photographs and illustrations with precise annotation to make identification sure and simple. Authoritative text, crystal--clear photography, and a systematic approach make this handbook the most comprehensive recognition guide to the insects, spiders, and other terrestrial arthropods of the world. Packed with photographs and illustrations of more than 550 insects and other arthropods, it is designed to cut through the process of identification, enabling you to recognize insects easily.

Pet Bugs: A Kid's Guide to Catching and Keeping Touchable Insects
Pet Bugs: A Kid's Guide to Catching and Keeping Touchable Insects

What kind of insect does a back flip?

Which bug will wrestle with a rival?

You'll find the answers to these and other fascinating questions about insects in Pet Bugs. Small, easy to find, catch, and care for, and intriguing to watch, bugs make terrific pets! In Pet Bugs, Sally Kneidel shows you how to catch and keep crickets, mantises, click beetles, and many more kinds of insects. She'll also give you a close-up view of how insects interact with one another and with their environment. C Captivating illustrations throughout the book bring this fun-filled hobby to life for kids.

More Pet Bugs: A Kid's Guide to Catching and Keeping Insects and Other Small Creatures
More Pet Bugs: A Kid's Guide to Catching and Keeping Insects and Other Small Creatures

You asked for it!. More fun . . . More science . . . More variety . . . Where can you find a seven-inch caterpillar? Which plants do grasshoppers like to eat most? What beetles produce tiny explosions to protect themselves? Why are slugs so slimy? You'll find the answers to these and loads of other questions in this creepy, crawly, and wonderfully interactive follow-up to the perennial kids' favorite Pet Bugs.


Other Buggy Things - Bug toys can be fun!

Visitor's Comments - Did the photographs make you feel creepy?

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    • MelanieKaren profile image

      Melanie Wilcox 

      5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Hello and nice to meet you. I am happy to find this article and I too have created an article about insects and other large arthropods here on Squidoo. :) We are far and few between! ehehehe I'd like to really visit this Insect Zoo. Thank you for sharing your personal story and experience.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Fantastic pictures and write ups (and excellent links to other information and books too). Bugs are not creepy!! They are super cool. YOU are super cool and handsome for sporting that mustache too! :)


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