Photograph of the inside of the Bug Lab exhibition

Bug Lab Te Aitanga-a-Pepeke

Bug Lab closed at Te Papa on 17 Apr 2017 and is now touring internationally.

For venues wanting to host this extraordinary exhibition contact Liz Hay at or +64 29  6010230.

The next available tour slot for Bug Lab is February 2020.

Where you can visit the exhibition
  • When | Āhea 10 Dec 2016 – 17 Apr 2017
  • Where | Ki hea Level 4
  • Cost | Te utu Admission charges apply
  • Ages | Te reanga All ages
  • Accessibility | E wātea ana ki

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About Bug Lab 

We bugs are some of evolution’s greatest geniuses – the true leaders of this planet.

Your most advanced science has been ours for millions of years. Mind control, swarm intelligence, precision flight … we bugs did it all first. How do you humans really compare?

Meet our bug masters

Enter the ‘operating theatre’ of the iridescent jewel wasp, and witness her turn a cockroach into a zombie – to feed the kids of course. She’s a devoted mum, and a killer brain surgeon. Can you match her precision?

Then head to the hive because the bees are under attack. Can you work together to defeat the giant hornet? Be ready to sweat.

And there’s more: aerial acrobatics, looks that kill, and explosive action from a beetle’s rear end.

Engineering cutting-edge technology

We bugs are built for success. What would your future look like if you could match our brilliance?

We’ve selected some of humankind’s best bio-inspiration efforts. Drones based on insect flight, life-saving medicine made from venom, new body parts printed from spider silk … It’s not science fiction, it’s science!

On 10 December, our world comes to yours. You’ll never see us the same way again.

See the unbelievable. Only at Te Papa.


STEM education is at the heart of Bug Lab. The latest bug science, bug-inspired nanotechnology –  it’s all here, and it’s all hands-on. Māori perspectives on insects also feature, and the Debate Space lets you have your say about current topics: eating bugs, eradicating mosquitos, and beyond. 


Tickets can also be purchased at the Information Desk on Level 2 or at the entry to the exhibition on Level 4.

Adult      $15
Child: 3–15 years $5
Child: under 3 years  Free
Family A: 1 adult, 2 children  $22.50
Family B: 2 adults, 2 children  $35
Concession (student with ID, SuperGold Card holder, Community Services Card holder, group of 10 adults or more)   $10
Friend of Te Papa   $8

Children 14 years and under must be accompanied by a ticketed adult 16 years or older.

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