Bug Lab
Te Aitanga-a-Pepeke

Touring exhibition

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?



Bug Lab, 2017. Photograph by Kate Whitley. Te Papa

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!

Our world comes to yours. You’ll never see us the same way again.

See the unbelievable.

Tour schedule and availability

Bug Lab is available as a touring exhibition now.

Melbourne Museum, Melbourne, Australia 23 June, 2017 – 15 October, 2017

Planning to visit? Check the venue website for confirmed dates.

Hosting enquiries

Liz Hay, Manager Business & Market Development
Email: lizh@tepapa.govt.nz