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Friday, April 26, 2013

What Do You Know About Bugs?

Posted By on Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 10:57 AM

ndsat_bug.jpg

Formally, "bug" refers to an order of insects that includes cicadas, aphids, and shimmering shield bugs, but we want to talk about arthropods, those creepy little critters that likely compose 300 times the biomass of the Earth's human population. And the diversity! There are almost 400,000 known species of beetle alone, but there is also a sea-faring water-strider that feeds on plankton, and a wingless midge that lives in Antarctica.

The Borneo walking stick grows up to a foot in length, while the tiniest fairyfly barely reaches .0055 inches. The orchid mantis catches food by resembling a beautiful flower, while the twisted-wing just burrows into a passerby and feeds on its living organs. Surely, one Bug Day is not enough to celebrate them all, but it's a good place to start. Learn from beekeepers as they work, view some very exotic live insects, and snack on some common ones (80 percent of the world's nations engage in entomophagy, after all). And, before choosing your champion in the annual Insect Olympics, you might want to ask the entomologists which bugs affect your daily life and which have changed human history.

Join the true 95 percent from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday at Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way, S.F. Admission is free; call 554-9600 or visit randallmuseum.org.

For events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.

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Silke Tudor

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