2024 Booth Descriptions

Welcome and Information Desk

Directions to your best festival experience are at the east entrance of ENR2 – near the food trucks!

Stings & Things

 In honor of our colleague Dr. Justin Schmidt, creator of the Schmidt sting pain index.
​Come learn all about this year’s theme insect, the tarantula hawk (Pain Level 4), and lots of other stingy things.

Polinator Paradise

Brought to you by the laboratories of Dr. Dan Papaj and Dr. Judie Bronstein.
​One-third of our food requires the services of animal pollinators, which usually means insects such as bees. We will have videos and live specimens available, and provide information about insects as pollinators.

Digger bees on Tumamoc Hill, Arizona

Insect Life Cycles

Brought to you by the laboratories of Dr. Goggy Davidowitz and Dr. Natasha Tigreros.
Learn how insects grow and transition between life stages.

Bee Cards

Brought to you by Beestill Archival Cards & Prints.
Beautiful insect prints that fund bee conservancies.

The UA Insect Collection

Brought to you by collections manager Gene Hall.
The Insect Collection is a preserved history of insects from across the Sonoran Desert​, providing researchers valuable information about what species are here, where they are found, and lots more. Learn about how the Collection preserves insect specimens and seeds scientific breakthroughs.

Build a Bug

Brought to you by the laboratory of Dr. Kathleen Walker and the Insect Discovery Program.
You’ve probably made sandcastles or towers before, but have you ever built a bug? Stop by our Build-a-Bug booth and create your very own insect! Design and craft together a bug of your own…and show off your creation to your friends! 

Social Insects

Brought to you by the laboratory of Dr. Anna Dornhaus.
Some insects live together permanently in large groups and are called social, while others are solitary. Social insects live in colonies that may have a few dozen members or hundreds of thousands. They work as a team to build a nest, find food and care for the young. Ants, termites and some bees and wasps are highly social and their colonies are well structured and efficient. Come meet the social insects and learn about the ways they organize and work together at our booth.

Fruit Flies Like a Banana

Brought to you by the laboratories of Dr. Luciano Matzkin and Dr. Todd Schlenke.
The Fruit Fly booth will let us take a closer look at the little flies that love your fruit bowl, your glass of wine, and the rotting cacti in your backyard. We will learn what’s unique about their biology, what challenges they face in nature, and how they’ve helped us humans understand basic biological principles.

Photo by Prud’Homme lab

Insects as Food

Brought to you by the laboratory of Dr. Yves Carrier.
We feed the world with insects and provide information on insects as food. Whether you’ve never intentionally eaten an insect or they’re your favorite snack, stop by our booth to enjoy a selection of tasty edible insects. Afterwards you’ll brag to your friends “I ate a bug… and I liked it!” #IEatBugs

Life in

Brought to you by the laboratory of Dr. Molly Hunter.
When you think of an insect, you probably think of a big one. It’s hard to imagine how many insects are there that are just a little bit too small to see easily. In our booth, we show you many of these live common insects, collected in Tucson. They may look like gnats or even dust with the naked eye, but when you look at them under a microscope, there they are – assassin bugs, parasitic wasps, true bugs of all descriptions. Come to our booth and see some of these cryptic insects, performing important roles just out of our sight.

Saguaro National Park

Home to the largest cacti in the United States and an amazing diversity of desert wildlife. What unique insects can you find in the Park?

Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium

Come try out the Tarantula Nebula ring toss and the insect mouthparts matching game. Visit our booth to discover all that Flandrau has to offer for exhibits, planetarium shows, birthday parties, and more!

​Ven a probar el Lanzamiento de Aros Tarántula Nebula y el juego de memoria de partes bucales de insectos. Visita nuestro puesto para descubrir todo lo que Flandrau tiene que ofrece para exhibiciones, shows de planetario, fiestas de cumpleaños, y más!

Tohono Chul

Become an insect with your own pipe cleaner antennae! Reference those of some of your favorite bugs or create your own!

¡Conviértete en un insecto con tus propias antenas limpiapipas! ¡Haz referencia a algunos de tus errores favoritos o crea los tuyos propios!

Tucson Museum of Art

Connect art to life at this booth where we’ll help you express your artistic impressions of insects using different media.

Arthropod Zoo

Brought to you by John Palting and the laboratory of Dr. Wendy Moore.
Arthropods are animals with an external skeleton (exoskeleton), segmented bodies, and jointed paired appendages. They have existed since the Cambrian period over 500 million years ago. Surviving groups of arthropods include crustaceans (crabs, lobsters, shrimp), arachnids (spiders, scorpions, mites), myriapods (centipedes and millipedes) and insects. The Moore lab is home to the Arizona Sky Island Arthropod Project (ASAP), which aims to document arthropod species diversity across SE Arizona. Our Arthropod Zoo booth will feature live representatives of the diverse arthropods found all around Tucson!

Backyard Vampires

Brought to you by the laboratory of Dr. Michael Riehle.
Meet the most dangerous animal on earth … the mosquito. Mosquitoes kill more than one million people every year and sicken hundreds of millions. See these insects up close and learn what you can do to control them and prevent the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile virus

Busy Bees

Brought to you by the USDA Bee Lab.
Honeybees pollinate many of our crops and also provide us with delicious honey. Explore the inner world of these social insects and learn all about what makes a hive tick. 

Bug Brains

Brought to you by the laboratory of Dr. Wulfi Gronenberg.
Insects and spiders have brains?!? They sure do! Bug Brains features an opportunity to get inside the heads of your favorite tiny (and not-so-tiny) Sonoran desert insects.

Tucson Unified School District

Visit our booth for a Monarch Origami Experience and learn about our award-winning Magnet Schools. Ask about the Monarch Waystation habitats at many of our magnet schools to help these beautiful insects as they migrate! Magnet schools have specialized curriculums that offer the Tucson community optimum choice when making school enrollment decisions.

Visite nuestra mesa de información para disfrutar la experiencia de Monarch Origami y conocer nuestras galardonadas escuelas Magnet. ¡Infórmase sobre los hábitats de “Monarch Waystation” en muchas de nuestras escuelas especializadas para ayudar a estos hermosos insectos mientras migran! Las escuelas Magnet tienen planes de estudio especializados que ofrecen a la comunidad de Tucson una opción óptima al tomar decisiones sobre la inscripción escolar.

Southeast Arizona Butterfly Association (SEABA)

Transgenic Crops for Pest Control

Brought to you by the laboratories of Dr. Bruce Tabashnik and Dr. Xianchun Li.
Application of pesticides to control crops pests often yields multiple side effects such as killing of non-target organisms (birds, bees, natural enemies, etc.) and environmental pollution. To overcome these side effects, a new approach of pest management — transgenic crops with pest-killing genes inserted — has been adopted to protect crops from pests for over a decade. The purpose of this booth is to share the science behind transgenic crops.

The Joy of Roaches

Brought to you by the laboratory of Dr. Kathleen Walker and the Insect Discovery Program.
Roaches are ancient, useful and beautiful. Come meet these misunderstood and cuddly creatures!

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Visit our booth to get up close and personal with some of our live backyard buggy neighbors, and even play a guessing game!

​¡Los esperamos en nuestro puesto para divertirnos, participar en 
​un juego, y conocer a nuestros abundantes pequeños vecinos en vivo!

Tucson Bee Collaborative

We need native bees. Yet our region’s bees are largely unknown and under-appreciated. Together, we’re changing that. Join us as we work to reveal the hidden world of native bees. 

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