2023 Festival, Sunday October 1st.

Art by Alex Lombard

2023 at a glance–

25 Booths + Symposium Talks  + Grad Student led ‘Ask a Scientist Cafe’
3 Food trucks
​150 Faculty, Staff, Post-doctoral Fellows, Students
60 Community Volunteers
4,000 Visitors (approx.)

Theme Insect–

This year’s theme insect was the big and bold tarantula hawk, Pepsis formosa. Known for its sting, it paralyzes and lays its eggs on tarantulas, providing a large meal for its developing offspring. ​It’s easily recognized by its jet black body, bright orange wings, and often curled antennae.
They can be surprisingly large and are often seen sipping nectar from flowers all over Tucson. The Sting of the Wild Symposium was the centerpiece of the 2023 Fest, honoring Justin Schmidt’s legacy. Justin rated tarantula hawks a 4 on his famous Schmidt Pain Scale. See the recording of the symposium below.


Arizona Daily Star
September 28, 2023
​NPR AZ Spotlight (audio)
September 28, 2023
Arizona Daily Star
September 25, 2023
Bustos Media (audio)
October 2023

Scroll to Top