The Insectarium de Montréal is one of the foremost collections of insects in the world. Possibly the largest in North America, there may be some larger, such as that in New York. But there are none finer. Opened in February 1990 over 400,000 visitors per year come to be amazed at the collections.
There are six separate geographically themed areas, but any of them offers astounding sights.
Whether you see the Afrotropical’s Goliath Beetle or Tailless Whip Scorpion, or the Oriental Zone’s Ornamental Black and White Tarantula, there’s a crawling creature to amuse and astound.
Don’t miss out on the Neotropical Zone where they keep the Jamaican Walking Stick, the Brazilian Tarantula, and the Hercules and Elephant beetles, either. There’s even a Fishing Spider in the Aquarium, not far from the Toe Biter.
The Insectarium has a more-or-less standard mounted collection. Standard, but not ordinary. Filled with thousands of species of wasp, beetle, butterfly, and species with only Latin names, it will enchant visitors for hours. There are butterflies of all description and giant walking sticks, iridescent beetles, and dozens of furry spiders.
Even more amazing is the outstanding moving exhibition, filled with live species. There’s a transparent beehive that allows viewers to see the busy creatures at work. Not to be outdone, the nearby anthill shows the bees what construction is all about.
Among the many exhibits, visitors can find out how to avoid getting stung by wasps and bees as they learn about the animals’ lifestyles.
Come watch the Monarch butterflies get tagged at the beginning of their migration to Mexico. Find out how insects survive forest fires and what they do to restore the forest. Come check out the Egyptian scarabs of the type that ate people in the film The Mummy. Come in winter and sign up for the Insect Tasting (Croque-Insectes) event.
There are regular tours in English and French, but most will simply want to wander among the many mounted exhibitions and vivariums. Here they’ll find over a hundred huge live arthropods and dead tiny exoskeletal wonders. Whether an amateur entomologist or a professional tourist, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Located at 4581 Sherbrooke Street East, not far from the Pie-IX metro station (Montreal’s subway), you can exit at Viau as well.