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Siam Insect Zoo: excellent collection of insects, including live ones

Table of contents

1. Zoos and insect collections in Thailand

2. What is Siam Insect Zoo

3. How to get to Siam Insect Zoo

4. How much does a ticket to Siam Insect Zoo cost?

5. Siam Insect Zoo Map

6. Hall with insect collections

7. Hall of spiders, cockroaches, ants and cicadas

8. Butterfly garden

9. Stick insects and leaf insects

10. Exotic animals

Conclusion


Zoos and insect collections in Thailand

Thailand has the most interesting (and very large!) zoos and tropical gardens. I've been to them and they really impressed me. They can be so large that they cannot always be covered on foot in one day. Some of them offer golf cart rentals.

But I have never seen a collection of insects, or what they might be called an “insect zoo” or “insect museum”.

While in Chiang Mai, I decided to visit Siam Insect Zoo. If I'm not mistaken, there is only one other place like this in Thailand – the Museum of World Insects and Natural Wonders – and it is also located in Chiang Mai. Write about other insect zoos in Thailand if you know more.

What is Siam Insect Zoo

Siam Insect Zoo is a large entomological collection (that is, a collection of insects on pins) located in Chiang Mai. Most insects, as is usually the case in collections, are not alive. But there are also many living insects, among them: butterflies, spiders, stick and leaf insects, cicadas, cockroaches and ants, butterfly larvae and pupae. Keepers can place some insects on your hands if you want. There are also several iguanas, turtles, frogs and some other animals. Some of them may also be placed in arms.

All insects are signed. There are also several information boards about insects.

How to get to Siam Insect Zoo

Siam Insect Zoo, as already mentioned, is located in the Thai province of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. From the city of Chiang Mai to Siam Insect Zoo is approximately 20 kilometers.

Siam Insect Zoo coordinates: https://www.google.com/maps/@18.916614,98.8977021,14.28z

How much does a ticket to Siam Insect Zoo cost?

Ticket prices are as follows:

  • adult foreigner – 200 baht
  • foreign child – 150 baht
  • Thai – 100 baht
  • Thai child – 60 baht

Siam Insect Zoo Map

This is a map from the official website.

Hall with insect collections

After entering you will see insects under the glass. Their variety and how big some of them are is amazing.

Before I forget, you can take pictures everywhere there, but some butterflies can only be photographed without flash! This refers to butterflies in collections (dead). The light from the flash destroys the pigment in their wings.

Insects have vision, but it is different from ours. For example, a fly has five eyes, and bees can see ultraviolet light – by the way, for this reason, some flowers are more attractive in ultraviolet light, but in the colors visible to us they can be quite inconspicuous.

Insects have hearing (but not all of them). Hearing in insects is structured differently – scientists identify four variants. Insects use hearing to communicate with each other and also to detect predators. Some insects hear at frequencies inaccessible to our ears.

Insects can smell. Like other animals, insects use their sense of smell to find food, avoid predators, and even to gather in groups. Of particular note are pheromones (smell signals), which play an important role in the interaction of insects. Pheromones are synthesized by one insect and affect the behavior of other insects of the same species.

Like the auditory organs, the olfactory organs of insects (called sensilla) are varied. They can be placed on the antennae, in the mouth and even on the genitals. Molecules penetrate into the olfactory organ through the pores.

Insects also distinguish taste. More precisely, the same chemoreceptors are responsible for taste as for smell. And if the molecules enter the insect through the air, then the insect is said to perceive odor. And if the substance is in a solid or liquid state and is in direct contact with the insect, then the insect is said to taste.

In addition to the fact that the common housefly has five eyes, it also has taste receptors located on its legs. That is, when an insect lands on something, it already tastes it (yes, with its feet). Since we started about the fly, it has gripping claws and wet suckers on its limbs, which means it can land on any surface.

Butterflies and moths also taste with their feet.

Some insects taste and smell the ovipositor – they need this to evaluate plants – whether they are suitable for laying eggs and feeding caterpillars.

You should not be surprised by such a diversity of insects – from an evolutionary point of view, they are much older than us. Mammals are 225 million years old and insects are 480 million years old.

If you're curious, primates are 85 million years old (which, by the way, is not that young). Archaic Homo sapiens is 300 thousand years old, and modern Homo sapiens is 160 thousand years old.

Insects can make sound. And, as is customary among insects, they use a variety of methods for this (except for the mouth). If you walked in the Thai forests, then you could hear the sound that tropical cicadas make. This is a very loud sound – so loud that it is even difficult to compare it with anything, except perhaps an industrial facility or an aircraft alarm.

In addition to cicadas, grasshoppers and some beetles also like to make sounds in the insect world.

What beautiful butterflies! Live butterflies will come later. They will also show you live larvae and cocoons.

Insects often go through a larval form – this applies to most insects, not just, for example, butterflies. Beetles, bees, mosquitoes, flies – they all have a larval stage. Scientists attribute this to preventing adults and larvae from competing for food. In larval form, insects are very different from adults (for example, they can be caterpillars or worm-like larvae) and can have a completely different lifestyle (for example, mosquito larvae live in water, and cicada larvae live in soil).

Beetles can fly – under their hard wings they also have wings that they use for flight. By the way, beetles are the most numerous insects in the world in terms of the number of species. In total, 400 thousand species of insects have been described, of which approximately 40% are beetles. The total number of beetles in Thailand can reach hundreds of thousands of species – no wonder some of them want to live in my apartment.

Insects are very diverse. For example, here you can see butterflies that have spots on their wings that resemble the eyes of an eagle owl. There are also insects that look very much like leaves.

There are more than 500 species of edible insects. In Thailand, more than 50 species of insects are edible. Here they eat crickets, silkworm pupae, locusts, bee brood, cockchafers, scorpions, and bamboo caterpillars. I tried some of them and didn't like them. This is far from the most popular food in Thailand. You can compare them to rats – they are eaten, some people specially breed them, but there are few fans of such food.

Oh, by the way, if you decide to join the local cuisine, then do not rush to put the cockroaches you caught in your mouth. If you manage to catch a cockroach, then most likely it is poisoned. Insects are specially bred for food – they are not caught on the street.

Among the insects there are both very useful (bees pollinate flowers, predatory insects eat other parasitic insects) and very harmful ones, which are parasites or carry a variety of diseases.

Centipedes can only bite with their claws, which are located directly under the head. Different species of centipedes can be more or less toxic – in any case, NEVER touch centipedes.

Millipedes have no poison and do not bite, but many species defend themselves with a offensive odor. Don't touch the centipedes either – why would you do that?

Scorpions vary in the degree of danger and poisonousness, in short – do not touch them either. In some places they may put a scorpion on your hand – in this case the staff knows what they are doing.

In Thailand there is such a thing as cockfighting – special fighting roosters are pitted against each other and bets are made on which of them will win.

Those who do not have a rooster organize insect fights. In nature, there is a beetle that fights with competitors during the mating period. The Thais look for such beetles, feed them and even train them. Beetle fighting is also quite a popular activity (most likely among rural residents).

I'm out of stories about insects – just look at the photos.

The tips of the wings of these butterflies remind me of the head of a snake.

Hall of spiders, cockroaches, ants and cicadas

Let's move on to living insects.

Insects differ from each other not only in appearance and anatomical features; even such seemingly basic things as the number of limbs in different groups can be different. For example, spiders have 8 legs.

A spider may be placed on your hand – please contact the staff for this. Of course, do not try to climb into the spider’s home with your hands…

Spider video:

And another video of spiders – at 10 seconds I quickly walked past one of the aquariums because I didn’t see the lurking spider. This is the most unpleasant thing – when an insect sees you, but you don’t.

After visiting the insect zoo, I found ants at the hotel and joked with my wife: maybe collect the ants and send them as donations to the zoo? The wife replied: “well, you can, but aren’t you afraid that they will send you cockroaches?” Immediately after this, I changed my mind about donating any insects to the zoo I didn’t need at home.

Video of cockroaches:

And another video of cockroaches.

This room also contains live ants and cicadas. But I didn’t take a single photo – perhaps I got a headache from the singing of the cicadas, or perhaps the turtles captured my attention – turtles are the coolest there!

Butterfly garden

In addition to the extensive butterfly museum, there is also a garden with live plants and butterflies.

When you go inside, close the door behind you.

Please don't catch butterflies – just watch them.

Butterfly video:

And another video with butterflies:

This video shows large butterflies with a pattern on their wings that resembles the eyes of an eagle owl.

Stick insects and leaf insects

A very interesting place to test your attentiveness. There are a number of aquariums with stick insects and leaf insects – they are perfectly camouflaged. Try to find them!

Exotic animals

There are several animals here.

My favorite was the turtles!

First video with turtles:

Second video with turtles:

Despite the apparent good nature and slowness, a turtle can painfully grab (and not let go) the skin, lips, etc. Therefore, do not bring your hands too close to the turtle’s head and do not bring the turtle itself to your face.

Toad – judging by its appearance, it is not starving here.

Iguanas are awesome too!

Iguanas can also be hand-held – please contact the staff for this.

Do not try to reach the iguanas yourself or stick your fingers into their cage.

Video of an iguana in a cage:

Video with iguanas in an open enclosure:

Conclusion

The zoo or insect museum is not very big. But very entertaining and educational. I really liked it, I'm glad I visited this place.

For children, this is a great place to expand their horizons and unforgettable emotions.


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