“Eeww, that bug’s creepy!”
What does it mean to be creepy? The meaning of the word refers to that skin-crawling sensation when something strange happens or weirds us out. There are many things that can be creepy to a person, and bugs are probably one of the top groups of animals that rate as being creepy.
But something that creeps out one person may be fascinating to another. And what may be labelled as gross by some, may be seen as cute by others. Often when you learn more about an animal and begin to understand it a bit better, it can lose the creepy factor – and even if you don’t come to love it, at least you may not be creeped out as much by it.
We’d like to introduce you to some of our favourite “creepy crawlies” that live at the Conservatory. They may be creepy to you, but we challenge you to think of them as cute! Which of these would you label as creepy or cute?
It’s safe to bet that most people would certainly label roaches as creepy! But since these unique Domino roaches have been on display here at the Conservatory, we’ve been hearing people describe them as “pretty” and “cute.” These small, round roaches are aptly named for their bold pattern of black and white. They can look pretty cute as they constantly scurry around exploring their surroundings. What do you think: creepy or cute?
Baby Stick Bugs:
Perhaps when you’ve come to visit, you’ve met our famous Stacey the Stick Bug or Jenny the Jungle Nymph. These are two species of stick insects we raise here regularly, and every generation, the baby stick bugs hatch from tiny seed-like eggs. These baby stick bugs (called nymphs) remind us a lot of baby Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy. We think their gentleness combined with their amazing camouflage makes them cute. Do you?
These are not your average garden snails! We display Giant African Land snails in our Conservatory, which are one of the largest land snails on the planet. Their shell can reach 20 cm (almost 8 inches) in diameter! Our population is still growing, as they hatched form their grape-sized egg several years ago. These snails are very long-lived, often living up to 10 – 15 years. Snails can be slimy, but we don’t hold that against them – they can be pretty cute as they slooooowly come out of their shell to eat their salad for lunch.
Baby Whip Scorpions:
Despite their name, these are scorpions that don’t sting. Whip scorpions are close relatives to spiders and true scorpions, but they lack a stinger and they don’t have pincers. These arachnids live in the desert of southwest USA, as well as many tropical areas of the world.They can look ferocious, but are in fact quite harmless. The “whip” part of the name can refer to either their long pair of front legs, or their “tail” (called a flagellum) from which they can spray acetic acid. Adults can live for 12 – 14 years, and babies such as these may take up to 10 before they reach adult size. When young, their mandibles are even bright red! Cute or what?