If a venomous black furry spider doesn’t give you the creeps, serpent stories bring back fond memories of the board game Snakes and Ladders, and Bushtrucker trials in I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here are your ‘dish of the day,’ then you’re in for a treat.
Geordie favourites Ant and Dec will soon be returning to our TV screens for the 17th series this winter when a mix of famous faces from the world of sports, music and telly will have to parachute into the Australian jungle.
But if you’re itching to get a taste of insect life beforehand, and are curious to know more about things with six legs or anything with a nasty bite, here’s how to wing it before the show returns with a rumble…
If you’re not spooked by scorpions and wriggly worms are your cup of tea, Bugtopia is an open door into the strange but social world of insects.
Yep, along with colonies of leaf cutter ants, you can be awed by solitary predators such as the frilled dragon.
Possibly the best place in the country to discover new species such as a parasitoid wasp (they have a fatal effect on the host they live off), along with the chance to learn more about the most painful wasp sting in the world.
You’ll find a web of intrigue in the walk-through spider exhibit, the first of its kind in the UK. Along with arachnids from around the world, the ‘spider in a bathtub’ is a huge draw, as is the Spider Nursery where you can see teeny weenies with eight legs, and for some extra bite, take a snap in the ‘Spider Selfie’ mirror.
It’s all a slither with a sticky trail of giant snails, chirping crickets, black beetles, skinny stick insects and scavenging cockroaches in the Budongo Trail Lecture Theatre. Here, the kids (or you) have a chance to meet the keeper and actually hold one of these bugs and feel the tickling sensation on your skin.
Possibly the closest thing to a jaunt in the jungle, among the plant and animal life you’ll find frogs, pythons, geckos, salamanders and a veiled chameleon with the most enormous sticky tongue that can catch crickets, mantis, grasshoppers and loads of other insects. Watch out for the ruby red wings of the resident Green Winged Macau screeching overhead.
What are your favourite creepy crawlies? Let us know in the Comments sections below.