The goal of the Insect Zoo at Kansas State University is to increase awareness and encourage a better understanding of the natural, microcosmic world, as well as the significant roles that the world’s numerous insects and other related creatures play in it. The Insect Zoo is open to visitors Tuesdays through Fridays from one in the afternoon to six in the evening. The facility is also open on Saturdays from noon until six in the evening, as well by appointment. The Kansas State Insect Zoo, located in Manhattan, Kansas, features several displays of fossil, preserved, and live insects.

Opened to the public in the year 1999, the Kansas State Insect Zoo is contained within the university’s old Dairy Barn situated on campus. The Insect Zoo provides several interactive exhibits for the public to enjoy. Each of these interactive experiences allows visitors to discover the smells, sounds, and sights of many live and somewhat creepy insects.

Such creepy crawlies include beetles, praying mantises, tarantulas, centipedes, giant prickly and walking sticks, and scorpions. Many of the insect display exhibits are interactive, allowing guests to get hands-on with the information, including using microscopes to look at preserved insect specimens. There is also a creative kitchen displays with which visitors can open drawers and cupboard to view examples, as well as detailed information, about the various insects that could be found there.

Visitors to the Insect Zoo at Kansas State University can choose to take a formal tour of the facility, during which trained docents or entomologists lead an informative guided tour. Visitors can also choose to explore the Insect Zoo as part of a self-guided tour if they wish as well. The several interactive displays throughout the Kansas State Insect Zoo contain detailed information about the distribution, importance, habitat, and biology of the different species of insects, allowing guests who decide to explore the facility on their own to still gain a much better understanding of the world of insects.

The Insect Zoo at Kansas State University spans approximately 1,100 square feet in size. Housed in what used to be the Dairy Barn on campus, the Insect Zoo opened to visitors in 1999 on the campus of Kansas State University. The facility’s numerous exhibits are both interesting and educational. These insect displays include the Tropical Nighthouse, Tropical Tree, a Mock Kitchen, Amazon Rainforest, Observation Beehive, and Freshwater Habitat. There are also several terraria displays that feature a variety of insect species, such as scorpions, tarantulas, spiders, tropical insects, and other various arthropods.

Guided tours are offered at the Kansas State Insect Zoo, and should be booked in advance by at least one week. A guided tour can provide a more in-depth look at the Insect Zoo with the guidance of trained and knowledgeable staff. These tours last about forty-five to sixty minutes each session, and are led by staff from Kansas State University’s Entomology Department. The tour also includes an educational lesson that features interaction with live animals. These tours are limited to twenty-two guests.

1531 Mid Campus Drive, Manhattan, Kansas, Phone: 785-532-6110

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