Many people find insects creepy or frightening. But entomologists at the University of Arizona hope they can change that perception.

They are inviting people of all ages to attend the third annual Arizona Insect Festival at the UA campus to see how interesting insects can be, and learn about their importance in the ecosystem.

“This is a great time to come learn (about insects and not be) afraid of them”, said Wendy Moore, Ph.D., a professor of insect systematics and curator at the UA's Insect Collection. “(People need to learn about insects) that can hurt (them), and there are a few. "But the vast majority of them will not...when you learn that, then your fears melt away.”

Jason Schaller, a UA graduate student, has been collecting insects for the festival.

“We just want (people) to appreciate them like we do...," he said.


The festival will host guest speakers, booths featuring insect research from the UA and, for the more intrepid festival goers, a cockroach cuddling corner and insect tasting station.

The Arizona Insect Festival will take place Sept. 15 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m at the UA's Student Union Grand Ballroom.

Meet the insects: