Arthropods

Butterfly

Butterflies! They taste with their feet and have a suction tube for a mouth. Their eyes have thousands of lenses and see flowers in ultraviolet light. During their lives, each butterfly transforms from caterpillar to pupa to fluttering adult.

As butterflies deserve recognition, we’ve created an event in their honor. Butterfly Jungle is an annual springtime celebration at the Safari Park.

Tarantula

They're big, they're hairy, but are they scary? Not when you get to know them! Tarantulas are the biggest spiders in the world. They are also known as baboon spiders and hairy spiders. But don't worry! Most tarantulas are busy minding their own business. If you don't bother them, they won't bother you.

Assassin Bug

Some of the creatures in the Hidden Jungle crevasse are easy to see. The white dots on the assassin bugs make them easy to spot. Look for one eating a cricket. The bug inserts its tube-like mouth into its prey and injects venom. The liquid kills the cricket, and the bug sucks up its meal.

That same venomous saliva is also the assassin bug’s defense. It sprays or spits at predators. Our keepers wear a clear plastic facemask whenever they work with the assassin bugs. This way they don’t get “assassinated!”

Millipede

Millipedes are important decomposers. They eat biological refuse, till the soil, and clean up the place! The African giant millipede is one of the largest millipedes in the world, up to 11 inches long. It tends to be shy and docile, and it has the ability to roll into a ball if disturbed.

Hissing Cockroach

We often hear visitors gasp when they see the giant hissing cockroach exhibit in the Hidden Jungle crevasse. It is unfortunate that the only information many people know about cockroaches is their role as creepy pests. Yet most cockroaches are NOT pests. They provide a vital service in a variety of habitats by being the bug that will eat just about anything.

Scorpion

Scorpions strike terror in many people and have been both hated and admired since ancient times. This may be due to their fearsome look, with pincers at one end and a stinger filled with venom at the other. Scorpions are not insects but arachnids, like spiders. Scorpions use their venom to subdue their prey and for protection.

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