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Two offerings, Song of Bugs and 2-hour display. 

The Song of Bugs 2023

Join the Iowa State University Insect Zoo as we present ‘Unia, the Cricket Who has Lost His Song.

This original story, written by Insect Zoo Coordinator Ginny Mitchell and illustrated by ISU graduate Joshua Byrne, follows ‘Unia, a cricket who is on a journey to find out why he has lost his song and why others sing. During his travels to find if others like him have lost their song as well, ‘Unia meets 8 arthropods and learns why they sing. The breathtaking illustrations in this oversized book will capture listeners of all ages. ‘Unia, and the listeners, will hear the actual sounds from 8 different arthropods through a speaker located in the audience.

This performance reading of ‘Unia will be followed by a 1-hour display. This 90-minute program is open to all ages and there is no limit on the number of participants.


This summer program is $250 plus mileage.


For the Story performance, please have the room arranged so the kids can be seated on the floor, with two chairs at the front for the presenters. For the display, please have 7-8 long tables (or equivalent) setup in a “U” shape. The opening of the “U” should be facing the wall. If a wall is not available, please have the tables arranged in a rectangle. The display does not need to be in the same room as the story performance, it may be located in a different room. If your event is outdoors, we require that we be under a structure or tent that is LARGER than the tables used.


We can accommodate up to 3 program locations in one day. We suggest that you contact area libraries to coordinate days with them. If you coordinate a day with another area library, you will split the mileage. Please let us know if you ARE or ARE NOT planning on coordinating with another library as we will set up another program on that day.

Fill out your request for this program on our website and indicate in the comments or specific interests section that you would like the Song of Bugs program. https://www.ent.iastate.edu/insectzoo/node/add/request


2-hour Display

We recommend the display for public and large group settings such as fairs or open houses. The Insect Zoo will fill 6-7 eight-foot tables with live animals and preserved insect displays. The display is hands-on, interactive and fun. The come and go format allows participants to walk through, look and ask questions at their own pace. There is no formal presentation for the display. Our displays are staffed with 2-3 people to help the participants handle the animals, talk facts and answer questions. 

COST: $375 plus mileage. Please fill out a request form for this display.

No limit on participants.

All ages. 

The Insect Zoo charges the following fees for our programs and displays

Virtual programs are $75 per 1-hour session for classroom size programs, $100 for large group programs. (No limit on participants. We do suggest no more than 50 in each virtual program)

School programs are $100.00 per 1-hour session. (Limit of 30 participants per program)

Non-school programs are $125.00 per 1-hour session. (Limit of 30 participants per program)

Large Group programs are $200.00 per 1-hour session. (Unlimited participants) Only available weekends and summer.

Please fill out a request form for a precise quote. Quotes will not be given via email or phone.

Please note that our geographic range is limited to the state of Iowa.

Community Outreach

Transcript or Alternate URL: 


The Insect Zoo's Mission to Spread Bug Love

We at the Insect Zoo just want everyone to love bugs!

Check out this video made by CALS which talks a little bit about the impact the Insect Zoo has on our great state of Iowa. 

If you are interested in having the Insect Zoo visit you, fill out a request form!

Like us on Facebook

Teacher Resources

Use this vocab sheet to learn about the Honeypot Ants!

After learning the Honeypot Ant vocab words, use this word find as a fun way to reinforce those words!

There is also an answer key.

You can print these fun coloring sheets for your learners!