Watch the monarch butterflies begin their cross-continental journey and see stick bugs from the Amazon region at North America’s largest insect museum.
Montréal’s Insectarium began as a small fundraising campaign based around several hugely popular insect exhibitions in the Botanic Garden. Today, it holds more than 250,000 specimens of insects and is the largest insect museum in North America.
Tour the live insects in the permanent collection to see rare and remarkable insects from around the world. Several species of stick bug, various kinds of mantises and many varieties of tarantula creep around terrariums throughout the museum.
Browse through the collection of massive beetles, some of which are 2.5 inches (6.4 centimeters) long. Seek out the peacock mantis. This brown mantis stands on two legs and sports two beautiful wings with a colorful design like a peacock’s tail.
Arrive during September to watch nature in action. Scientists release flocks of monarch butterflies from the Insectarium after marking them with identification tags. The butterflies will migrate around 2,500 miles (4,023 kilometers) down to the Mexican mountains. Watch them start one of the longest migration of animals known to man.
Pick up a calendar to see some others events you can attend at the Insectarium during your stay. Past events include popular insect tastings, which have taken place annually for many years. Buy an insect cookbook from the gift store to learn how to have an insect tasting of your own.
The Insectarium also features an extensive collection of preserved insects, including moths, butterflies and beetles. Look for pieces from the collection of Firmin Laliberté, a dedicated entomologist who donated his 100,000-piece collection to the Insectarium when he died. The collection includes rare species from more than 80 countries.
Relax in the Insectarium’s pleasant outdoor spaces. Kids will love the insect-themed playground, while everyone else can sit at picnic tables or walk around the lawn.
The Insectarium is next to the Botanic Garden in the Espace pour la Vie complex in Montréal’s Olympic Park. Parking is available next to the Insectarium for an all-day fee. There are two metro stations along Avenue Pierre-de-Coubertin along the east side of Olympic Park. There is a fee to enter the Insectarium.