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Celebrate the Importance of Bugs at Insect-O-Rama
Missouri Ag Connection - 08/11/2017

The Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center will host Insect-O-Rama Aug. 19 from 1 to 4 p.m. to celebrate the uniqueness of insect adaptations and how they benefit nature and people. Jamie Koehler, assistant manager of the center, said the event has something for everyone and is open to all ages, families and groups.

"Sometimes people think they don't link insects because they look weird or can sometimes be a bother," Koehler said. "But insects have so many important purposes such as pollination, decomposition, food for other animals and population of other insects. Once people learn the purpose, insects are easier to appreciate."

Koehler said among other insects, the event will feature Caddisfly larvae, Dung beetles and Cicadas. Caddisfly larvae make silk threads they use to build a protective case around themselves. They incorporate small stones, shells and sticks into the case, creating a work of art. Dung beetles are less artistic and attractive, as they eat dung. Some roll it into balls and roll it home, others bury it, and some just live in it. But, there's a purpose to all this use of dung, Koehler said. Cicadas are very interesting because people can easily hear the noise they make, find their unique shells and they have a unique life cycle.

To help children understand the importance of insects, Koehler encourages parents and grandparents to start with attending Insect-O-Rama, and then incorporate what's learned at the event into everyday activities.

"Take children out into the backyard and look for insects, check out books at the library about insects and explore which of your foods at the dinner table depend on insects for pollination," Koehler said. "There are many ways to get children to key in to the importance of insects from an early age."

No registration is necessary for Insect-O-Rama. For more information on this and other events go online to www.mdc.mo.gov/capenaturecenter.

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