Live insects are invading Waikato Museum in a new family-friendly, hands-on exhibition opening on Friday in time for Labour Day weekend and running through the summer.
Bugs! Our Backyard Heroes is a free-entry exhibition exploring the secret world of bugs and the vital role they play in our lives.
It also brings visitors face-to-face with some real live mini-monsters, including a giant centipede, tree weta, stick insects, locusts, crickets, cockroaches and Avondale spiders.
Waikato Museum director Cherie Meecham says: "This exhibition provides visitors a unique opportunity to learn about the different native species of bugs in New Zealand and the precarious position they sometimes hold in the ecosystem."
Plenty of hands-on activities will stimulate youngsters' minds with ideas, including how to become a citizen scientist and how bugs inspire those on the frontline of technology, she says.
"We invite schools to contact our education team to take advantage of a tailored programme for school visits," says Ms Meecham.
The exhibition has been developed and toured by Puke Ariki, a combined museum, library, and research centre in New Plymouth.