Interview with Audubon Insectarium’s Zack Lemann

Visiting New Orleans for the New Orleans Film Festival, I had the pleasure of hanging out with the house entomologist of Audubon Insectarium, Zack Lemann. Our last guest blogger, Rachael Teel, covered a bit about the Insectarium in her final entry, but I thought Zack could add an insider’s perspective. Listen to the interview and check out the pictures from my private tour…

Zack Lehmann holds a Katydid

Zack Lehmann and Macrolyristes corporalis

Can you talk a little bit about where the idea for the Insectarium came from?

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Knowing the way most people are about bugs in the U.S., what led your team to believe this could be a success?

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What’s your main goal with the Insectarium? And do you think that you accomplish it on a daily basis?

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Zack holds a gorgeous dung beetle

Zack holds a gorgeous dung beetle

So do you think that people actually leave the Insectarium with a different perspective?

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Do you have a favorite exhibit?

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Zack talks in front of their butterfly pupae case.

Zack talks in front of their butterfly pupae case.

I recently encountered a group of well-educated professionals that didn’t know that insects were animals. Do you get that a lot?

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What do you know about the Japanese enthusiasm for insects and how does it compare to the ‘enthusiasm’ exhibited by Americans?

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Zack peeks into their Japanese Beetlemania case.

Zack peeks into their Japanese Beetlemania case.

Why do you think the Japanese have such a different idea about bugs?

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Do you think that the American aversion to insects is something unnatural?

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What can be done to alter this impression?

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One of the largest Katydid species in the world

Macrolyristes corporalis, one of the largest Katydid species in the world

Listen to the katydid:

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In the Butterfly Vivarium

In the Butterfly Vivarium

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