Deep in the tropical rainforest, insects have developed surprising forms and colours that are so beautiful, you cannot but look at them – even if it gives you the heebie jeebies! This Summer, La Specola museum in Florence displays these bugs as jewels in the exhibit “Six-legged jewels: art by natural selection”.
The collection of rare specimens reflects decades of collecting around the world. Curators have displayed a selection of some 100 butterflies and rare types of beetles in glass cases, presented in open jewelry boxes to suggest the jewel-like value of these “pieces”. Large-scale photography and explanations are presented alongside.
Amongst the stars of the exhibition are a Hercules Beetle, part of the Rhinocerous beetle family, one of the largest insects in existence, that grows up to 17 cm (6.5 in) in length.
The show is put on in collaboration with the Udine-based association Farfalle in Testa, whose goal is to make the natural sciences more attractive to children and adults.
Scientists are still baffled by why these insects would be so beautiful, why they have adapted to this form. Thus the exhibit outlines a small natural history of beauty, trying to make sense out of unexplained evolutionary routes.
Six-legged jewels: art by natural selectionMuseo “La Specola”, via Romana, 17 FirenzeJune 15 to September 30