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”.

Display of the exhibit of bugs at La Specola
Display of the exhibit of bugs at La Specola

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.

lo scarabeo d’oro
lo scarabeo d’oro

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.

I don't know what it is but i don't want it in my house.
I don’t know what it is but i don’t want it in my house.

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.

This too would not be nice to find in the bathroom
This too would not be nice to find in the bathroom

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.


Visitor Information

Six-legged jewels: art by natural selection
Museo “La Specola”, via Romana, 17 Firenze
June 15 to September 30

Italy blogging roundtable

The topic this month is “bugs” and we’ve all found creative ways to work with the word! The Italy Roundtable is a group of like minded female bloggers residing around the country and state-side. Please take a look at their articles this month!

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