Photos: National Insect Museum Highlights

  • The National Insect Museum of the Indian Council for Agricultural Research-National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources (ICAR-NBAIR) in Bangalore is a national repository for insects of agricultural interest. It is home to a multitude of rare and familiar insects. Here’s a look at five that are hard to find.

Updated Nov 13, 2021 3:37 PM IST 5 Pictures

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The Kikiki Huna: It is the smallest winged insect in the world, measuring approximately 0.6 mm. The genus Kikiki was first reported in India in 2013 from Tamil Nadu. It took another two years to find enough female specimens to confirm the identity of the species. “It’s a parasitic wasp that you can’t see with the naked eye,” says Ankita Gupta, the museum’s entomologist and specialist in parasitic wasps. “But it has all the systems an insect should have – six legs, wings, a reproductive system and a respiratory system.” (Photo courtesy ICAR-NBAIR)

Updated Nov 13, 2021 3:37 PM IST

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Mummified larvae: Three specimens of larvae, obtained in 1960, constitute one of the most precious objects in the collection.  They were made by sucking the internal sap of the larvae, the envelope being then disinfected and inflated with air.

Mummified larvae: Three specimens of larvae, obtained in 1960, constitute one of the most prized objects in the collection. They were made by sucking the internal sap of the larvae, the envelope being then disinfected and inflated with air. “Making these specimens is a lost art,” says Gupta. (HT Photo)

Updated Nov 13, 2021 3:37 PM IST

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Giant stick insect: The longest insect in the world is also one of the hardest to find.  The specimen of the giant stick insect in the collection of the National Insect Museum was donated by P Mahendran, an entomologist with the United Planters' Association of Southern India, a tea research foundation in Coimbatore, who found it on campus. of the institute.  (Photo HT)

Giant stick insect: The longest insect in the world is also one of the hardest to find. The specimen of the giant stick insect in the collection of the National Insect Museum was donated by P Mahendran, an entomologist from the United Planters Association of South India, a tea research foundation in Coimbatore, who provided it. found on the institute’s campus. (Photo HT)

Updated Nov 13, 2021 3:37 PM IST

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Leaf insects: Among the NIM's most prized collections are mimic mantis and leaf insects.

Leaf insects: Among the NIM’s most prized collections are mimic mantis and leaf insects. “We found them by chance,” says Gupta. “They mimic leaves so well that it’s hard to find them.” (Photo HT)

Updated Nov 13, 2021 3:37 PM IST

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Beetles: Members of the order Ceoleoptera, the largest order of insects, arrive at the museum in bags.  A whole room is devoted to this order of insects.  We see here dung beetles of the beetle family.  (Photo HT)

Beetles: Members of the order Ceoleoptera, the largest order of insects, arrive at the museum in bags. A whole room is devoted to this order of insects. We see here dung beetles of the Scarabaeidae family. (Photo HT)

Updated Nov 13, 2021 3:37 PM IST

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