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Bugs get a star turn at MOSI

Harry, a 3-inch tall praying mantis and the star of New Orleans' newly opened Audubon Insectarium, is making a stop in Tampa this weekend on a three-week tour that is sponsored, oddly enough, by Terminix.

The tour de insect, dubbed Harry's Big Adventure, arrived Thursday and features four days of bug races, bug cooking and a bug petting zoo at Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry.

Guests will get to cheer on cockroach races and compete in cricket-spitting contests. Those who are brave enough will be able to try insect-related dishes prepared by David George Gordon, the bug chef and author of The How to Eat a Bug Cookbook.

"Insects are fascinating creatures, and our world wouldn't be what it is today without them," said Tom Brackett, Terminix president.

Harry may not be aware of what Tom does for a living, but Brackett said the sponsorship came about because, "as a company that has always worked to advance the awareness and understanding of insects, we hope that Harry and his friends will give parents and children a new appreciation for nature's smallest wonders."

The Audubon Insectarium is a 23,000-square-foot facility in New Orleans' historic U.S. Custom House. The venue is the largest free-standing museum of its kind in the United States and is the first major attraction to open in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina.

Harry's Big Adventure

The bug exhibit, presented by Terminix, runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Sunday at the Tampa Museum of Science and Industry with bug contests, cooking and hands-on exhibits. Tickets are $23.95, $21.95 ages 60 and older and $19.95 ages 2-12. 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. (813) 987-6000,

Bugs get a star turn at MOSI 11/20/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 20, 2008 4:42pm]
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