Critters in our backyards
CURIOUS types of all ages are able to get up close with some of the Far North's creepy crawlies at a bug zoo open for the school holidays.
The zoo at the Cairns Botanic Gardens is home to a variety of bugs including spiny leaf insects, grasshoppers and rhino beetles.
Insects were sourced from a Kuranda breeder and backyards across Cairns.
Tony Roberts from the gardens visitor centre said the exhibition allowed people to learn about the insects they encountered every day.
"A lot of people don't realise these things are in their gardens so it gives them an appreciation for nature and an understanding of how they use camouflage."
He said the spiny leaf insects had been a highlight for many visitors.
"They're about six inches long and look like leaves but when the females get disturbed they look like a giant scorpion and get their tails up to protect themselves," he said. The Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre's bug zoo opens at 10am and will run to January 31.
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Hanging on: Svetlana Petkovic, 10, of Melbourne, shows no fear of a giant stick insect at the Cairns Botanic Gardens bug zoo. Picture: STEWART McLEAN