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In 1978, the first exhibit building devoted to insects in any U.S. zoo was built at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden and was awarded the American Zoo and Aquarium Association’s (AZA) Exhibit Award. Many significant achievements in husbandry, breeding and display of particular species, including the bullet ant, Peruvian fire stick and giant water bug, have received special awards over the years.


During the year of the World of the Insect’s 25th anniversary in 2003, the Zoo claimed AZA’s Significant Achievement Award for work with the leaf-cutter ant. Innovative signs, graphics, videos and interactive activities engage visitors in exploring the world of insects. Naturalistic exhibits including an indoor tropical butterfly aviary enhance the visitor experience.

WRlogoAt a Wild Research station, visitors become investigators, asking questions about leaf-cutter ant behavior. Using the tools provided, visitors can time an ant’s speed and count how many ants pass by in a single minute.Wild Research is a partnership between Miami University’s Project Dragonfly and the Zoo funded by the National Science Foundation.

Backyard Bugs

Bug ID What’s in your backyard? With this new submission form, and help of the skilled staff here at the Cincinnati Zoo, we can find out what’s flying and crawling in your backyard! Submit your bug photo and our resident insect expert will identify it for you. Help us find the insects that call Ohio home.

insect encounter

Check our animal encounter schedule to find times for our insect encounters.