Columbus Insectary and BUGmobile
Where else can you see insects like a desert millipede, an Australian walkingstick, or a Madagascar hissing roach, and even hold one if you’d like?
The Columbus BUGmobile and Museum of Biological Diversity Insectary are devoted to education and outreach, under the direction of Jeni Ruisch. The BUGmobile is a mobile zoo of arthropods serving the mid-Ohio region. This dynamic outreach tool is a one-of-a-kind education space in Ohio, allowing children and adults to dispel myths and affirm facts about the insects that rule our world! The Insectary is located in the Biological Sciences Greenhouse, 332 West 12th Ave, Columbus OH, 43210. The Insectary provides arthropods for research and education purposes.
Want a visit from the BUGmobile?
Columbus Outreach Visit Request Form.
Creation of the BUGmobile
The idea for the BUGmobile originated in discussion between Entomology Professor Carol Anelli, Entomology Outreach Director Jeni Ruisch, and Ohio State Alum Daryl and Connie Faustini. The Faustini’s donated funds to spearhead this project.
In 2019 a group from OSU, including new Entomology Chair Jamie Strange and Ruisch, visited the Airstream HQ. Airstream offered to donate a trailer shell to Entomology for customization into the BUGmobile.
Entomology used the Faustini donation to pay for the customization of the trailer. Ruisch collaborated with a group of students in CFAES Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering department, lead by Dr. Jane Fife of FABE, with Airstream engineers, and with designers at Creative Mobile Interiors (CMI) to design the BUGmobile interior. CMI completed the build out of the trailer based on those designs.
The exterior designs were done collaboratively by Entomology Academic Program Coordinator Janna Thompson-Chordas and Knowledge Exchange duo Juliette Portisch and Stacy Cochran.
Photos of the BUGmobile