Northwest Tucsonans looking for a great day-trip can get “buggy” at Kartchner Caverns State Park. The well-known landmark will host the special science series Bug Night starting at 6 p.m. on Aug. 27. 

The public will explore the complex and often misunderstood world of bugs, those unique and common invertebrates and insects that choose Kartchner Caverns State Park and Southeast Arizona for their “home” and bring balance and completeness to its ecosystem. 

The cost is $6 per carload of guests, who should bring a light jacket and a flashlight.  The Bat Cafe will be open for Bug Night.

Two entomologists – Robert Pape and Carl Olson – will open eyes and minds to the dynamic field of entomology, and reveal how and why all bugs are good.

Pape currently serves as a volunteer research scientist in Arizona State Park’s resource inventory-monitoring program. He will start off the evening revealing how our understanding of the underground world of cave invertebrates at Kartchner Caverns has been enriched over the past few years.

He serves as a principal investigator on the re-inventorying of cave invertebrates at Kartchner Caverns State Park. Pape will share the results of the latest scientific inventorying of cave invertebrates at Kartchner Caverns, which reveals a diverse community of invertebrates that flourish and provide Arizona State Parks useful information regarding the management of this live cavern system.

Olson is the associated curator of the Entomology Research Insect Collection and Lecturer at the University of Arizona, Department of Entomology and the Center for Insect Science.  He is heavily involved in community extension, educating the public on the benefits of all bugs, and responds to thousands of insect inquiries every year from people trying to explain, “what’s bugging them.” Olson’s talk will be followed by an outdoor demonstration and exploration of Kartchner’s insect world.

For more information about all of Arizona’s State Parks, call 602-542-4174 (outside of metro area call toll-free at 800-285-0373) or visit the Website at AZStateParks.com.

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