Day of Insects

Celebrating an Annual Day of Insects

Reiman Gardens is so enthusiastic about insects that we set aside a special day just for them ever year. Our annual Day of Insects brings together professionals, academics, advocates and enthusiasts of all levels from across the country to explore and celebrate entomology (the study of insects). Topics often include insects native to Iowa, exotic insects, endangered insects, conservation efforts and new educational programs aimed at advancing the appreciation of all invertebrates.

Events are open to anyone interested and also include informal time for food and socialization on the night before the Day of Insects, and snacks and lunch during the day.

Again this year for individuals that are in town early the night before we will have an opening reception.  Come be casual, enjoy dinner, get to know other insect enthusiasts, there’s more of us than you think.  Anyone attending DOI can sign up to attend the reception and there will be some slots made available for individuals unable to attend DOI so they can participate as well.  The opening reception

Opening Reception – April 8 2016

6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Dinner, Keynote presentation and behind the scenes Reiman Gardens entomology tour.

Keynote: ‘Some Tales of Insect Natural History, Ecology and Evolution from the Tropics and Subtropics’ presented by Larry Gilbert, University of Texas at Austin

Science Communication Activity Showcase
Friday, April 8, 2016 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Interact with Reiman Gardens’ 2016 Science Communication Fellows in this interactive showcase of current science!

Drop in and visit with 10 real scientists as they showcase their work through hands-on activities geared towards all ages and backgrounds.  Participate in butterfly and salamander behavior games, experiment with a groundwater flowfarm, play monkey charades, and much more!

This showcase is free and open to the public!  No preregistration necessary.

Day of Insects – April 9 2016

For more information, contact Nathan Brockman at

CLICK HERE to download the Day of Insects poster.


9:10 – 9:30 “IT IS NOT A SPIDER! An introduction to some Opiliones in Iowa.” presented by Lloyd Crim

9:30 – 9:50 “Beyond Bison and Birds, Bringing Back Bees” presented by Karen Vista-Sparkman, Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge

9:50 – 10:10 “Moths of Iowa: An update of the Journey” presented by Jim Durbin

10:10 – 10:30 “Odonata of South Dakota” presented by Steve Hummel

10:50 – 11:10 “Highway 61 Revisited: Chasing Insects on the Goat Prairies of SE Minnesota” presented by James Bess

11:10 – 11:30 “Iowa Monarch Consortium Activities” presented by Sue Blodgett, Iowa State University

11:30 – 11:50 “Lure of the Lithophane- a Quest for Cold-Weather Moths” presented by Kyle Johnson

11:50 – 12:10 “Bees, butterflies and ground beetles: a comparison of remnant and planted prairies in Northeast Iowa” presented by Kirk Larsen & Students, Luther College

1:10 – 1:30 “Zombie bugs: Real life zombies in your own backyard and around the world” presented by Tad Yankoski, Missouri Botanical Gardens

1:30 – 1:50 “The Fateful Step…and Other Adventures in Insect Photography!” presented by Betsy Betros

1:50 – 2:10 “How to write a Children’s book” presented by Brendan Dunphy

2:10 – 2:30 “Where have all the skippers gone? Searching for prairie butterflies in Minnesota: 2014-2015” presented by Robert Dana, Minnesota DNR

2:50 – 3:10 “Naturalist Found, Naturalist Lost, The Story of Lulu Berry” presented by Dennis Schlicht

3:10 – 3:30 “People for Pollinators” presented by Natasha Bures, Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge

3:30 – 3:50 “Spiders of Minnesota: Lessons Learned from a Checklist” presented by Chad Heins, Bethany Lutheran College

Are you interested in presenting at next years 2017 DOI?  Most of the presenters for the day are selected by the DOI committee, but each year we open up two “wild card” slots to the invertebrate community.  One of the goals of DOI is to give individuals working on insects an opportunity share that information with individuals interested in insects.  So, what insects fascinate you, what are you working on, are you ready to share your enthusiasm and knowledge with others?  If so, please contact me at

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ONLINE FOR DAY OF INSECTS. Attendees must register by April 5th.

Other Information:

If you are looking for a hotel to stay in while you are in town for DOI.  Best Western Plus has a DOI rate of $95 a night if you mention “Day of Insects” when you are making your reservation.

Best Western Plus University Park Inn & Suites

2500 University Boulevard
Ames, Iowa, 50010-8621, US
Phone: 515/296-2500
Fax: 515/296-2874
Toll Free Reservations:

Reiman Gardens is a program site for Portal to the Public (PoP), a national network of informal science education (ISE) institutions whose goal is to bring the work of local scientists to the general public, by offering professional development training in communication and informal education.  Reiman Gardens offers Science Communication Fellowships to guide graduate students, university faculty, researchers, scientists in local industry, and other STEM professionals, in the development of hands-on activities intended to connect with visitors of all ages and backgrounds.  Public programs offered at the Gardens then integrate these PoP scientists to provide visitor engagement with active science.  For individuals attending the opening reception on April 8th the Gardens will be holding a scientist showcase from 4-6 and you are welcome to come prior to the reception and participate.