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Meerkat heaven…simples!

12 March 2010 by Lucy

The job of a National Museums Liverpool press officer is a varied one. With such a diverse family of museums and galleries, there are many opportunities to highlight our exhibitions and events within the press, but not all as exciting as yesterday…well, for me anyway!

A Pigmy Hedgehog

Here I am with my one of my favourite little characters from the sessions, a gorgeous Pigmy Hedgehog

As a life long lover of Meerkats (yes, I even liked them before those well-known price comparison adverts hit our screens) I was chuffed to bits to be invited along to a press opportunity ahead of some fantastic Meerkat-tastic events that are taking place at World Museum over the next couple of weekends as part of National Science Week. Read more…

Happy Anniversary to the World Museum!

31 December 2009 by Lisa

Black and white photo of old museum interior.

The museum before it was bombed in the Second World War.

I know I’m a day early, but 2010 will mean a pretty important anniversary for us here at National Museums Liverpool. It will be the 150th Anniversary of William Brown handing over the keys for what was then the Liverpool museum, which we now all know and love as the World Museum.

To mark this anniversary we’re going to be featuring a year-long series of World Museum-related stories on this blog. There’ll be a story a week, with a mix of historical and contemporary pieces. We want to let you know all about the museum’s history but also give you a few behind the scenes peeks at the people, stories and events that make (and have made) this such a special museum. Read more…

Hermit crabs get a new home!

20 August 2009 by Lisa

Bug House Demonstrator, Rebekah Beresford, is back again to tell us about her latest project in the Bug House at World Museum Liverpool. This time she has been giving the Hermit Crabs’ vivarium a make-over! You can see the photos from each stage of the project on our Bug House Flickr set.


A glass tank with sand and plants inside

The Hermit Crab vivarium

After the success of the Indian Ground Beetles display earlier this year it was decided that some of our other vivariums could also do with a revamp! The Bug House hasn’t kept any mantids for over a year now and they’re incredibly popular with the visitors – so the next vivarium on the list was their display.

The new vivarium arrived from Exo Terra and was made by leading experts in the world of exotics. We got to work on siliconing in a glass partition, a third of the way along the tank to create a fresh water pool. Hermit crabs require fresh water so that they can mix it with salt water. The crabs then pull up into their shells their own preferred salinity reservoir from which they can breathe through. The fresh water pool in this vivarium will house a variety of aquatic invertebrates such as apple snails and gammarus (shrimp-like amphipods). The pool will also be useful for maintaining the humidity in the tank. Read more…

Bughouse welcomes bizarre newcomer!

20 July 2009 by Lisa

Bug House Demonstrator, Rebekah Beresford, tells us about the latest addition to the Bug House…


Well, this is my first post to the blog and through my future blog posts I hope to highlight some of the exciting things we do in the Bug House. My name is Rebekah, although I seem to have adopted the title ‘Beckie Bughouse’ somehow, and I’m the Bug House Demonstrator. I’ve been working for National Museums Liverpool for almost a year now and basically I love and wholly respect invertebrates of every kind.
Wandering Violin Mantis

The weird and wonderful Wandering Violin Mantis

So, may I present to you the Wandering Violin Mantis or Gongylus gonglodes. This awesome looking insect is our newest addition to the Bug House. We have eight of these funky little creatures and they’re one of the most bizarre looking out of all the mantids.

These insects are part of the order Mantodea and are characterized by their slender limbs and stocky upper body. As suggested by the name, this mantis looks somewhat like a violin with leaf like appendages protruding from the legs to aid camouflage and a leaf like head. They’re from Southern India and Sri Lanka and come in a variety of different shades of brown.

The wandering violin mantis is more of a ‘sit and wait’ species rather than a hunter but that’s not to say that they’re picky. These mantids are confident, ravenous feeders and will snatch a variety of flies and moths from the air, if the dare to fly close enough. Most mantids are solitary and have to be kept individually but these are unusually social. Given plenty of space they can be housed together in small groups of 8-10 and pose no threat to each other.  Read more…

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We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.