Press Release

The Intriguing World of Insects


Charles Schuler
Director of Marketing & Communications
San Francisco International Airport

The Intriguing World of Insects
The new exhibition illuminates the extraordinary world of insects through the collection of the Essig Museum of Entomology at the University of California, Berkeley

SAN FRANCISCO - April 25, 2019 - Insects are the most diverse macroscopic organisms on the planet. Researchers have identified over one million species of insects and estimate that five to thirty million more are waiting to be discovered. In fact, there are more species of ants than species of birds, and more species of beetles than all species of plants combined. Insects are everywhere—from shoreline to mountaintop, deserts to ponds, deep in the soil to the tips of the tallest redwoods.

Insects, spiders, lobsters, and their cousins are arthropods, meaning they have jointed legs and an external skeleton. The first insects appeared around 400 million years ago and evolved wings over 300 million years ago. Fossils of dragonfly ancestors, called griffinflies, had wingspans of over sixty centimeters. In contrast, the tiniest insects today have wingspans of less than one millimeter. But not all insects have wings. Some species, like silverfish, never evolved wings, while others, like camel crickets, lost them millions of years ago. Insects play integral roles in ecosystems. They pollinate the flowers of many fruits and vegetables, produce wax and honey, keep pest plants and insects at bay, recycle nutrients through decomposition, and are important food sources for other species. Due to their small size, ability to fly and adapt to various habitats, and prolific reproductive abilities, insects permeate the Earth’s surface. Exhibited objects include more than 1000 specimens, fine art photography, rare books, and a remarkable anatomical model of Musca domestica, commonly known as the house fly.

This exhibition was made possible through a generous loan from the Essig Museum of Entomology, University of California, Berkeley. Special thank you to Peter Oboyski, Curator, Essig Museum of Entomology and photographer David Garnick.

View the exhibition online.

@SFOMuseum #IntriguingInsects

The Intriguing World of Insects is located pre-security in the International Terminal, Departures Level, San Francisco International Airport. This exhibition is accessible to all Airport visitors from April 27, 2019, to August 18, 2019

About SFO Museum

SFO Museum was established by the Airport Commission in 1980 for the purposes of humanizing the Airport environment, providing visibility for the unique cultural life of San Francisco, and presenting educational services for the traveling public.  The Museum was granted initial accreditation from the American Association of Museums in 1999, reaccredited in 2005, and has the distinction of being the only accredited museum in an airport.  Today, SFO Museum features approximately twenty galleries throughout the Airport terminals displaying a rotating schedule of art, history, science, and cultural exhibitions, as well as the San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library and Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum, a permanent collection dedicated to the history of commercial aviation. To browse current and past exhibitions, research our collection, or for more information, please visit Follow us on,, or


About San Francisco International Airport

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop flights to more than 50 international cities on 42 international carriers. The Bay Area's largest airport connects non-stop with 85 cities in the U.S. on 12 domestic airlines.  SFO is proud to offer upgraded free Wi-Fi with no advertising.  For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit Follow us on and