The Harrell House Bug Museum – Santa Fe, New Mexico - Atlas Obscura

Santa Fe, New Mexico

The Harrell House Bug Museum

Thousands of bugs and other reptiles hide within an otherwise ordinary shopping mall. 

Originally housed in a mall kiosk, Wade Harrell’s collection grew and grew and now boasts thousands of bugs, 200 live animals, and 5,000 mounted insects from around the world. The exhibit offers opportunities to see poison spiders, huge beetles, an array of scorpions, axolotls, and even two foot-long spiders.

Harrell has rescued some of the living creatures in his collection from their previous owners, and he encourages pet owners to be conscious and thoughtful of the animals that they adopt throughout the exhibit. Other animals in the museum, like Dumpy the tree frog, who hitchhiked from Florida to Santa Fe on a Home Depot plant, were accidentally discovered and found new homes with Harrell.

Adults and children alike will marvel at the natural world, either viewed safely behind glass or through the chance to hold a bug yourself. Flashlights, UV lights, and magnifying glasses are provided for those wanting to get a closer look. Be sure to check the collection’s website for their schedule of feedings, as well.

Know Before You Go

The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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