Crowded on every surface with glass tanks and plastic containers, Aaron Rodriques’s bedroom is kept at a “cozy” 80 degrees Fahrenheit, to make sure his pets are comfortable. Rodriques has hundreds of animals, most of them insects. Infatuated by bugs since a young age, he finally began showing them off at live events in recent years. Among his collection are twig mantises, baby rose-haired tarantulas, and green caterpillars.

As a child, Rodriques says he often found himself reading about bugs rather than socializing with classmates or making friends. He brought beetle larvae to show and tell once, but his classmates were disinterested.

Today however, Rodriques hosts events at which he teaches others how to forge connections with insects. Attendees can hold the creatures and experience them in a way perhaps they never have before. For Rodriques, the shows have allowed him to open up about what he is most passionate about: tiny, curious creatures who are often misunderstood.

In the video above, Atlas Obscura gets a close-up look at Rodriques’s infatuation with insects. For more about Aaron and his pets, read our recent article.

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