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Armed with nets and bright lights, bug hunters go to work in the bayou

Kerry Maloney / AP

Audubon Butterfly Garden Insectarium employees Katie Smith, left, and Jayme Necaise catch dragonflies at dusk for their exhibits in Des Allemands, La. on Sept. 24.

Kerry Maloney / AP

Zack Lemann, animal and visitor programs manager of the Audubon Butterfly Garden Insectarium, collects bugs near the bayou for their exhibits, in Des Allemands, La., on Sept. 24.

While most people go inside when the bugs come out, Audubon Butterfly Garden Insectarium employees and volunteers go in search of the small creatures.

The Associated Press reports-- The trek to the bug-infested bayou area southwest of New Orleans is one they make six to eight nights a year during the warm weather months from May to October. Some of the bugs are raised to exhibit later at the insectarium, while others are shipped to other museums. Much of an insectarium's stock dies in a year or less, so the replenishment missions for local species are essential. Continue reading.

Zach Lemann, animal and visitor programs manager of the insectarium, prepares and serves dragonflies. "They taste like soft-shelled crab," he says.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Associated Press made these Sept. 24 pictures available to NBC News on Oct. 8.

Kerry Maloney / AP

A stink bug rests on the hand of Zack Lemann, animal and visitor programs manager of the Audubon Butterfly Garden Insectarium, as he and other employees collect bugs for their exhibits in Des Allemands, La, on Sept. 24.

Kerry Maloney / AP

Gordon Matherne checks for new bugs attracted to a sheet with two lights near the bayou with Audubon Butterfly Garden Insectarium employees as they collect bugs for their exhibits in Des Allemands, La. on Sept. 24.

Kerry Maloney / AP

Zack Lemann, animal and visitor programs manager of the Audubon Butterfly Garden, holds a dragonfly in his mouth while collecting them for their exhibits, in Des Allemands, La. on Sept. 24. Lemann cooks and serves the dragonflies at the insectarium. "They taste like soft-shelled crab," he says.

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