Producer: Nicole
Videographers: Fang Yi, Qi En
Sound: Fang Yi
Video Editor: Fang Yi

Are you one of those who screams at the sight of creepy crawlies or flying insects? If so, you are undoubtedly part of Foo Mao Sheng’s target audience. Foo is an entomology expert and curator from the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum whose passion has led him to strive to debunk any myths, misconceptions, and stigmas you may have about insects. 

In particular – termites and cockroaches (yes, the crowd’s greatest nightmare), are Foo’s areas of expertise. While these “less charismatic” creatures have been intentionally shunned by most, Foo’s love for all insects made discovering a new species of cockroach in Singapore possible. Prior to first being collected between 2016 and 2017 in a forest at the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve during an insect survey, there was no record of it – allowing Foo and Mr Cristian Lucañas of the UPLB Museum of Natural History in the Philippines, to have a chance to study it in greater detail. With that, came the birth of the new species of cockroach named after a Pokemon, Pheromosa. The name not only pays homage to their shared love for Pokemon but also aims to improve the image of these often-misunderstood insects.

Foo’s passion for insects doesn’t stop there though; he is also an advocate for entomophagy – eating edible insects. Get intrigued and look out for moments in the video where he describes the textures of various insects. We also learn how he entices others to give edible insects a try by integrating these protein-rich animals into his bakes and links the practice to sustainability.

Foo is not alone in his hobby as he enjoys this passion with a close-knit community of insect enthusiasts. Together, they explore different areas in the hopes of encountering rare and intriguing insect species. 

So, if you’re one of those who usually shudders at the sight of insects, Foo Mao Sheng’s insights might just change your perspective on them. Hop into this video to understand how insects (yes, even cockroaches) are more than just pests, and could even be your friendly ally!