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Television & Documentary

Invertebrate supply only

BugzUK has supplied invertebrates for many TV and film productions, and can often find invertebrates that are not on our own current stocklists from our many contacts both abroad and in the UK to fulfil the needs of whatever your producer is asking you to find !

Many production company’s do not have the facility to house the stock animals after filming is complete so there is an additional option to take the animals on a “rental” basis if the animals are only required for several days filming, but then cannot be re-homed elsewhere. In this situation, stock will be sent to the location required, and we will then accept the stock back after filming has been completed. Please e mail Martin French for more details. We can also supply cages to house the stock whilst they are on set, together with care instructions, all of which can be returned at the end of filming.
We have recently supplied :
Tigress Productions
BBC Natural History Unit
BBC Earth
Atlantic Productions

Insect wrangler / Bug wrangler

Martin French, Insect wrangler, on the set of Micro Monsters in 3d with Sir David Attenborough. Placing a Goliath beetle on Sir Davids hand prior to his piece to camera

Suitable for Feature film productions, Television, Commercials, Print advertisements and stills

Insect wrangling or bug wrangling requires a high degree of understanding of the behaviour of invertebrates so as to ensure that behaviour required under the clinical conditions of a film set can be achieved. By selecting the most suitable animal, we can often achieve what you need.

Martin French of BugzUK has been keeping all forms of invertebrate for over 30 years and in that time has built up a wealth of knowledge of how invertebrates behave, can be made to behave under less than ideal circumstances and can often achieve behaviour in the studio that might only ever normally be seen in the field.

By understanding both the behaviour of our invertebrates and also the requirements and constraints of filming, the best behavioural results can be achieved on the day.

From interaction of predator and prey to high speed filming of fast flying hawk moths, we can get the shots you need.

Martin French can attend on set, bringing with him any amount of pre agreed invertebrates required, together with their caging, and can help to plan the shoot and / or design and build the required sets as required. Early involvement at the planning stage will often save both time and money.

Daily and weekly rates are available on application

We have recently been involved with the following productions :


On many weekends in Summer 2012, in conjunction with the television show Live and Deadly, we supplied an array of interesting invertebrates that could be sensibly and safely handled and “Jungle Jess” (Martins daughter Jessica) took the animals around the crowds showing groups of children and adults an up close and personal experience with some of the oddest looking and bizarre creatures around, like the strange and scary whip scorpions and the armoured giant millipedes. Always a hit with all ages.

BBC 2012

Jungle Jess was required to test the reactions of potential presenters when handling different invertebtrates in front of the cameras, to see whether they would cope with the reality of such situations on location. Knowing how each animal will act helped to ensure that the desired effects were achieved in front of the camera

Martin French was the main insect wrangler for this six part documentary series presented by Sir David Attenborough and airing in june 2013.
Each episode in the series, including the "making of " episode was "pick of the day" and all the major critics gave it 5 stars


Martin French was recently involved in helping with part of Series 2, working directly with Sir David Attenborough to achieve specific invertebrate behaviour.
This series of 10 programs started airing in February 2014


We are currently filming a new series in 3d with David Attenborough, featuring more intricate invertebrate behaviour that will push the boundaries of previously filmed species
Filming started late 2013, with much of the summer shots to be filmed in April through to July 2014
The completed series, made for Sky, will air in Decenber 2014

Micro monsters in 3d with David Attenborough 2013

Martin French working with Sir David Attenborough on set, prior to his piece to camera about bumble bees

This series required many complicated invertebrate behaviours to be filmed in 3d, often under bright lights and without the benefit of lots of time available. Martin French was responsible for setting up the film sets as well as ensuring that the invertebrates being filmed, showed the behaviour that was expected. As well as controlling the invertebrates during filming, he was responsible for the housing and the day to day care of the inverebrates supplied.
The series required some intricate behaviours that have never been filmed before in "natural sets" in the studio, and certainly not in 3d.
Working directly with the director and film crew to achieve the desired behaviour, many problems were encountered and overcome during the making of the series.
The series, having now aired, was received very well by the critics, being given 5 stars by all the major newspaper critics, and each episode, as well as the "making of " episiode was chosen as the pick of the day in the television columns.Since airing it has received several accolades for 3d natural history, and has been turned into an I Max film.
Martin French was also required to meet the press with several invertebrates at the press screenings, and appeared on Sky news Live to further promote the series immediately prior to airing

New natural history series with David Attenborough 2014

We are currently filming a new series in 3d with David Attenborough, featuring more intricate invertebrate behaviour that will push the boundaries of previously filmed species

Filming started late 2013, with much of the summer shots to be filmed in April through to July 2014

The completed series, made for Sky, will air on new years day 2015

We have now completed filming and full details will be shown after the program has aired

We asked for a reference from the producers who have said :

"Martin's knowledge of insects and small animals was integral to our production. He was heavily involved in pre-production from day one and was able to suggest innovative and fresh ways of bringing the insects to life in front of the camera. With the animal's welfare at the forefront of his mind, he's able to initiate natural behaviour in controllable environments. He was an asset to the team and I look forward to working with him again sometime in the future.
Alex Ranken,
Associate Producer,
Colossus Productions"

Minibeast adventure with Jess 2014

Jungle Jess, Martins daughter, has now finished filming minibeast adventure with Jess. As the shows presenter, she has used her extensive knowledge of invertebrates to help film British arthropods in a childrens program, trying to get kids outside to appreciate our own indigenous species. Jess is available for all TV / Film works in a behind the scenes capacity or in front of camera.

Minibeast Adventure – With Jess (20x9-minute) brings 20 amazing creatures into the living rooms of the CBeebies audience as zoologist Jess French encourages viewers to explore their local environment and get close to the minibeasts that live in the gardens, parks and windowboxes around them. In each episode, viewers visit Jess’s treehouse where she introduces them to her minibeast of the day. From there she sets out on a Minibeast Adventure with children to try and find that day’s animal or insect.

New presenter Jess French grew up with a passion for the natural world, as her father bred insects. Her zoological and veterinary studies have given her an in-depth understanding of the very smallest creatures which she is enthusiastic to share with the next generation. Minibeast Adventure – With Jess is produced by Kindle Entertainment for transmission on CBeebies in 2014. The executive producers are Michael Towner for CBeebies and Anne Brogan for Kindle.

Big Beasts : Last of the Giants......Offspring Films Ltd

Working with Offspring films Ltd, we were asked to film a sequence involving a pair of jungle nymphs, Heteropteryx dilatata, to be included in the international episode.
We showed the male adult walking up a tree, launching itself from a tree and flying / gliding into a bush where the adult female was browsing on leaves, from there, we showed the male searching for the female, mounting and mating her and then staying on her to avoid attention from other males. Together with other static and moving shots including eating and close ups,the shoot was a complete success and we achieved all of the behavioural shots that they required, within the allotted time

2019 March ....documentary for netflix

Filming ants in a studio, creating sets to contain the ants and ensuring they do what is required to fill the film brief

2019 March ....documentary for Netflix

Spent a week filming stalk eyed flies and rhinoceros beetles
I built all the sets as requested and to the design specifications and after pre discussions about what was required, ensured that the studio was ok for maintaining the animals overnight and whilst filming
Worked with the director and cameraman to ensure the brief was met and all shots were captured as required to ensure another successful shoot
problematic as flies can come off the set so we designed a closed set that mimmicked the flies natural surroundings but enabled the camera to access the behaviour

2019 April Feature film

Brief required using large scolopendra and adult tarantulas to interact with actors on set
problematic as large centipedes are quick and can bite
achieved all the shots required in the time given with no one hurt and animals safe

2019 May Test shoot to test camera lenses

Brief was to bring a multitude of different invertebrates to the studio to test a variety of different camera lenses on different size inverts so that the director could decide how to shoot the documentary he was making

2019 May Photo shoot for a new book

The brief was to provide a multitude of different invertebrates for the publishers photographer to take still photos of the animals requested
we provided a lot of different animals for the shoot and were on hand to steady the animals so that they could photograph as many invertebrates as possible in the given time

2019 June Filming a documentary for netflix

Working with ants,we provided both ants and sets to create the desired backdrops for the scenes being created
Worked with the director and cameraman to achieve the sequences required and to ensure enough ants were available to complete the brief

2019 August filming for a documentary for netflix


We were required to obtain very complicated behaviour from a specialist spider. The behaviour meant we had to think outside the box to ensure the camera could access the behaviour of the spider in awkward positions
We obtained a large number of the spiders from abroad and designed 30 mobile sets that could be quickly adapted to ensure that wherever the spiders behaviour took place, we could ensure the camera could access that behaviour
Over a 3 week shoot we obtained all the desired behaviour and even some unexpected behaviour that we deemed to difficult to get in a studio set up
Director and studio were excited with the behaviour captured, and everything that was required was achieved

2019 September filming for BBC a new tv program

We were asked to provide certain invertebrates which were needed to interact with guests and to be on hand to curate the animals as needed when on set
Provided the animals used and advice given

2019 October Filming for a netflix documentary

We were required to supply and wrangle multiple invertebrates which were specific to a SINGLE region in the USA
We sourced those animals, wrangled them on set to achieve the required behaviour, especially as they had to work in scenes with other vertebrates, and achieved all of the behaviour required by the brief

2019 October Filming for a BBC documentary

We were required to work with Giant orb spiders to complete the brief given