- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Sunday, May 8 is Mother's Day.
Saturday, May 7 is Moth-er's Day.
Yes, that's Moth-er's Day, Lepidopteran style.
That's when the Bohart Museum of Entomology will showcase moths at a special weekend opening from 1 to 4 p.m. The museum, located at 1124 Academic Surge on California Drive, UC Davis, is home to more than seven million insect specimens, including moths that you wouldn't believe.
Visitors can check out such moths as Urania leilu, and Chrysiridia rhipheus—“two moths that that will challenge people's notions of what a moth is,” said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator for the Bohart Museum. Admission is free.
“We will also have our new public microscope on display for people to use and to see the scales on the wings that define the order Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies),” Yang said.
In addition, the Bohart Museum features a live “petting zoo” that includes Madagascar hissing cockroaches and walking sticks; and a gift shop where visitors can purchase such items as t-shirts, sweat shirts, posters, jewelry and insect candy.
To accommodate families and other area residents who are unable to attend the regular visiting hours, Mondays through Thursdays, the Bohart began offering special weekend hours last year.
The last of the special weekend hours this season will be on Sunday, June 5, when the Bohart celebrates “June Bugs” from 1 to 4 p.m. The first weekend opening of the year was Jan. 23 and featured the theme, "Butterflies."
The Bohart Museum, directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at UC Davis, was founded in 1946 by noted entomologist Richard M. Bohart. Dedicated to teaching, research and service, it houses the seventh largest insect collection in North America.
The museum holds specimens collected worldwide and is the home of the California Insect Survey, a storehouse of the insect biodiversity of California’s deserts, mountains, coast and great central valley.
The museum’s regular hours are from 8:30 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday. It is closed on Fridays and on major holidays. Admission is free.
It's easy to see why folks find insects fascinating. Among all those visitors, I'm sure some will become entomologists.
And some, Lepidopterans.