The sun is expected to shine throughout much of the campus on Picnic Day, Saturday, April 21, but it won't be shining in this place.
Not a chance. It's where the sun doesn't shine.
Think "south end of a beaver."
The Bohart Museum of Entomology open house, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., will focus on nocturnal insects, cave dwelling insects and "yes, beaver parasitic beetles or Platypsyllus castoris, an ectoparasite on beavers, near their glands, wounds, and skin," according to Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator.
Entomologist Wade Spencer, an undergraduate student and Bohart Museum associate, explains it this way: “We were inspired by this year's Picnic Day Theme, 'Where The Sun Shines' and to keep it fun and always educational, we thought it to be the perfect opportunity to shed light on some insects we don't normally have a chance to see because they are found 'Where The Sun Don't Shine.'
“And with the help of some lighted magnifying lenses, and my colleague, Brennen Dyer's masterful use of hi-res macro magic, both the cozy residents and their luxurious dwellings will be in full-glory to astound and delight all visitors!” Wade quipped.
These beetles aren't what you might expect to see. "These beetles look like they are to fleas what halibut are to other fishes," Spencer points out. "Instead of the lateral compression fleas exhibit, Platyspyllus castoris are dorso-ventrally flattened, which only adds to their alien appearance. Their unique feeding and lodging preferences have given us so many good laughs, we wanted to make them the star of this year's picnic day event at the Bohart."
One more thing. "To be a tad more descriptive," Spencer says, "they call the beaver's perianal region home; they help keep the beavers clean both inside AND out by feeding on dead skin, secretions of the castor glands (where "natural" and "raspberry" flavorings come from), and if they are in the mood, they'll indulge in a little blood or fluids from oozing wounds.
They're basically like crawling, itchy, toilet paper that occasionally bites and you can never scratch off!
According to BugGuide.net, they're also found on otters.
The Bohart Museum, located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane, houses a global collection of nearly eight million specimens. Directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at UC Davis, the Bohart Museum is also the home of the seventh largest insect collection in North America, and the California Insect Survey, a storehouse of the insect biodiversity.
Special attractions include a “live” petting zoo, featuring Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks, praying mantids and tarantulas. Visitors are invited to hold some of the arthropods and photograph them. The museum's gift shop, open year around, includes T-shirts, sweatshirts, books, jewelry, posters, insect-collecting equipment and insect-themed candy.
The Bohart Museum holds special open houses throughout the academic year. Its regular hours are from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. The museum is closed to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and on major holidays. Admission is free.
More information on the Bohart Museum is available by telephoning (530) 752-0493 or emailing email@example.com.
And when the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology hosts a honey tasting on Saturday, April 21 as part of the UC Davis 104th annual UC Davis Picnic Day, it promises to be "berry, berry good."
"Berry good" as in honey made from berries.
Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño and staff will offer "a taste of honey"--of such honey varietals as blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, and snowberry--plus almond and buckwheat--from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Briggs Hall.
When you think about it, Picnic Day is rather like "Bug Appreciation Day" (starring honey bees, too!), courtesy of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. In fact, Picnic Day officials have nominated "Entomology at UC Davis" (122 Briggs) for a special campus award under the category "At One With Nature." The honey tasting booth in the Briggs Hall atrium is a nominee for a special award in the category, "Hunger Fix." (Access this link to vote from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. for your favorite exhibits on Picnic Day). The winners will be publicized on the Picnic Day website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat accounts after Picnic Day.
Here's where the "go-bugs" action is:
- At Briggs Hall, located off Kleiber Hall Drive, hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 or 5 p.m.
- At the Bohart Museum of Entomology, located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane, hours are from 10 to 3 p.m.
And here's where more honey is:
- UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center, Robert Mondavi Institute, Old Davis Road. Amina Harris, director of the Honey and Pollination Center, says honey will be available for tasting on Picnic Day and for sale all year around.
Coordinating the events at Briggs Hall are forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey and doctoral candidate Brendon Boudinot of the Phil Ward lab and the Entomology Graduate Students' Association. Heading the activities at the Bohart Museum are director Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology, and Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator.
For a full schedule of insect-themed activities, see the news story on the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology website. You'll find dozens of activities, including maggot art, cockroach races, fly-tying, and scavenger hunts, to name a few.
And honey tasting. Show me the honey!
That's what's on tap on Saturday, April 21 during the 104th annual campuswide UC Davis Picnic Day, when faculty, staff and graduate and undergraduate students in the Department of Entomology and Nematology share their love of insects at activities at Briggs Hall and the Bohart Museum of Entomology.
This bug's for you. That one, too. And the one over there, too. That's yours.
At least for a little while.
You can engage in maggot art, watch the cockroaches race, hold stick insects, taste blueberry honey, buy a "Beetles" t-shirt or other insect-themed T-shirt--and check out a virtual reality insect show where the insects are 40 feet tall.
Those are just a few of the things you can do.
Activities at Briggs Hall, located off Kleiber Hall Drive, will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 or 5 p.m. The Bohart Museum of Entomology, located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane, will open its doors from 10 to 3 p.m. Coordinating the Briggs event are forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey and doctoral candidate Brendon Boudinot of the Phil Ward lab and past president of the Entomology Graduate Students' Association. Heading the activities at the Bohart Museum are director Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology, and Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator.
"Entomology at UC Davis" (122 Briggs) has been nominated for a special campus award under the category "At One With Nature." The Honey Tasting booth at Briggs has been nominated for a similar award under the category, “Hunger Fix.” Winners of the categories are determined by an Internet vote. (Access the link here to vote from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. for your favorite exhibits on Picnic Day). The winners will be publicized on the Picnic Day website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat accounts after Picnic Day.
At the 2017 UC Davis Picnic Day, the Department of Entomology and Nematology won two special exhibit awards. By popular vote, "Little Swimmers and Fly Tyers (Briggs Hall)," won the category, "Hidden Treasures"; and "Real Insects and Mimics" (Bohart Museum of Entomology) won the category "Family Friendly."
The UC Davis Entomology Club, advised by forensic entomology Robert Kimsey, will enter its award-winning 40-foot black widow spider float in the Picnic Day Parade. The float won Best Organization" award last year. The parade gets underway at 9:30 a.m. with an opening ceremony by the grandstands on North Quad Avenue, across from Wickson Hall. The parade starts at 10 a.m., with announcement locations at 2nd and D streets in downtown Davis; F Street in front of PDQ Fingerprinting; and 3rd and C streets in downtown Davis.
Here's what's on tap at Briggs, either in front or inside the building:
- Entomology at UC Davis: Enter Briggs Hall and find a wide variety of entomology-themed displays, from classics, including insect forestry to recent additions, such as “Virtual Reality Bugs."
- Honey Tasting Booth: Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño and her staff will offer you these honey varietals to taste: blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, snowberry, almond and buckwheat.
- Maggot Art:You can create maggot art by dipping a maggot into a water-based, non-toxic paint and position it on paper and let it crawl. Voila! Maggot art, suitable for framing
- Cockroach Races: Pick your favorite "roach athlete" and cheer it to victory
- Virtual Reality Bugs: Medical entomologist Geoffrey Attardo will set up a virtual reality system to enable you to view three dimensional models of insects. In VR, the models can be made to look life size, 40 feet tall or anywhere in between, he says. Here's the link that to view them in your web browser: https://skfb.ly/6xVru
- Bug Doctor: The Doctor Is In:Got an insect question? Graduate students will identify insects and answer your questions.
- IPM Booth: UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program professionals will discuss and answer questions about insect pests, beneficial insects and pest management. They will display their publications and live insects. In keeping with tradition, they will give away free lady beetles (lady bugs), to be released in your gardens to devour your aphids and other soft-bodied insects.
- Mosquito Abatement: How do you get rid of mosquitoes?Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District professionals will answer your questions.
- Dr. Death: Forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey, aka "Dr. Death," will invite you to look through his microscopes and answer questions.
- Davis Fly Fishers: The anglers will demonstrate fly-tying techniques in Briggs 158.
- Scavenger Hunt: You can search for and identify insects in a display of 10 drawers in Briggs 122.
- Insect Face Painting: Entomology Club members will face-paint bees, butterflies, lady beetles and other insects for a nominal fee.
- T-Shirt Sales:You can take your pick or picks among insect-themed t-shirts (popular t-shirts include beetles and honey bees). Selection and prices are online at https://mkt.com/UCDavisEntGrad/
- Bake Sale:Chocolate chirp cookies, anyone? The Entomology Club will offer an assortment of insect-themed baked goods. Some ingredients are cricket flour.
- Strike Up the Band: Ever heard of a "bug band?" These are all graduate students who will dress in insect costumes. Music composed by Michael Lewis Bollinger (Frank Zalom lab); cover songs possible. The band: Jackson Audley of the Steve Seybold lab, rhythm guitar; Yao Cai of the Joanna Chiu lab, drums; Christine Tabuloc of the Chiu lab, vocals; Wei Lin of the Brian Johnson lab, bass; Jill Oberski of the Phil Ward lab, tenor saxophone; and Brendon Boudinot of the Phil Ward lab, bassist.
"The band will be setting up and warming up at 4," said Boudinot. "We'll start our set at 4:30, and wrap up at 5 or so. We are working on tightening up the set list--for now we have four songs. Expect some guitar and drum solos at the least!"
At the Bohart Museum, open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the theme is "Where the Sun Doesn't Shine," a play on this year's Picnic Day theme of "Where the Sun Shines."
"We'll be highlighting nocturnal insects, cave dwelling insects, and yes, beaver butt beetles or Platypsyllus castoris, an ectoparasite on beavers, near their glands, wounds, and skin," said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator. " We will be holding insects as well."
The Bohart Museum staff and students will also be on the Quad on Wednesday, April 18 from noon to 1 p.m.as part of a pre-Picnic Day showcase organized by the Picnic Day Committee. The Bohart folks will be holding insects and encouraging you to do so, too.
Get ready....these bugs are for you!
The spotlight is on spotted wing drosophila, a major fruit crop pest that wreaks economic havoc throughout the world.
Native to Southeast Asia, Drosophila suzukii infests soft-skinned fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, cherries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches and grapes. The insect was first detected in the United States in 2008 when scientists identified it in the central coastal region of California. It can cause an estimated $300 million in damage annually to California crops.
Enter Kent Daane, Cooperative Extension specialist at UC Berkeley. He'll present a UC Davis seminar, hosted by the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, on "Classical Bio-Control of the Spotted Wing Drosophila: Collecting and Processing Parasitoids Through the Quarantine Process" from 4:10 to 5 p.m., Wednesday, April 18 in 122 Briggs Hall, located off Kleiber Hall Drive.
"A classical bio-control program has been undertaken against the olive fly using parasitoids imported from Africa and the spotted wing drosophila, both newly invasive species in California," Daane says. "Drs. Xingeng Wang and Antonio Biondi have been cooperating with other researchers in California, Oregon, Delaware, Hawaii, Italy, China, South Africa, South Korea and France by quarantine screening imported parasitoid species to determine their potential to control these invasive pests without causing any harm to non-target insects. The quarantine work is like the gatekeeper that screens imported material to allow only those natural enemies that will be beneficial into California."
The spotted-wing drosophila was first observed in Japan as early as 1916. The females lay their eggs in ripe and ripening fruit, unlike other Drosophila species known to infest overripe and blemished fruit. The larvae feed on the fruit. The adult is the only stage that can be targeted for control by conventional pesticides, according to integrated pest management specialist Frank Zalom, distinguished professor of entomology at UC Davis. The most commonly used insecticides are organophosphates, pyrethroids and spinosyns.
Daane, who received his doctorate in entomology from UC Berkeley, focuses his research on the development of ecologically-based insect pest management systems. His research studies include classical biological control, augmentation programs, insect-plant interactions, use of least-disruptive insecticides and the biology of natural enemies."
Coordinators of the department's seminars are Rachel Vannette, assistant professor, and Brendon Boudinot, Ph.D candidate, Phil Ward lab.
Mark your calendars.
A professor renowned for bridging art and science will address a UC Davis Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology seminar on April 25 in Meyer Hall, UC Davis campus.
Entomologist/artist Diane Ullman of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology will speak on “Winds of Change: Bridging Art and Science” from 3:45 to 5 p.m. in the Room 1138, also known as "The Foster Room."
Ullman, co-founder and co-director of the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program, will describe the building blocks, innovations and outcomes of the program that she and nationally known ceramicist Donna Billick of Davis formed in 2006.
Ullman and Billick created the art/science fusion concept in 1997 with the introduction of an undergraduate course, “Art, Science and the World of Insects,” that became the centerpiece and inspiration for the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program.
Since then, the program “has been a hot bed of innovation, bridging art and science with diverse undergraduate courses, exhibitions, performances and colloquia with collaboration among design faculty, science faculty, museum educators, professors artists and UC Davis students,” Ullman related.
One of the their most noted works is Nature's Gallery, a mosaic mural in the Ruth Storer Gardens, UC Davis Arboretum, off Garrod Drive. Handcrafted by UC Davis staff, faculty and community members, under the umbrella of the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program, it features interlocking tiles showing the diversity of plants and insects in California. The 140 ceramic tiles depict plants and insects. The mosaic mural drew more than 300,000 visitors when it was displayed in the summer of 2007 in the U.S. Botanic Garden on the Capitol Mall, Washington, D.C.
Ullman, both a noted entomologist and a talented artist, will relate how the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program was developed, why the connections between art and science can be transformational to teaching in both formal and informal settings, and how community inspirations and educational infrastructure are needed to succeed. “As the winds of change moved across the landscape, bridges between visual and performing arts, design, science and technology were built and programs around this concept have arisen worldwide,” Ullman noted.
The settings and circumstances growing from this intellectual borderland yielded many unexpected outcomes that Ullman will share in her presentation.
Ullman, who holds a bachelor's degree in horticulture from the University of Arizona, Tucson, and a doctorate in entomology from UC Davis, joined the UC Davis entomology faculty in 1991, after serving on the faculty of the University of Hawaii.
She chaired the UC Davis Department of Entomology from 2004 to 2005, and then served as associate dean for undergraduate academic programs, UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, from 2005 to 2014.
Ullman focuses her research on insect/virus/plant interactions and the development of management strategies for insect-transmitted plant pathogens. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in entomology and the Science and Society Program.
A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Entomological Society of America, the UC Davis professor received the 2014 Excellence in Teaching Award from the Entomological Society of America and the UC Davis Chancellor's Achievement Award for Diversity and Community in 2007.