Oh, what a (moth) night!
The event took place from 8 to 11 p.m. The crowd marveled at the moth specimens inside the museum, and then stepped outside to check the moths flying into blacklighting and mercury vapor setup.
Like a moth to a flame...
"We saw some familiar faces, but many new ones," said Tabatha Yang, public education and outreach coordinator for the Bohart Museum, home of nearly eight million insect specimens.
It was "getaway weekend" for a mother-daughter team. They booked room reservations a Davis hotel, and did some shopping. Then it was Moth Night. "The daughter, a high school sophomore, came here for the 4-H Field Day this spring," Yang noted. Keenly interested in entomology, the teenager decided the Bohart open house "was a good reason for her to come back."
Another teenage visitor was in a Tech Trek (a STEM outreach event for junior high girls) and brought her family to the open house.
Highlights of Moth Night included:
- Entomologist and Bohart associate Jeff Smith of Rocklin demonstrating Lepitodera preparation using material that entomologist Fran Keller recently brought back from Belize.
- "Moth Man" John DeBenedictis of Davis and Bohart senior museum scientist Steve Heydon showing the crowd the moths flying into the blacklighting and mercury vapor lighting setup.
- Bohart associate Greg Kareofelas of Davis guiding guests through the moth collection
Also helping were volunteers Maia Lundy, Fran Keller, Wade Spencer, Laura Morgan, Alex Nguyen, Melissa Cruz, Joel Hernandez, James Heydon, Anita Pratap, and Maria Nansen with daughters Miriam, 15, Emma, 12, and Molly, 6. Their father is a UC Davis entomologist. The sisters helped the visitors create buttons.
The event wrapped up "the very successful 10 weekend events we hosted this past academic year," Yang noted. "Stay tuned for the 2015-2016 Bohart 0pen Huse schedule to be announced later in August."
The museum is directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.
Do you know where your moths are?
Moths, considered among the most diverse and successful organisms on earth, will be featured at the museum's first-ever evening open house on Saturday, July 18.
The special activity, “Moth Night,” will take place from 8 to 11 p.m. at 1124 Academic Surge on Crocker Lane, UC Davis campus. Free and open to the public, it will include outdoor collecting; viewing of the Bohart Museum's vast collection of worldwide moth specimens; demonstrations on how to spread the wings of a moth; and information on how to differentiate a moth from a butterfly. Free hot chocolate will be served.
Tabatha Yang, public education and outreach coordinator of the Bohart, said that after the sun sets, a black light demonstration will be held. Visitors will collect moths from a white sheet, much as residents do around their porch lights.
Entomologist Jeff Smith of Rocklin, an associate and 27-year volunteer at the Bohart Museum, will show visitors how to spread the wings of moths. Smith curates the 400,000-specimen Lepidoptera collection at the Bohart Museum. Smith organizes and identifies the butterflies and moths, creates the drawers that display them, and the labels that identify them. In between, he shares his passion for insects and spiders at outreach programs. Smith has spread the wings of 200,000 butterflies and moths, or about 7000 a year, since 1988.
Naturalist Greg Kareofelas of Davis, a longtime associate at the Bohart Museum, will assist with the open house and the outdoor collecting. The Bohart Museum, directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at UC Davis, is a world-renowned insect museum that houses a global collection of nearly 8 million specimens.
Moths continue to attract the attention of the entomological world and other curious persons. Scientists estimate that there may be more than 500,000 moth species in the world. “Their colors and patterns are either dazzling or so cryptic that they define camouflage,” according to National Moth Week spokespersons. “Shapes and sizes span the gamut from as small as a pinhead to as large as an adult's hand.” Most moths are nocturnal, but some fly during the day, as butterflies do.
Do you know how to tell butterflies and moths apart? You'll learn from the experts Saturday night, July 18.
Forget about “fun and games.” Think “fun and names.”
The open house at the Bohart Museum of Entomology at the University of California, Davis, last Sunday afternoon focused on the theme, "Name That Bug! How About Bob?"
One of the activities involved matching a photo of a celebrity or well-known person with the genuine name of an insect.
Harrison Ford has an ant named for him: Pheidole harrisonfordi.
Someone named an Australian horse fly after singer Beyonce. It's Scaptia beyonceae
Bill Gates? Eristalis gatesi, a Costa Rican flower fly.
Charlie Chaplin is immortalized with in an insect named Campsicnemius charliechaplini, a long-legged fly.
Greta Garbo is a solitary wasp: Rostropria garbo.
Then there's the slime mold beetle that someone opted to name Agathidium bushi, for former President George W. Bush, the 43rd president. (That one proved quite controversial.)
The Bohart Museum sponsors a nonprofit biolegacy program, an opportunity to name an insect after yourself or a loved one. This is a lasting dedication and will help support future research and discovery at the Bohart, said Lynn Kimsey, museum director and a professor of entomology at UC Davis.
For example, there's a new wasp species named Lanthanomyia bockleri or “The Bockler Wasp,” thanks to a concerted drive to memorialize award-winning biology teacher Donald “Doc Boc” Bockler of Arlington (Mass.) High School. Two of his former students from the Class of 1993--Tabatha Bruce Yang of the Bohart Museum and Margaret Dredge Moore of Arlington--launched the fundraising drive to name an insect after him. Senior museum scientist Heydon published his work on Lanthanomyia bockleri Heydon in Zootaxa, a worldwide mega-journal for zoological taxonomists and the name is now official. (For more information, and to get a list of species available for naming, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.)
The Sunday crowd enjoyed meeting scientists from the Bohart Museum and the California Department of Food and Agriculture. They talked about names and admired the insect specimens and held the critters in the live "petting zoo." The pets? Rose-haired tarantulas, walking sticks and Madagascar hissing cockroaches.
The Bohart Museum, founded by UC Davis entomologist Richard M. Bohart (1913-2007), houses a global collection of nearly eight million specimens. It is also the home of the seventh largest insect collection in North America, and the California Insect Survey, a storehouse of the insect biodiversity. The museum's regular hours are from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. The facility is closed to the public on Fridays and on major holidays. Admission is free. Open houses, focusing on specific themes, are held on weekends throughout the academic year.
The last open house of the year is "Moth Night," set from 8 to 11 p.m., Saturday, July 18 on the Bohart Museum grounds. Participants will learn how to collect moths and identify them.
More information on the Bohart Museum is available by contacting Tabatha Yang, education and public outreach coordinator at (530) 752-0493 or email@example.com./span>
Naming our son was easy. We opted for family names handed down 200 years ago.
A puppy? When we acquired a half-St. Bernard, half-German Shepherd mix (the same breed as Buck in Jack London's Call of the Wild), that was easy, too. The puppy insisted on eating the daisies, so...ta-dah.."Daisy."
Kitten? We named our calico kitten, "Indiana Joan," heralding her adventuresome personality that included--but was not limited to--falling into the fish pond. Fast forward to 15 years later. A woman is holding a "Free" sign outside a supermarket and inside a cardboard box is a frightened tuxedo kitten about to be taken to a shelter. We did not name her "Free." Since she proved to be a mix of princess (loves to cuddle, and still does) and warrior (loves to hunt rodents, and still does), she became "Xena, the Warrior Princess."
But how do you name an insect? It's not as simply as "Daisy" or "Indiana Joan" or "Xena the Warrior Princess."
The theme is "Name That Bug! How About Bob?"
Bob is a very good name. Just ask forensic entomologist Bob Kimsey of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, and his wife and colleague, Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and UC Davis professor of entomology.
And at least one big box supermarket is quite fond of "Bob." Ever noticed the sign, "Remember BOB?" at the cash register? That clues the cashier to check "Bottom of the Basket (BOB)."
So, when you attend the Bohart Museum of Entomology open house on May 17, you'll meet and chat with taxonomists and other scientists at the Bohart Museum and the California Department of Food and Agriculture who will explain how insects are named. There also will be family arts-and-crafts activities. The event is free and open to the public.
It's good to know that you, too, can name insects. The Bohart Museum sponsors a nonprofit Biolegacy Program, an opportunity to name an insect after yourself or a loved one. For example, there's a new wasp species named “The Bockler Wasp," thanks to a concerted drive to memorialize a beloved and award-winning high school biology teacher.
When the retired science teacher, Donald “Doc Boc” Bockler of Arlington (Mass.) High School, died at age 65, two of his former students from the Class of 1993--Tabatha Bruce Yang of the Bohart Museum and Margaret Dredge Moore of Arlington--launched a fundraising drive to name an insect after him. They selected a newly discovered species in the genus Lanthanomyia and sought the name, Lanthanomyia bockleri.
Senior museum scientist Heydon recently published his work on Lanthanomyia bockleri Heydon in Zootaxa, a worldwide mega-journal for zoological taxonomists and the name is now official.
“Once an article goes through the scientific review process and is published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, the name of the new species is official and immortalized in the scientific literature,” explained Kimsey.
Kimsey described species-naming as “a unique, lasting form of dedication” and “a great honor both for the person giving the name and for the individual or other honoree whose name is being given to the species.”
Heydon explained that Lanthanomyia is a genus whose species are restricted to central and southern Chile and adjacent parts of Argentina. The new species is found in the Nothofagus forests of Patagonian Chile, including Chiloe Island. It belongs to a family of parasitic wasps called the Pteromalidae. “Unlike other related species, this one has a unique dorsal attachment of the head to the thorax," Heydon said. "If you see a specimen of Lanthanomyia with the neck attaching close to the top of the head, you know it is bockleri. Adults are reared from galls on Nothofagus and are thought to be parasites of gall-forming weevils.”
“Donald Bockler was fascinated by evolution and nature and he would have been proud,” said Yang, education and outreach coordinator at the Bohart Museum. Like many other Bockler students, she credits him for influencing her decision to pursue a career in science. For more information, and to obtain a list of species available for naming, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bohart Museum, founded by noted entomologist Richard M. Bohart (1913-2007), houses a global collection of nearly eight million specimens. It is also the home of the seventh largest insect collection in North America, and the California Insect Survey, a storehouse of the insect biodiversity.
The Bohart Museum's other special attractions include a “live” petting zoo, featuring Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks and tarantulas. Visitors are invited to hold the insects and photograph them. A crowd favorite is a rose-haired tarantula named "Peaches."
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's 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 and on major holidays. Admission is free. Open houses, focusing on specific themes, are held on weekends throughout the academic year.
The next open house is "Moth Night," set from 8 to 11 p.m., Saturday, July 18 on the Bohart Museum grounds. Participants will learn how to collect moths and identify them.
Want more information on the Bohart Museum? Contact Tabatha Yang at email@example.com or (530) 752-0493.
What a grand event!
When the University of California, Davis held its annual campus "Take Your Daughters (And Sons) to Work" Day today (April 23), the participants met one-on-one with entomologists, firefighters, physicians, plant specialists, veterinarians and scores of others in the UC Davis workforce.
It was one big open house.
At the Bohart Museum of Entomology, children's author S.S. Dudley (also known as retired scientist Steve Stoddard of medical entomologist Thomas Scott's lab in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology), entertained the crowd by talking about the places he's been, the insects he's seen and the people he's met. He is the author of “Butterfly Wish” and “Elf Hills.”
Joel Fuerte, 6, of Woodland, whose mother Gabriela "Gabby" Sanchez Fuerte, works for the School of Education, listened wide-eyed.
Joel then walked over to the live "petting zoo" and held walking sticks and a rose-haired tarantula named Peaches. Little Roxanne Bell, 7, whose mother Jenna works at the Mondavi Center, said that Peaches "tickled" her. Her expression? Priceless!
Meanwhile, Tabatha Yang, education and public outreach coordinator, led tours of the museum, which houses nearly eight million insects.
"Take Your Daughters (And Sons) to Work" goes by the name of TODS, but that doesn't began to explain what it's all about. It's more than just a career day. Officials say "it not only exposes girls and boys to what a parent or mentor does during his/her workday, but shows children the value of their education and provides an opportunity to share how they envision their future and begin steps toward their goals in a hands-on and interactive environment."
Yes, it does.
Maybe some day little Joel Fuerte will become a children's author and little Roxanne Bell, an entomologist. Or vice versa! Or, maybe they can do both, and follow the career path of Steve Stoddard, aka S. S. Dudley.