"Americans spend millions of dollars on sprays and pest control devices or services to kill insects. Yet much of this is unnecessary. Education about insects, spiders and their relatives is critical to reduce fear of these fascinating creatures and increase appreciation of the services they provide and their beauty. This is our goal."
"The Bohart Museum provides unique educational services to the UC Davis campus and the Northern California region," she continued. "We provide tours for everyone from preschoolers to retirees. We even designed and conducted a tour for a class of blind students this year! The Beth Spiva Timmons Foundation continues to support our outreach programs with another generous grant this year. Thanks to their donation, last year we developed a high tech program to take to schools to show students details of insects and spiders that they've never seen before. We'll be able to show them scales on butterfly wings, the gorgeous colors and textures of the insect exoskeleton, how crickets make sound, and so much more."
The Bohart Museum, home of nearly eight million insect specimens collected from around the world, also continues its national and international presence. Requests for information this year came in from National Geographic, the Discovery Channel and Myth Busters, to name a few.
Now longtime supporters Marius and Joanne Wasbauer have given the Bohart a challenge grant of $5000. "They hope that their gift will inspire others to give and they will match your gift one-for-one up to the $5000 program maximum," Kimsey related.
Funds will be deposited in the musuem endowment, which, Kimsey says will provide "invaluable oprating support to the museum, its collections, programs, and staff."
The challenge grant will extend until Dec. 31, 2012. Folks can donate online at http://www.bohartmuseum.com or mail a check to the Bohart Museum of Entomology, University of California, Davis, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616.
And those who offer a sponsorship of $2500 will be eligible to participate in the Bohart's biolegacy program; they can name a new species. "This could also go toward matching the Wasbauers' challenge grant, doubling the impact of your donation," Kimsey noted.
It's good to see all the services that the Bohart Museum offers, and the generosity of its supporters.
If you or someone in a household near you can draw a bug, then you need to head over to the Bohart Museum of Entomology on the UC Davis campus on Saturday afternoon, Dec. 15.
The Bohart Museum is hosting an open house from 1 to 4 p.m. in Room 1124 Academic Surge on Crocker Lane. It's free and open to the public.
The theme: "Insects in Art."
The person (all ages invited) who submits the most creative bug drawing between 1 and 3:30 p.m. will win a t-shirt at around 4 p.m.
Here's what you do: draw a bug that will fit into a button about 2-1/4 wide. The Bohart Museum folks will insert it into their button-maker machine. If your bug art is selected as the most creative, you take the button home--and your prize, an insect-related t-shirt.
The open house will feature the illustrations of Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart and professor of entomology at UC Davis; the late Mary Foley Benson of Davis; and Ivana Li, an undergraduate entomology student and president of the UC Davis Entomology Club.
Visitors also will be able to see the original plates for the children’s book, “The Story of the Dogface Butterfly,” written by Fran Keller, doctoral candidate in entomology, and Laine Bauer, who received her degree in art in June from UC Davis. Greg Kareofelas of Davis, a Bohart volunteer, contributed photos.
Expanding on the open house theme, Heydon said that “Insects and Art” began as early as the caveman days. Cave drawings found in Spain depict honey gatherers from more than 10,000 years ago.
“Insects in art are found in scientific illustrations and are represented on fabric, paintings, toys, jewelry and other media,” Heydon said.
The Bohart Museum houses a global collection of nearly eight million insect specimens and is the seventh largest insect collection in North America. It is also the home of the California Insect Survey, a storehouse of the insect biodiversity. Noted entomologist Richard M. Bohart (1913-2007) founded the museum in 1946.
In addition to the insect specimens, the Bohart houses a “live petting zoo” of Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks and tarantulas; and a gift shop filled with t-shirts, sweatshirts, jewelry, posters, insect nets, and insect-themed candy.
Bohart officials schedule weekend open houses throughout the academic year so that families and others who cannot attend on the weekdays can do so on the weekends. The Bohart’s regular hours are from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The insect museum is closed to the public on Fridays and on major holidays. Admission is free.
The remaining weekend open houses:
Sunday, Jan. 13, 1 to 4 p.m.
Theme: "Extreme Insects"
Saturday, Feb. 2, 1 to 4 p.m.
Theme: "Biodiversity Museum Day"
Sunday, March 24, 1 to 4 p.m.
Theme: "Aquatic Insects"
Saturday, April 20: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Theme: UC Davis Picnic Day
Saturday, May 11, 1 to 4 p.m.
Theme: "Moth-er's Day"
Sunday, June 9, 1 to 4 p.m.
Theme: "How to Find Insects"
So, you're looking for that perfect, one-of-a-kind holiday gift. One that will not only be memorable but a conversation piece.
How about a biolegacy gift? Name that bug!
You can obtain naming rights for this cute little black and white weevil with red polka dots (below) for a donation of $2500 to the Bohart Museum of Entomology, University of California, Davis.
Bohart Museum Society member Henry Hespenheide, professor emeritus from UCLA, collected the weevil a couple of years ago in Costa Rica, said Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis.
This species, from genus Macrocopturus, is waiting to be described. And waiting for a name.
Besides the honor of naming it, “Your donation directly supports species discovery and student education in Entomology through scholarships," Kimsey said. "By naming this species you are promoting science education, species discovery and conservation.”
"The names have to pass judgment in a peer-reviewed journal," Kimsey said. "Our collaborating systematists are under obligation to publish these names according to the Zoological Code of Nomenclature."
Other species at the Bohart Museum are also ready to be named, she said. Want more information? Contact Kimsey at email@example.com or (530) 752-5373.
But one thing's for sure: this little weevil is definitely unique.
See no weevil, hear no weevil, and speak no weevil.
But you can definitely name it.
It's a strange little insect.
A reader likens it to "a cricket on steroids."
A Van Nuys resident says she always wondered what they were. "I've lived in this house for 17 years, and a few times a year I see this strange insect in my backyard. It is always either dead or dying. It has a really large head and seems to be a bit top-heavy and has problems walking. I have never seen these insects anywhere but in my backyard and no one seems to know what they are. I feel badly for the little critters, since they don't seem to be thriving."
A Vacaville resident encountered this "unknown species of insect" in her backyard. Her dog discovered the first one. Dead. She discovered the second. Alive.
Guess what they found? A Jerusalem cricket, also known as a "potato bug" because it occasionally feeds on potato tubers.
They're among the largest insects found in California and elsewhere in western North America, says Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and professor of entomology at UC Davis.
The adult is characterized by its "large shiny brown abdomen with dark stripes, large ovoid head and spiny hind legs."
These ground dwellers crawl (slowly) but they don't fly. They belong to the family Stenopelmatidae. The common species found in California is Stenopelmatus fuscus, Kimsey says.
Kimsey also says they are harmless, although if you handle them, they may bite.
So when you're digging around in your backyard, you may find them under rocks, logs or boards. They feed on plant roots and tubers. "They generate sound by rubbing the hind leg against the side of the abdomen (stridulation)," Kimsey says.
In her Fact Sheet on Jerusalem Crickets posted on the Bohart Museum website: Kimsey points out that "Unlike most other crickets, female Jerusalem crickets frequenty kill the males after mating."
Ah, a touch of the praying mantis behavior!
We've seen Jerusalem crickets beneath the grounds of the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road, UC Davis. We've also seen their predators: birds of prey, including owls and hawks, but never the prey and predator together.
Seems like a tasty treat for a burrowing owl.
The UC Davis-based Bohart Museum of Entomology, home of nearly eight million insect specimens, is a good place to start.
Last Sunday two little 18-month-old girls intently watched an observation bee hive, much as their older counterparts would gaze at a computer screen.
The hive, an educational tool, was from the nearby Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility.
The toddlers quickly spotted the queen bee, the one with a red dot on her thorax. They watched the worker bees tend to her every need. They watched the nurse bees feed the brood, and undertaker bees carry off their dead.
With ears pressed closely to the hive, they listened to "The Buzz."
Tilly Matern of Woodland and Vivienne Statham of Davis knew what was making the buzz.
"Bees," said Tilly. Then she looked at a painted bug on the floor and identified another insect. "Ant," she said.
The occasion: the Bohart Museum's open house, themed "Insect Societies."
It doesn't appear that they will develop entomophobia (fear of insects) or apiphobia (fear of bees) or myrmecophobia (fear of ants) any time soon.
Start 'em while they're young and who knows--maybe they'll become entomologists!
Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at UC Davis, serves as the director of the Bohart Museum, located at 1124 Academic Surge on Crocker Lane (formerly California Drive. The insect museum includes a live "petting zoo," complete with Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks and a rose-haired tarantula. There's also a gift shop filled with t-shirts, sweat shirts, posters, jewelry, insect nets and insect-themed candy.
The Bohart Museum has scheduled its next weekend open house (free and open to the public) for Saturday, Dec. 15 from 1 to 4 p.m. The theme: "Insects in Art." Check the schedule for the remaining open houses for the 2012-2013 academic year.
Although special weekend open houses are held once a month, visitors can tour the museum from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday. It is closed to the public on Fridays and on major holidays.