If you gift this to a family, friend or yourself, no one can ever take it away. It can't be stolen, damaged or lost. You'll never wear it out. It will never go out of fashion. It will always be considered special, creative, generous and thoughtful.
I mean, how many people get to name a new species of weevil?
In this case, it's naming rights for a cute little polka-dotted black and white weevil. For a donation of $2500 to the Bohart Museum of Entomology, University of California, Davis, it's yours.
To name, that is.
Bohart Museum Society member Henry Hespenheide, professor emeritus from UCLA, collected the weevil a couple of years ago in Panama, said Bohart Museum director Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at UC Davis.
This species is from genus Macrocopturus. Its relatives are distributed widely in the Western Hemisphere from Florida and the West Indies to South America, and currently include more than a hundred known species. Most Macrocopcurus are probably wood-borers as larvae, and the Florida species is a pest of mahogany, Kimsey says. Although most species are colored to blend in with the bark on tree trunks, this species is unusual and striking in having the bright spots of red scales.
Genus: Dipara species #1
Origin: Democratic Republic of Congo
Describer Steve Heydon
This delicate black jewel is tiger-striped with white bands and dotted with purplish metallic patches. This species is relatively common in the gallery forests along the river courses of west central DRC, but it can be collected only by means of yellow pan traps deployed on the forest floor. Similar species exist throughout the world, but mysteriously, no one has a good idea what they feed on.
Genus Callocleonymus species #1
Describer: Steve Heydon
This new species will be the first representative of the genus to be found in North America. This species is so rare, it is known from only a handful of specimens. It is native to the bottomland hardwood forests of the Gulf Coast.
Genus: Hedychridium species #1
Describer: Lynn Kimsey
Members of the genus Hedychridium are among the most brilliantly colored of the chrysidids, with bright metallic blues, greens and even reds. This new species has all of that brilliance in blues and greens. These wasps are nest parasites of predatory, solitary wasps. They are like small jewels flitting about on the ground.
Genus: Psilochalcis species #1
Origin: Southern California
Describer: Steve Heydon
This new species of Psilochalcis is from the Algodones sand dune system of southern California. These tough little wasps survive in an area where daytime temperatures soar above 110˚ regularly, and the temperature near the sand exceeds 160˚ F. The females lay their eggs in the pupal stage of their hosts, probably small some small moth found feeding on the desert bushes.
Genus: Agapophytus nov. sp1
Describer: Shaun Winterton
Genus: Agapophytus nov. sp2
Describer: Shaun Winterton
Genus: Lagenosoma species 1
Describer: Shaun Winterton
Genus: Undescribed genus and species
Describer: Shaun Winterton
For more information on the Biolegacy Program, contact Lynn Kimsey at email@example.com or call the main Bohart lineat (530) 752-0492.
That's the theme of the Bohart Museum of Entomology open house from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5 in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane, University of California, Davis.
In addition to the many exciting activities planned that day--it's free and open to the public--you can visit the museum's gift shop and find something “buggy” for holiday season for you or your family and friends. The gift shop is also open during the museum's regular hours, from 9 to noon and 1 to 5 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays.
Want a monarch butterfly t-shirt? Check.
Want some dragonfly earrings? Check.
Want some stocking stuffers, such as see-through lollipops with tasty crickets inside? Check.
Want an insect net for the budding entomologist in your family? Check.
Want some books on bees and bumblebees or a children's book on California's state insect, the dogface butterfly or a children's book on a butterfly found in the Amazon forest? Check.
Here are some of the items available at the Bohart Museum:
- Earrings and necklaces (with motifs of bees, dragonflies, moths, butterflies and other insects)
- T--shirts for babies, children and adults (walking sticks, monarch butterflies, beetles, dragonflies, dogface butterflies and the museum logo)
- Insect candy (lollipops with either crickets and scorpions, and chocolate-covered scorpions)
- Insect-themed food, Chapul bars made with cricket flour, and flavored mealworms and crickets
- Insect collecting equipment: bug carriers, nets, pins, boxes, collecting kits
- Plastic insect toys and stuffed animals (mosquito, praying mantis, bed bug and others)
- Handmade redwood insect storage boxes by Bohart Museum associate Jeff Smith
- Posters (Central Valley butterflies, dragonflies of California, dogface butterfly), prints of selected museum specimens
- Books by museum-associated authors:
- The Story of the Dogface Butterfly (Fran Keller, Greg Kareofelas and Laine Bauer), Insects and Gardens Insects and Gardens: In Pursuit of a Garden Ecology (Eric Grissell), Bumble Bees of North America: An Identification Guide (co-authored by Robbin Thorp), California Bees and Blooms: A Guide for Gardeners and Naturalists (co-authored by Robbin Thorp), Guide to Butterflies of the San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento Region (Art Shapiro), Butterfly Wish (Steve Stoddard, pen name S.S. Dudley), and multiple dragonfly books by Kathy Biggs.
- Notecards of bees and other pollinators by yours truly and Mary Foley Benson's wasp and caterpillar art
- Bohart logos (youth t-shirts, stickers and patches
- Used books
- Gift memberships
- Naming of insect species in the biolegacy program
All proceeds go for a good cause--funding the operation of the Bohart Museum. Directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at UC Davis, it houses nearly eight million insect specimens from throughout the world. Another popular attraction is the live "petting" zoo where you can hold and photograph Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks and a rose-haired tarantula named "Peaches."
Keep calm and insect on!
Drum roll...Time's up...
If you answered "mealworms"--or the larval form of the darkling beetle, family Tenebrionidae--that's correct.
And if you visit the UC Davis Bohart Museum of Entomology's open house ("Keep Calm and Insect On") from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5 in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge building, Crocker Lane, you'll encounter them chewing on a Styrofoam head, "The Recycling Man."
“It turns out that mealworms have some hidden talents,” said Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis. “They're not just good for feeding to pet reptiles or eating in snacks from HotLix. “These darkling beetle larvae have some dynamic gut bacteria.”
Enter Entomology undergraduate student Wade Spencer. You may know him from Bohart Associate Fran Keller's video of him costumed as a peacock jumping spider and performing a courtship dance. That video drew more than 2 million hits. (See previous Bug Squad piece on Wade Spencer with a link to Keller's video, or visit the Bohart Museum's Facebook page.)
So for his project, Spencer purchased a Styrofoam head online, obtained a Styrofoam insert from a bicycle helmet, and inserted 60 mealworms. That was on Nov. 18. Meanwhile, they're munching away. “Listen and you can hear them chewing," he said.
"This is a recycling project that's all in the head,” Spencer quipped.
(Learn more about darkling beetles on the UC Integrated Pest Management Program's website.) The insects can be pests of squash, pumpkins, dry beans and figs and the like. The wormlike larvae are commonly eaten by folks engaging in entomophagy.
Also at the Bohart Museum open house on Dec. 5, it's a time for show and tell. Bring insect or spider specimens and ask questions of the entomologists.
Native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, UC Davis distinguished emeritus professor of entomology at UC Davis, will be available for discussions on bumble bees and other pollinators, and will sign his books. He is the co-author of “Bumble Bees of North America: An identification Guide” (Princeton University) and “California Bees and Blooms: A Guide for Gardeners and Naturalists” (Heyday).
The Bohart Museum 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. Noted entomologist Richard M. Bohart (1913-2007) founded the museum. Special attractions include a “live” petting zoo, featuring Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks and a rose-haired tarantula named “Peaches.” Visitors are invited to hold the insects 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 hosts special weekend open houses throughout the academic year. All are free and open to the public and families are encouraged to attend. The 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. There is no admission but donations are appreciated.
More information on the Bohart Museum is available by contacting (530) 752-0493 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Tabatha Yang (email@example.com) does public education and outreach and conducts groups tours.
And appropriately, butterflies adorned his tie.
Smith, who curates the 400,000 butterfly and moth collection at the Bohart Museum, was nominated by Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis.
Smith sat on stage with the other 2015 recipients: Jacqueline Beckley, Chuck Nichols and Tony Smith, alumni awards; Chris van Kessel, faculty; David Ginsburg, staff, and John Meyer, friend.
But since this is a Bug Squad blog, we'll focus on the "bugman." (Yes, "bugman" is in his email account.)
Smith has “brought us international acclaim and saved us $160,000 through donations of specimens and materials, identification skills and his professional woodworking skills," Kimsey wrote in her nomination. "This does not include the thousands of hours he has donated in outreach programs that draw attention to the museum, the college and the university.”
Kimsey praised Smith for completely reorganizing the butterfly and moth collection. “It's no small feat to rearrange this many specimens, housed in roughly one thousand drawers,” she said. “Many thousands of the specimens needed to be identified, and the taxonomy required extensive updating and reorganization.”
Lauding Smith's “phenomenal knowledge of urban insect and spiders,” Kimsey said: “We often go to him with questions we get from the public and from colleagues. He volunteers for our weekend open houses as often as he can, as well as the UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day in February and UC Davis Picnic Day in April. Few volunteers, faculty, students or staff work as well with the public as Jeff does. He has a wonderfully engaging way of talking to children and adults, and he knows just how to inspire and educate every age group. It's awesome to watch.”
Indeed, it is no easy feat to pin a butterfly or moth. Just ask research entomologist Tom Zavorink, a Bohart Museum associate.
"Personally, I am astounded by the thousands upon thousands of butterflies and moths that Jeff has prepared for display or scientific study," Zavorink said. "This is no small task because butterfly and moth specimens are usually brought from the field in envelopes or boxes with their wings folded over their backs or around their bodies, and preparing them for display or scientific study involves relaxing them in a humid chamber so their wings and legs can be manipulated, carefully spreading open the wings, positioning them on a flat surface, and securing them in that position until the specimen dries again. This is an onerous task that many entomologists, myself included, shun because we don't have the time, manual dexterity, or patience it takes to prepare quality specimens."
Smith puts it this way: “Entomology is my passion and the Bohart Museum is my cause.”
The Bohart Museum 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. Noted entomologist Richard M. Bohart (1913-2007) founded the museum.
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. See open house schedule.
They're an ancient insect. Their ancestors existed before dinosaurs. Indeed, fossil records show that they were the world's largest flying insects, some with wingspans measuring three feet.
Visitors at the Bohart Museum of Entomology open house last Sunday, Sept. 20 at the University of California, Davis, learned those facts--and more--when dragonfly expert Rosser Garrison of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) showcased his work.
Garrison, senior insect biosystematist in the CDFA's Plant Pest Diagnostics Branch, Sacramento, showed part of his worldwide collection of dragonflies and answered questions from the eager guests. He has researched and collected dragonflies throughout much of the world, including Puerto Rico, Argentina and Costa Rica.
Of the world's 6000 described species of dragonflies, Garrison has collected representatives of some 3500 different species. His collection totals 45,000 specimens.
Garrison displayed “The largest dragonfly in the world," Petalura ingentissima. This magnificent species, he said, was discovered in 1908 in North Queensland, Australia. Specimens are not often seen in collections. Among his other specimens: some of the smallest dragonflies including Nannothemis bella, Perithemis tenera (both eastern United States) and Nannophya phymaea (Singapore).
Some interesting facts about dragonflies:
- Dragonfly relatives existed before the onset of the dinosaurs---Triassic Period, 250 to 200 million years ago
- They have a primitive flight mechanism compared to other insects, bees, butterflies, beetles and flies.
- Dragonflies mostly mate on the wing.
- They are not poisonous and they do not sew up people's ears (“devil's darning needles”). However, one group of large dragonflies are called—appropriately—"Darners."
- Larvae have a prehensile foldable lower lip unique in insects; it is used for capturing prey like mosquito larvae or even small fish.
Garrison's research has resulted in more than 80 published papers and book chapters. He served as the senior author of two recently published volumes, Dragonfly Genera of the New World. An Illustrated and Annotated Key to the Anisoptera (2006), and Damselfly Genera of the New World. An Illustrated and Annotated Key to the Zygoptera (2010), both published by The Johns Hopkins University Press). He has also contributed chapters on invertebrate ecology for The Food Web of a Tropical Rain Forest (Chicago University Press, 1996) and Manu. The Biodiversity of Southeastern Peru (National Museum of Natural History, 1996). Since January 1998, he has edited Odonatologica, the quarterly journal of the Societas Internationalis Odonatologica.
Garrison holds two degrees from the University of California, Berkeley: his master's degree in 1974 and his doctorate in 1979. His doctoral dissertation explored “Population Dynamics and Systematics of the Damselfly genus Enallagma of the western United States (Odonata: Coenagionidae) 1979," published in 1984.
Among those attending were several other dragonfly experts/enthusiasts:
- Andrew Rehn, a stream ecologist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who received his doctorate in entomology (dissertation on dragonflies) at UC Davis in 2000 with major professor Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis
- Kathy Claypole Biggs of Sebastopol and McCloud, author of Dragonflies of California and Dragonflies of the Greater Southwest and a children's coloring book on dragonflies
- Sandra Hunt-von Arb, senior biologist at the Pacific Northwestern Biological Resources, McKinleyville, Calif (she started Western Odonata on Facebook on Feb. 8 and leads dragonfly workshops in Northern California; and
- Greg Kareofelas, Bohart Museum associate who is a naturalist and photographer who studies dragonflies, butterflies and other insects. He and Fran Keller (doctorate in entomology from UC Davis) created the dragonfly and butterfly posters available for sale at the Bohart.
The dragonfly open house was the first of the academic year. Other weekend open houses scheduled:
Saturday, Dec. 5, 1 to 4 p.m.: “Keep Calm and Insect On.”
Sunday, Jan. 10 from 1 to 4 p.m.: “Parasitoid Palooza II”
Saturday, Feb. 13: Biodiversity Museum Day
Saturday, April 16, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: UC Davis Picnic Day
Saturday, July 31, 8 to 11 p.m.: “Celebrate Moths.”
The Bohart Museum, located in Room 1134 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane, houses a global collection of nearly eight million specimens, including 469 different species of dragonflies. 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. Noted entomologist Richard M. Bohart (1913-2007) founded the museum. It is open to the public Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m.
More information on the Bohart Museum is available by contacting (530) 752-0493 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Tabatha Yang (email@example.com) is the public education and outreach coordinator.