Hamilton will be at the 142nd annual Dixon May Fair on Friday, May 12.
Not the crowd-pleasing Broadway musical, but a crowd-pleasing scorpion named Hamilton, a resident of the UC Davis Bohart Museum of Entomology. He's owned by Bohart Museum associate Wade Spencer, a UC Davis student majoring in entomology.
Spencer will be bringing Hamilton, as well as his scorpion named Celeste, to the Dixon May Fair's Floriculture Building on Friday afternoon for fairgoers to see and photograph (but not to hold; they're venomous).
Throughout the four-day fair, May 11-14, the Bohart Museum will be showcasing 17 drawers of "Oh My" insect specimens in the Floriculture Building. Scientists will be showing live critters and chatting with fairgoers on two days: Friday, May 12 (1 to 6 p.m.) and on Saturday, May 13 (noon to 5 p.m.)
The live critters? They're part of the Bohart Museum's popular "petting zoo," which includes Madagascar hissing cockroaches and walking sticks. Fairgoers can hold and photograph them.
On Saturday, May 13, entomologist and educator Jeff Smith, curator of the butterfly and moth specimens at the Bohart, will be bringing part of his global insect collection of specimens. He and other scientists also will staff the live petting zoo of Madagascar hissing cockroaches and walking sticks on Saturday.
Tabatha Yang, the Bohart Museum's education and outreach coordinator, said the 17 drawers of insect specimens spotlight bees, aquatic insects, camouflaged insects, phasmids/mantids, predators/parasitoids, sexual dimorphism, fly-fishing, entomophagy (consumption of insects and arachnids), common California insect pests, leg diversity (Harlequin beetle as center), wing diversity (moth-based), mimicry, orchid pollinators, Hemiptera/Odonata (think dragonflies), cockroaches, and butterflies.
The Bohart display is just one part of the scores of exhibits in the Floriculture Building, organized by superintendent Dave Hutson of Vacaville, a 10-year UC Master Gardener. Exhibits include colorful bee and butterfly motifs.
Elsewhere on the fairgrounds, exhibitors are showing other insect-themed work, such as the scorpion sculpture crafted by Roberto Ortiz of the Dixon FFA. It's displayed in the Youth Building.
Over in the Livestock Barn, you can see Buggy, owned by Sophia DeTomasi, 10, of the Vaca Valley 4-H Club, Vacaville. Buggy, however, is not an insect--it's a fine-looking 275-pound Berkshire hog that Sophia raised. The origin of the name? Sophia's family fondly calls her "Buggy" and she's passed the moniker on to her 4-H project. Buggy shares a pen with a hog named Bea, raised by Sophia's sister, Toni.
Theme of the 142nd annual Dixon May Fair is "Farm to Fair." It's also known as the 36th Agricultural District, the oldest district fair and fairgrounds in the state of California. The fair supports the communities of Dixon, Vacaville, Fairfield, Rio Vista, Elmira, Woodland and Davis, according to chief executive officer Patricia Conklin. The grounds are located at 655 S. First St., Dixon. (For the schedule of events, access thewebsite.)
The Bohart Museum, founded in 1946 and directed by Lynn Kimsey, UC Davis professor of entomology, is located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane, UC Davis campus. It houses a global collection of nearly eight million insect specimens, plus the live petting zoo and a year-around gift shop. The Bohart Museum is open to the public Mondays through Thursdays.
The theme of the 142nd annual Dixon May Fair set Thursday, May 11 through Sunday, May 14, is "Farm to Fair."
But you could also say: "Bugs to Fair!"
That's because the Bohart Museum of Entomology at the University of California, Davis, will have a presence there, all in the Floriculture Building.
Specimen boxes--the "Oh, My" drawers--will showcase butterflies, dragonflies, beetle and bees. Bohart Museum associate and entomologist Jeff Smith, butterfly and moth curator, will be at the fair all day Saturday to meet with fairgoers, talk about insects, and show his insect specimens, collected from many parts of the world, including Belize.
Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator, and graduate and undergraduate students will be there with live insects, including Madgascar hissing cockroaches and walking sticks "and an arachnid (spider) or two," part of the Bohart's live "petting zoo."
Plans call for the Bohart scientists to be at the fair from 1 to 6 p.m. on Friday, and from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
The Bohart Museum, located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane, UC Davis campus, is directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology. It houses a global collection of nearly eight million insect specimens. It's open to the public Mondays through Thursdays.
The Dixon May Fair (the 36th Agricultural District) is located at 655 S. First St., Dixon. It's the oldest district fair and fairgrounds in the state of California, and supports the communities of Dixon, Vacaville, Fairfield, Rio Vista, Elmira, Woodland and Davis, noted chief executive officer Pat Conklin. More information, including a schedule of events, is on its website.
No, don't contact your local opthamologist. Contact your local entomologist.
This is Bug Country.
What's new--and spotted--at the Bohart Museum of Entomology--is a t-shirt adorned with two 12-spotted lady beetles (aka ladybugs).
Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and a UC Davis professor of entomology, points out that this native American beetle, Coleomegilla maculate, is commonly known as the “pink-spotted beetle” or the “12-spotted beetle.”
"Think pink" because most of these species are pink.
The t-shirt is the newest item in the Bohart Museum's gift shop. It comes in toddler, youth and adult sizes, with all proceeds benefitting the museum's many educational and outreach activities. It was drawn by graduate student Charlotte Herbert and designed by Fran Keller, assistant professor at Folsom Lake College who received her doctorate in entomology from UC Davis.
What about that beetle? Well, it's spot on. On each of the two wing covers (elytron) are six black spots.
Like other lady beetles, it's a predator. It gobbles up aphids, along with mites, scale insect insect eggs and small larvae. You can find it on such aphid-infested crops as wheat, sorgum, sweet corn, alfalfa, soybeans, peas, beans, cotton, potatoes, cole crops, tomatoes, asparagus and apple. “Reported prey include pea, green peach, melon (cotton), cabbage, and potato aphids and greenbug; eggs of European corn borer, imported cabbageworm, fall webworm, and corn earworm; asparagus beetle, Mexican bean beetle, and Colorado potato beetle eggs and larvae,” says BugGuide.net.
The pink-spotted or 12-spotted beetle, however, is quite unusual and not just due to its color and spots. Up to 50 percent of its diet can be plant pollen! Says BugGuide.net: “This is the only North American lady beetle that can complete its life cycle on plant pollen. Common pollen food sources are dandelion, squash, corn, and lily....Because pollen is an essential component of the diet of Coleomegilla, the planting or preservation of refuges, or interplantings, of early-flowering species with a high pollen load may be beneficial especially to provide a food source during late spring before the build up of aphids. Flowering dandelions, for example, have been recorded as a heavily used pollen source for dispersing adults in late spring potato fields.”
Meanwhile, back at the Bohart. Part of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, the Bohart Museum is located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane. It's the home of nearly eight million insect specimens, collected globally; a live “petting zoo” starring such critters as Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks and taranatulas; and year-around gift shop stocked with T-shirts, sweatshirts, books, jewelry, posters, butterfly habitats, insect-collecting equipment and insect-themed candy.
The museum, named for its founder, noted entomologist Richard M. Bohart (1913-2007, emeritus professor at UC Davis, traces its history back to 1946. It's open to the public Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is free.
To accommodate the public, the family friendly (and bug friendly) Bohart Museum holds open houses on specified weekends throughout the year. The next weekend open house (and the last of the 2016-2017 academic year) is Saturday, April 22. Set from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the open house is part of the 103rd annual campuswide UC Davis Picnic Day.
The UC Davis Bohart Museum of Entomology is again sponsoring two summer Bio Boot Camps: one for youths entering the seventh, eighth or ninth grade this fall, and one for youths entering grades 10 through 12 this fall.
"The camps focus on insect science and wildlife biology, due to our partnership with the UC Davis Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology," said camp coordinator Tabatha Yang, the Bohart Musuem's education and outreach coordinator.
The Bio Boot Camp, the seventh annual camp for middle school students, will take place Monday-Friday, June 19-23. It's based in Davis, but Thursday night features an overnight stay at the UC Berkeley's Sagehen Field Station, near Truckee. The total cost, including meals and housing, is $425.
Bio Boot Camp 2.0, the fifth annual camp for high schoolers, is set July 23 to 29. They will spend one night at UC Berkeley's Quail Ridge Reserve, near Winters. "The next day will be spent exploring UC Davis and the museums," Yang said. "Then Monday night through Saturday morning, the camp is at the Sagehen Field Station where the youths will be developing mini research projects." The total cost, including meals and housing, is $795.
Pre-enrollments take place January through March, and the campers are selected for formal enrollment in early April. "We do this to select the most genuinely interested campers," Yang explained. The process is already under way: the first application came from Germany.
Enrollment is kept low to provide quality experiences. The middle-school camp is limited to 12 students and the high school camp, to 10. Each camp has two instructors. The Bohart Museum Society sponsors need-based partial scholarships for several campers each year.
For more information, access the website at http://bohart.ucdavis.edu/summer-camp. Yang can be reached at at firstname.lastname@example.org or (530) 752-0493.
Greg Kareofelas, a Bohart Museum of Entomology associate with expertise on local butterflies, will be at the Bohart Museum's open house on Sunday, March 19 from 1 to 4 p.m. to meet informally with visitors, talk about butterflies and answer their questions.
The open house, themed "Eggs to Wings: Backyard Butterfly Gardening," takes place in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane, UC Davis campus. It is free and open to the public. No reservations are required.
“I've always had an interest in butterflies since I was a little kid,” said Kareofleas, a Davis resident who has studied butterflies “seriously” since the late 1970s. "Back then, there was no Internet and books on butterflies in California were minimal and it seemed that most of the books published were on East Coast butterflies or butterflies out of our region. It was the late 1970s, after all, and we couldn't just go on the Internet for butterfly identification.”
It was then that Kareofelas met butterfly guru Arthur Shapiro, UC Davis distinguished professor of evolution and ecology. Shapiro, involved in butterfly research for more than four decades, now posts his work on his website.) Shapiro authored Field Guide to Butterflies of the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento Valley Regions (University of California Press, 2007).
Kareofelas, a naturalist and avid photographer, now spends much of his time researching and photographing butterflies, as well as dragonflies and other insects, and speaking to nature-oriented organizations. He is also a regular at the Bohart Museum open houses where he enthusiastically talks about insects he's encountered.
UC Davis offers great resources, Kareofelas says. “For instance, you can get an insect identified at the Bohart Museum, and a plant identified at the Herbarium. And then there are the great resources like the Sacramento Native Plant Society, the UC Davis Botanical Society and the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden."
Kareofelas is pleased to see the growing interest in butterflies and their larval host plants (where butterflies lay their eggs). “All you need is a yard to attract them,” he said. “Plant the larval host plants. Plant nectar plants, such as the butterfly bush, for the adults."
Want monarchs living in our backyard? “Plant milkweed, their larval host plant," Karofelas says.
Kareofelas mentioned a few host plants that will draw specific species:
- Plant pipevine, aka Dutchmen's pipe, for the Pipevine Swallowtails
- Plant passionflower vine for the Gulf Fritillaries
- Plant fennel for the Anise Swallowtails
- Plant baby tears (in the nettle family) for Red Admirals
- Plant snagdragons for Buckeyes
- Plant Rose of Sharon for the Gray Hairstreaks
- Plant mallow for the Checkered Skippers
Kareofelas has reared all the common species, as well some of the rare ones, including the California dogface butterfly, the state insect. With permission, he collected eggs from the rarely seen California dogface butterfly at its most populous breeding site, on Placer Land and Trust acreage near Auburn. The butterfly (Zerene eurydice) lays its eggs on false indigo (Amorpha californica).
Kareofelas, who serves as a guide several times a year for tours hosted by Placer Land and Trust, said that one result of rearing the California dogface butterfly is the publication of the 35-page children's book, "The Story of the Dogface Butterfly," written by Bohart associate Fran Keller (now an assistant professor at Folsom Lake College) with illustrations by then UC Davis student Laine Bauer, and photos by Kareofelas and Keller.
The book, available in the Bohart Museum's gift shop, tells the untold story of the California dogface butterfly, and how schoolchildren became involved in convincing the State Legislature to select the colorful butterfly as the state insect. (See Bug Squad.)
The Bohart Museum's open house on Sunday will showcase butterflies in the area. A family craft activity will be making "wiggling caterpillars," with straw and paper, said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator for the Bohart.
Directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at UC Davis, the Bohart Museum is a world-renowned insect museum that houses a global collection of nearly eight million specimens. It also maintains a live “petting zoo,” featuring walking sticks, Madagascar hissing cockroaches and tarantulas. A gift shop, open year around, offers 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, Saturdays and Sundays and on major holidays. Admission is free. Special open houses take place throughout the academic year. The one on March 19 is the second to the last of the 2016-2017 academic year. The last one is Saturday, April 22, the campuswide UC Davis Picnic Day.