The University of California, Davis is preparing for its fifth annual Biodiversity Museum Day.
Set from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13, it's a campuswide open house showcasing 11 specialized research and teaching collections. It's free and open to the public.
New to the Biodiversity Day are the Nematode Collection, Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, California Raptor Center, Phaff Yeast Culture Collection and the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden.
They will join the Center for Plant Diversity, Botanical Conservatory, Paleontology Collections, Anthropology Collection, Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology, and the Bohart Museum of Entomology for a day of science exploration.
Biodiversity Museum Day is billed as a special day for the public to go behind the scenes to learn how scientists conduct research; gain first-hand educational experience; and see some of the curators' favorite pieces, including the history of the collection or the organism.
Parking is free. Visitors are encouraged to stroll or bike around the UC Davis campus to visit these diverse collections. They can explore displays, talk to scientists and students, and participate in family-friendly activities. This year students interested in applying or transferring to UC Davis are especially encouraged to visit.
All participating museums and collections have active education and outreach programs, but the collections are not always accessible to the public. For a full-day experience, the Biodiversity Museum Day has scheduled staggered hours:
- Anthropology Collections, Young Hall, open noon to 4 p.m.
- Arboretum, Headquarters along LaRue Road, open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Bohart Museum of Entomology, Academic Surge Building, open noon to 4 p.m.
- Botanical Conservatory, greenhouses along Klieber Hall Drive, open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- California Raptor Center, Old Davis Road, open 9 a.m. to noon
- Center for Plant Diversity, Sciences Lab Building, open 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, Bee Biology Road, open 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology, Academic Surge Building, open noon to 4 p.m.
- Nematode Collection, Sciences Lab Building, open 1 to 4 p.m.
- Paleontology Collections, Earth and Physical Sciences Building, open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Phaff Yeast Culture Collection, Earth and Physical Sciences Building, open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Most of the collections are located indoors. In the event of rain, alternative locations are planned for the outdoor sites. Maps, signs and guides will be available at all the collections, online, and on social media, including Facebook and Twitter, @BioDivDay.
For further information about the event, contact Ernesto Sandoval, director of the Botanical Conservatory, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (530) 752-0569.
Well, if you're the Bohart Museum of Entomology at the University of California, Davis, you do it with a family craft activity--inflating a balloon inside a balloon to get a "parasitoid" balloon.
Graduate student Charlotte Herbert, who studies with major professor Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis, staffed the "balloon station" at the Bohart Museum's "Parasitoid Palooza II" open house.
Adi Fry, 7, and her brother, Ethan Fry, 5, of Davis, were among those who learned about parasitoids as they inflated the double balloons.
"An insect parasitoid is a species whose immatures live off of an insect host, often eating it from the inside out," said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator. "It is part of their life cycle and the host generally dies. This sounds like a weird way to make a living, but there are more species of parasitoids than there are insects with any other kind of life history.” An example is a conopid fly that lays its eggs inside a bumble bee.
On the other hand, an insect parasite is a species that feeds on living animal tissue as external or internal parasites of any stage of another organism, according to Kimsey. This is part of their life cycle and the host typically does not die. An example is a flea feeding on a dog.
Rosemary Malfi, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Neal Williams, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, discussed conopid flies, also called thick-headed flies, which lay their eggs in some bees, wasps and ants. Malfi did extensive work on the interaction between conopid flies and bumblebee hosts. Some 800 known species of conopids are found throughout the world.
Bohart senior museum scientist Steve Heydon discussed jewel wasps, Pteromalidae, a worldwide family of wasps with some 3,450 described species. Many are biological control agents.
The next open house at the Bohart Museum will be part of the fifth annual Biodiversity Museum Day, a campuswide open house scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13. The "Super Sciene Day" will showcase 11 specialized research and teaching collections. It is free and open to the public.
New to the Biodiversity Day are the Nematode Collection, Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, California Raptor Center, Phaff Yeast Culture Collection and the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden. They will join the Center for Plant Diversity, Botanical Conservatory, Paleontology Collections, Anthropology Collection, Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology, and the Bohart Museum of Entomology for a day of science exploration.
The Bohart Museum, named for noted entomologist Richard Bohart, houses nearly eight million insect specimens, along with a live "petting zoo" (Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks and a rose-haired tarantula named "Peaches") and a year-around gift shop. It is located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane. The Bohart hosts open houses on specific weekends throughout the academic year, but it is also open to the public from 9 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 5 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays.
The tachinid fly is a parasitoid.
What's a parasitoid? And where can you go to learn about it?
"An insect parasitoid is a species whose immatures live off of an insect host, often eating it from the inside out," said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator of the Bohart Museum of Entomology, University of California, Davis. "It is part of their life cycle and the host generally dies."
Want to know more about them? You're in luck. The Bohart Museum will host “Parasitoid Palooza II” at its open house from 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 10 in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane. It's free and open to the public.
Senior museum scientist Steve Heydon, a global expert on jewel wasps, will give a 15-minute presentation on parasitoids and the group that he studies--the jewel wasps (Pteromalidae). His talk is from 2 to 2:15.
Rosemary Malfi, a postdoctoral fellow in the Neal Williams lab in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, will present a mini talk from 3 to 3:15 on some of the parasitoids she has worked with while completing her doctorate. She did extensive work on the interaction between conopid flies and bumblebee hosts.
Another group of parasitoids that will be highlighted at Sunday's open house will be the Strepsiptera, or twisted-wing parasites, an order of insects that the late UC Davis entomologist Richard M. Bohart (1913-2007) researched for his doctorate in 1938. Both the Bohart Museum and an entire family of Strepsiptera, the Bohartillidae, are named in honor of Professor Bohart.
The Bohart Museum, directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at UC Davis, 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.
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 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.
Upcoming open houses are:
- Saturday, Feb. 13: noon to 4 p.m.: Part of 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.”
More information on the Bohart Museum is available by contacting (530) 752-0493 or emailing email@example.com or Tabatha Yang at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"What's that?" you ask. As you edge closer, it takes off. "Missed it!"
Well, you won't want to miss the Bohart Museum of Entomology's open house on Sunday, Sept. 20 when the theme centers around dragonflies and damselflies.
Dragonfly/damselfly expert Rosser Garrison of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) will share his knowledge of dragonflies and damselflies---and showcase some of his global specimens. The open house, the museum's first of the 2015-16 academic year, is from 1 to 4 p.m. in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane, corner of Crocker Lane and LaRue Road, University of California, Davis. Admission and parking are free.
Did you know that their ancestors existed before dinosaurs did? And that fossil records show that they were the world's largest flying insects, some with wingspans measuring three feet?
“Dragonfly relatives existed before the onset of the dinosaurs---Triassic Period, 250 to 200 million years ago,” Garrison said. Pointing out that these gigantic dragonfly-like insects had wingspans of about three feet, he said that “there was about 20 percent more oxygen in the atmosphere than there is now and other giant insects occurred during that period.”
Garrison will show some of his “Oh, My” dragonflies and videos. “Dragonflies are such neat creatures,” he said. “They are considered beneficial since both larvae---all aquatic--and adults are predators. But one is called the ‘Bee Butcher' and has a reputation for eating honey bees.”
Some interesting facts he related about dragonflies:
- They have a primitive flight mechanism compared to other insects, bees, butterflies, beetles and flies.”
- They, at least many 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 neat prehensile foldable lower lip unique in insects; it is used for capturing prey like mosquito larvae or even small fish.
Garrison is a senior insect biosystematist in the CDFA's Plant Pest Diagnostics Branch, Sacramento. He identifies various potential invertebrate pests (such as grasshoppers, true bugs and terrestrial mollusks) entering California and determines if they are threats to agricultural commodities.
Garrison's research has resulted in more than 80 published papers dealing with dragonflies, pest insects and includes monographic works and book chapters on tropical ecology and insect systematics.
Garrison was the senior author of two recently published volumes, “Dragonfly Genera of the ew 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).
He has served as the editor of Odonatologica, the quarterly journal of the Societas Internationalis Odonatologica, since January 1998. He has researched and collected dragonflies throughout much of the world, including Puerto Rico, Argentina and Costa Rica.
Garrison received two degrees from the University of California, Berkeley: his master's degree in 1974 and his doctorate in 1979. His doctoral dissertation was on “Population Dynamics and Systematics of the Damselfly genus Enallagma of the western United States (Odonata: Coenagionidae) 1979, published in 1984.
He joined CDFA in December 2004 after serving as a senior biologist/entomologist for Los Angeles County, where he identified all potentially important agricultural invertebrate pests entering the county, and provided insect identification services and advice on their control.
Following the dragonfly/damsel presentation, five other weekend open houses are 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, directed by Lynn Kimsey, 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.
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.
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. Parking is free on weekends.
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.