- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
The UC Davis professor and scores of other taxonomists would have been amazed at all "the undescribed species" that emerged from the arts-and-crafts activity at the Bohart Museum of Entomology open house on "Many-Legged Wonders" on March 18. Families created new species of arachnids, myriapods, isopods, tardigrades and other critters with colorful modeling clay and equally colorful pipe cleaners.
Doctoral candidate Emma Jochim of the Bond lab originated the clay project. UC Davis students staffed the arts-and-crafts table.
The creativity, color and camaraderie proved captivating. Lots of legs, no legs, red, blue, green...is that what I think it is?
The hierarchical classification probably went like this:
Order? Wait, I'm not sure!
Family? Well, it's part of some family.
Genus? I am not a genius--please tell me!
Species? Ummm....you decide!
At the open house, the 350-plus visitors learned about a wide array of critters, including spiders, scorpions, vinegaroons, centipedes, millipedes, myriapods, isopods and more. The "more" included tenants of the Bohart Museum's live petting zoo of Madagascar hissing cockroaches, tarantulas and stick insects.
Meanwhile, the family arts-and-crafts activity, a traditional part of the Bohart Museum's open houses, drew both experienced and budding artists throughout the afternoon.
The Bohart Museum, dedicated to "understanding, documenting and communicating terrestrial arthropod diversity," houses a global collection of eight million insect specimens, plus the live petting zoo, and an insect-themed gift shop. Founded in 1946 and named for UC Davis professor Richard Bohart, it is open to the public Mondays through Thursdays, from 8 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 5 p.m. More information is available on the Bohart website at https://bohart.ucdavis.edu or by emailing email@example.com.
The Bohart Museum is now preparing for the annual campuswide UC Davis Picnic Day on Saturday, April 15. This year is the 109th annual.