- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
“Parasitoid Palooza” may be the first public celebration dedicated to parasitoids, said Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis, and Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator. “Parasitoids are animals that feed internally or externally on a host to complete their development to an adult, ultimately killing it,” Kimsey said. “These insects are important biological control agents. We use them as biological control agents because they kill the host, sometimes as an egg or a larva.”
Most of the open houses are from 1 to 4 p.m., except for an evening event, “Moth Night” on Saturday, July 18, and two events--Biodiversity Museum Day on Sunday, Feb. 8 and UC Davis Picnic Day on Saturday, April 18--which have extended hours.
The Bohart Museum, located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane, off LaRue Road, houses a global collection of nearly eight million specimens. The museum is open to the public four days a week, Monday through Thursday, but it sponsors special weekend open houses as well.
- Saturday, Sept. 27: “How to Be an Entomologist,” 1 to 4 p.m.
- Sunday, Nov. 23: “Insect Myths,” 1 to 4 p.m.
- Saturday, Dec. 20: “Insects and Art,” 1 to 4 p.m.
- Sunday, Jan. 11: “Parasitoid Palooza,” 1 to 4 p.m.
- Sunday, Feb. 8: “Biodiversity Museum Day,” noon to 4 p.m.
- Saturday, March 14: “Pollination Nation,” 1 to 4 p.m.
- Saturday, April 18: UC Davis Picnic Day, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Sunday, May 17: “Name That Bug! How About Bob?” 1 to 4 p.m.
- Saturday, July 18: “Moth Night,” 8 to 11 p.m.
The Bohart Museum is 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 insect museum is closed to the public on Fridays and on major holidays. Admission is free.
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 (on location and online) includes T-shirts, sweatshirts, books, jewelry, insect-collecting equipment and insect-themed candy.
Those interested in joining the Bohart Museum Society to support the educational mission can do so by signing up here. Benefits include:
- a subscription to the Bohart Museum Society quarterly newsletter
- invitation only special events and programs
- select member discounts on gift shop merchandise
- members-only Halloween open house
- access to the collections, and free information and identification services from staff
- use of the museum library of entomological books and periodicals
Through funds from the Bohart Society, the museum supports a visiting scientist program, high school student internships and associates program.
For those interested in naming an insect after themselves or for a loved one, the museum offers a BioLegacy program established to support species discovery and naming, research and teaching activities of the museum through sponsorships.