- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
The Bohart Museum of Entomology on the UC Davis campus is planning an open house on "How to Be an Entomologist" from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 27. The insect museum is located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge building, Crocker Lane, off LaRue Road.
The event is free and open to the public and is family friendly. This is the first of nine open houses during the 2014-15 academic year.
Plans call for a number of UC Davis entomologists to participate--to show and explain their work, said Bohart Museum director Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.
"We will have a pinning and butterfly and moth spreading ongoing workshop with Jeff Smith and tips on how to rear insects," said Tabatha Yang, the Bohart Museum's education and outreach coordinator. Smith, an entomologist in Sacramento, is a longtime donor and volunteer at the Bohart.
Representatives from the labs of molecular geneticist Joanna Chiu, assistant professor; bee scientist Brian Johnson, assistant professor; ant specialist Phil Ward, professor; insect demographer James R. Carey, distinguished professor; and integrated pest management specialist Frank Zalom, distinguished professor and current president of the 7000-member Entomological Society of America will share their research.
Other entomologists may also participate. "There will be a lot going on inside the Bohart and outside the Bohart," Yang said. "It will be very hands on."
Among the open house themes are “Parasitoid Palooza,” “Insect Myths” and “Pollination Nation." “Parasitoid Palooza” may be the first public celebration dedicated to parasitoids, “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.
- 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.
Kimsey, who became interested in entomology in pre-school, went on to receive her bachelor of science and doctorate in entomology (1975 and 1979) from UC Davis. She joined the faculty in 1989 after serving as a visiting professor/lecturer at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University. She has directed the Bohart Museum of Entomology since 1990 and served as vice chair and interim chair of the Department of Entomology.
The Bohart Museum, founded by noted entomologist Richard M. Bohart (1913-2007), houses a global collection of nearly eight million specimens and boasts the seventh largest insect collection in North America. It also houses the California Insect Survey, a storehouse of the insect biodiversity.
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.
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 newest attractions in the petting zoo are Texas Gold-Banded millipedes, Orthoporus ornatus, which are native to many of the southwestern United States, including Texas. Millipede enthusiast Evan White of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science arranged for the permanent residents.
The museum's gift shop (on location and online) includes T-shirts, sweatshirts, books, jewelry, insect-collecting equipment and insect-themed candy.