- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Well, the Bohart Museum of Entomology at the University of California, Davis has done it one better.
No free kittens--not in an insect museum! Free cockroaches!
A sign in the museum, which houses a global collection of nearly eight million insect specimens--plus a live "petting zoo" that includes Madagascar hissing cockroaches, stick insects and tarantulas-- indicates "Unsupervised children will be given an espresso, cake and 5 pet cockroaches."
Bohart associate Emma Cluff, who created the sign, definitely possesses a delightful sense of humor.
What's in the museum?
Bees, wasps and ants (order Hymenoptera) comprise 30 percent of the collection; beetles (order Coleoptera), 20 percent; moths and butterflies (order Lepidoptera), 18 percent; true bugs (order Hemiptera), 15 percent; and flies (order Diptera), 12 percent, according to Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis.
Founded in 1946 by Richard M. Bohart (1913-2007) and located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Drive, UC Davis campus, the museum is the home of the seventh largest insect collection in North America; and the California Insect Survey, a storehouse of insect biodiversity. The museum's gift shop is stocked with T-shirts, sweatshirts, books, jewelry, posters, insect-collecting equipment and insect-themed candy.
The Bohart Museum is open to the public from 8 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays. More information is available on the website or by contacting (530) 752-0493 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Tabatha Yang serves as the education and outreach coordinator.