The open house set from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 23 in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building, 455 Crocker Lane, UC Davis. It's free and family friendly and parking is also free. It's an opportunity for attendees to learn more about the "nuisance insects," and ask questions.
The line-up, as of today:
- Lynn and Bob Kimsey of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology faculty. Lynn, a hymenopterist, is a UC Davis distinguished professor who teaches general entomology and the biodiversity of California insects and serves as the director of the Bohart Museum, and Bob is a forensic entomologist, specializing in public health entomology; arthropods of medical importance; zoonotic disease; biology and ecology of tick-borne pathogens; tick feeding behavior and biochemistry.
- Carla-Cristina "CC" Melo Edwards, a first-year doctoral student in the laboratory of medical entomologist-geneticist Geoffrey Attardo, associate professor of entomology, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. She will share her expertise on mosquitoes and show specimens.
- Moriah Garrison, senior entomologist and research coordinator with Carroll-Loye Biological Research (CLBR). She is scheduled to show live ticks and mosquitoes and field questions.
- Educators from the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District. They will discuss mosquitoes and their program
- Nazzy Pakpour, UC Davis alumna, Novozymes scientist and author of Please Don't Bite Me
- Jeff Smith, curator of the Bohart Museum's ;Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) collection. He will display butterfly specimens collected globally. Also on the "Lep crew" are Bohart volunteers Greg Kareofelas and Brittany Kohler.
Petting Zoo. A popular attraction is the live petting zoo; visitors are encouraged to hold or get acquainted with live Madagascar hissing cockroaches and stick insects
Family Arts and Crafts Activity. The event will be held outside and will highlight two collecting techniques, said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator.
- Clear Packing Tape Art. "Clear packing tape is a good way to collect small, hard-to-see insects," Yang said. "Glitter will mimic small insects like fleas or bed bugs. Putting the tape on white paper makes it easy to look at them under a microscope and for this craft it will make a pretty card."
- Making insect collecting or "kill" jars. Participants are asked to bring a recycled jar. "This should be a clean and dried glass jar with a wide, metal top--think jam, pickle, peanut butter jars. Four to 16-ounce jars work well. We will have some on hand as well, but recycling is good! We will fill the bottom with plaster of paris and let it dry and teach people how to use it properly, using something like nail polisher remover containing ethyl acetate as the killing agent. A UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology video explains the procedure: https://youtu.be/s8yCzFGzbn8?si=71sNmA5l8NyP1zj0
The Bohart Museum of Entomology has scheduled three open houses between now and Saturday, July 22.
The first open house is themed "Ants!" It's set from 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday, May 21. The Phil Ward ant lab, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, is planning the event.
The second open house, "Insects and Forensics," featuring forensic entomologist Robert "Bob" Kimsey, aka "Dr. Bob" of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, will be from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 3.
The third open house, and the last of the 2022-23 academic year, is "Night at the Museum," showcasing moths and flies and more. It's from 7 to 11 p.m., Saturday, July 22.
The open houses are free and family friendly. Parking is also free.
The Bohart Museum, directed by UC Davis distinguished professor Lynn Kimsey, houses a global collection of eight million insect specimens, plus the petting zoo and a gift shop stocked with insect-themed books, posters, jewelry, t-shirts, hoodies and more.
Dedicated to "understanding, documenting and communicating terrestrial arthropod diversity," the Bohart Museum, founded in 1946, is named for UC Davis professor and noted entomologist Richard Bohart. The insect museum is open to the public Mondays through Thursdays, from 8 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 5 p.m.
More information is pending.
Bob, a forensic entomologist, and Lynn, a hymenopterist and director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology, recently welcomed a joint namesake: Chryseobacterium kimseyorum.
It's a species found more than a decade ago inside the gut of a stick insect housed in the Bohart Museum of Entomology petting zoo.
“We've had a few things named after us but never bacteria--that's a first,” Lynn related.
Our story begins more than a decade ago when then UC Davis doctoral student Matan Shelomi, now an associate professor of entomology at National Taiwan University, Taiwan, was studying the digestive physiology of the stick and leaf insects, Phasmatodea, for his Ph.D, pursued under the guidance of his major professor, Lynn Kimsey. He isolated and cultured bacteria from the guts and cages of the stick insects. Some of the species seemed new to science, but Shelomi had neither the time nor the resources to prove it then.
He stored the microbes inside the deep freezers of the Phaff Yeast Culture Collection, UC Davis Department of Food Science and Technology.
"Thankfully, I kept all my notes from graduate school," said Shelomi, "so I was able to check and see which strains I had flagged as possibly new species. When I saw one of them was the same genus as the new microbe found in Taiwan, I realized this was an opportunity to describe them both together." So Shelomi emailed Kyria Boundy-Mills, curator of the Phaff Collection, “who had my old specimen revived and shipped across the Pacific.”
Analysis confirmed two new species. The result: A research article published April 19 in the International Journal of Systemic and Evolutionary Microbiology. The title:“Chryseobacterium oryctis sp. nov., Isolated from the Gut of the Beetle Oryctes rhinoceros, and Chryseobacterium kimseyorum sp. nov., Isolated from a Stick Insect Rearing Cage.”
Han named his species after the beetle he found it in. Shelomi named his species (which he found in Eurycantha calcarata, commonly known as the "Giant New Guinea Stick Insect” or “Thorny Devil Stick”) after his former bosses. The suffix -orum in kimseyorum indicates that the name honors both Kimseys. “Officially one cannot name a microbe after more than one person, but there is precedent, so the (journal) editors allowed it. My grad student wanted to name her microbe after her dog, BaBa, but the editors did not allow that. Spoil-sports!”
Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator of the Bohart Museum, relayed the news to a tour group visiting the insect museum on April 20. “I just used this story today with a tour group,” she told Shelomi. “I mentioned how your student was denied her dog's name. I love how this ties the Bohart and the Phaff Yeast collection together and then California and Taiwan.”
As for the stick insect, “It's pretty aggressive for a walking stick,” Lynn Kimsey said, noting that Andy Engilis, curator of the UC Davis Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology, told her about his work in Papua New Guinea. “These walking sticks would actually chase rodents out of their burrows and take over the burrows to rest in,” she related. “That's pretty tough for a walking stick.”
Meanwhile, the Kimseys are enjoying their new namesake. LynnKimsey already has seven other species named for her:
- Mystacagenia kimseyae Cambra & Wasbauer 2020 (spider wasp)
- Oligoaster kimseyae Soliman 2013 (tiphiid wasp)
- Exaerate kimseyae Oliviera 2011 (orchid bee)
- Spilomena kimseyae Antropov 1993 (solitary wasp)
- Manaos kimseyae Smith (argid sawfly)
- Spintharina kimseyae Bohart 1987 (cuckoo wasp)
- Neodryinus kimseyae Olmi 1987 (dryinid wasp)
Bob Kimsey has as at least two species named for him: Acordulacera kimseyi Smith, 2010 (sawfly) and Grandiella kimseyi Summers & Schuster (mite).
Shelomi, a Harvard University graduate who received his doctorate from UC Davis in 2014, served as a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Germany for two years before accepting a faculty position in 2017 at National Taiwan University.
Shelomi returned to UC Davis in 2017 to present a seminar on "Revelations from Phasmatodea Digestive Track Transcriptomics,” to the department.
Youngsters--and the young at heart--headed over to Briggs Hall during the 109th annual campuswide UC Davis Picnic Day to create art masterpieces--masterpieces involving maggots.
Using forceps, the artists dipped a maggot in water-based, non-toxic paint and let it crawl around a piece of white paper. Or they guided it. Different color? Different maggot dipped in a different paint.
What a conversation piece! And perfect for framing or posting on a refrigerator door.
Maggot Art has been a traditional part of the UC Davis Picnic Day since the early 2000s.
Rebecca O'Flaherty, a former graduate student of UC Davis forensic entomologist Bob Kimsey's, coined the educational teaching curriculum, "Maggot Art," back in 2001 when she was studying at the University of Hawaii. She was rearing blowflies for her forensic research and wanted an activity to draw the interest of elementary school students. She also wanted to generate interest and respect for forensic entomology.
Her Maggot Art quickly drew national interest. The CSI television show featured one of her works, “Ancient Offering,” which hung on the permanent set in Gil Grissom's office.O'Flaherty also exhibited her work at art shows, including a two-month exhibition at the Capital Athletic Club, Sacramento, in 2007.
And the maggots at the 2023 UC Davis Picnic Day? "The maggots are Calliphora vacinia, the blue bottle fly," Kimsey said. "Realize that there are likely close to 100 species that can be called blue bottle flies. This particular one is very large as an adult and has huge larvae that are perfect for Maggot Art."
"Although at certain times of the year, it is active in California, particularly around cities, it is not as common as others and I do not have a colony," Kimsey added. "There has been a lot of very famous research in entomology done on this species, particularly at University of Massachusetts and Harvard under Vincent Dethier, whose research has provided profound insights into human biology."
The Department of Entomology and Nematology ordered the maggots from Knutson's Sporting Goods, an Internet purveyor based in Brooklyn, Mich., which sells them as live fish bait and as research tools.
Or Maggot Art....
Were any of the objects ever "insects?" Like a lady beetle (aka ladybug), butterfly or bee? No?
Well, at the 109th annual campuswide UC Davis Picnic Day on Saturday, April 15, if you head over to Room 122 of Briggs Hall, located off Kleiber Hall Drive, you can participate in an insect scavenger hunt, sponsored by the Department of Entomology and Nematology and the Bohart Museum of Entomology. All entomological activities at Briggs Hall are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
You'll look at a insect graphics card (see below) and then you'll be asked to locate each one in the Bohart Museum's specimen drawers, borrowed for the day for the Briggs Hall event.
The reward: stickers! (And a claim to fame!)
"The scavenger hunt gives the visitors a chance to explore theBohart's outreach collection," said UC Davis doctoral student Grace Horne, co-chair of the entomological activities with forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey. "There will be several drawers of insects in Briggs 122 that people can look through to see if they can spot the insects on the check list." Horne is a member of the lab of urban landscape entomologist Emily Meineke, and a fellow of the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF-GRFP).
Meanwhile, be sure to head over to the Bohart Museum, located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building, 455 Crocker Lane, to check out the specimens. The Bohart Museum will be open on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The theme is "Bugs, Boom, Bang!"
The Bohart Museum, directed by UC Davis distinguished professor Lynn Kimsey, houses a global collection of nearly eight million specimens; a live "petting zoo"; and an insect-themed gift shop stocked with t-shirts, hoodies, jewelry, books and posters.
It 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 in 1946. One of the popular attractions is the Lepidoptera collection curated by entomologist Jeff Smith. The collection includes some 500,000 butterflies and moths. Another special attraction is the petting zoo, featuring Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks and tarantulas. Visitors are invited to hold the insects some of the tenants.
Walking Sticks (5 species):
- Great thin stick insects (Ramulus nematodes), native to Malaysia, dimorphic (blue males)
- Borneo thorny stick insect (Aretaon asperrimus), native to Borneo
- Vietnamese stick insect (Medauroidea extradentata), native to Vietnam
- Golden-eyed stick insect (Peruphasma schultei) native to Peru/Ecuador
- Australian Leaf insect (Extatosoma tiaratum), native to Northern forests of Australia
- Princess Herbert, the Brazilian salmon-pink bird-eating tarantula (Lasiodora parahybana). She is estimated to be around 20 years old, the oldest current resident of the Bohart Museum
- Peaches, the Chilean rose hair tarantula (Grammostola rosea)
- Cha-Cha, the Mexican fire-leg tarantula (Brachypelma boehmei)
- Coco McFluffin, the Chaco golden knee tarantula (Grammostola pulchripes), native to Paraguay and Argentina
- Two black widows (Latrodectus hesperus)
- One brown widow (Latrodectus geometricus)
- Madagascar hissing cockroaches (Gromphadorhina sp.)
- Giant Cave cockroach (Blaberus giganteus)
- Beatrice the Vietnamese centipede (Scolopendra subspinipes), the newest resident
- Ironclad beetles
- Bark scorpion
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. More information is available by contacting (530) 752-0493 or Tabatha Yang, education and public outreach coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
What's a picnic without bugs? See list of Picnic Day entomological activities on Bug Squad blog.