"A praying mantis on a stick?" you ask. 'Isn't the mantis the predator that grips its prey on its spiked forelegs? How do you get a mantis on a stick?"
Well, you cut a piece of paper to resemble a mantis head, draw its compound eyes, affix a popsicle stick to its mouth, add pipe cleaners for its antennae, and voila, there you have it, a "Mantis on a Stick."
That was the family arts-and-craft activity at the Bohart Museum of Entomology open house on "Praying Mantises," held last Sunday afternoon, Aug. 27.
While scientists discussed mantises and showed specimens to the guests, youngsters headed over to the arts-and-crafts table. (Later they would engage with the scientists.)
Bohart intern Melody Ruiz, a third-year entomology major at UC Davis, staffed the arts-and-crafts table. She invited children, youths and adults to create a mantis. They could change the compound eyes to smiling eyes, sorry eyes, frowning eyes, and other facial expressions.
Soraya Qaqunah, 4, of Davis, looked at the box of crayons, selected her choices, and began to color the eyes. Her brother Elias Qaqunah and his friend each chose to turn a mantis head into a tarantula head after admiring the nearby Mr. Curly, the Tarantula. Elias decided his tarantula should be yawning. "How to you draw a yawn?" he asked.
Meanwhile, Julietta Millsop, 3, of Davis, and Maya Lee, 4, of Woodland eagerly finished a Mantis on a Stick.
Ruiz, who coordinates the arts-and-crafts activities at the Bohart Museum open houses with Tabatha Yang, the Bohart's education and outreach coordinator, delights in helping others and sharing her knowledge of insects. "I've always had a curiosity for insects as they play such a big part of the world we share," Ruiz said. "I love being able to talk about the wonders of entomology with anyone who visits the museum; it makes me happy being able to be connected to a memory of learning something new. Studying entomology allows me to work in an environment where you truly learn something new every day."
The Bohart's next two fall open houses are from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23 and on Saturday, Nov. 4. The September open house is themed "Household Vampires." It will feature fleas, ticks and bed bugs. The November open house theme is "Monarchs." It will showcase monarchs, milkweed, scientists and research. All open houses are free and family friendly.
The Bohart Museum, located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building, 455 Crocker Lane, UC Davis, houses a global collection of eight million insect specimens, plus a live petting zoo and an insect-themed gift shop, stocked with t-shirts, hoodies, books, posters, jewelry, collecting equipment and more. Professor and renowned entomologist Richard Bohart (1913-2007), a member of the UC Davis Department of Entomology (now the Department of Entomology and Nematology) faculty for more than 50 years, founded the museum in 1946.
The event, "A Night at the Museum," is free and family friendly. It takes place in several places: (1) inside the insect museum, located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building, 455 Crocker Lane, UC Davis campus; (2) in the hallway of the Academic Surge Building; (3) directly outside the building for the blacklighting display; and (4) in the nearby Wildlife Classroom (Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology) for a insect drawing demonstration.
The focus is on moths as this is National Moth Week. Entomologist Jeff Smith, who curates the Lepidopterist collection, will be in "the moth aisle" with Bohart associate and naturalist Greg Kareofelas to show specimens and answer questions.
At the Bohart table, inside the museum, fly experts from around the world--including dipterists at the California Department of Food and Agriculture--will answer your questions and show specimens. They were in Reno to participate in the 10th International Dipterology Congress, held July 16-21.
The hallway will be a plethora of exhibits and activities.
- There will be a memorial to the late international moth authority, Jerry Powell, former director of the Essig Museum of Entomology, UC Berkeley, who died July 8 at age 90. "Jerry's rearing program was the most extensive in the history of the study of New World Microlepidoptera," according to an Essig post. "For over 50 years he and his students processed more than 15,000 collections of larval or live adult Lepidoptera. Resulting data encompass more than 1,000 species of moths, through rearing either field-collected larvae or those emerging from eggs deposited by females in confinement. This total includes more than 60% of an estimated 1,500 species of Microlepidoptera occurring in California."
- Visitors can hold the tenants of the live insect petting zoo, including Madagascar hissing cockroaches and walking sticks and take selfies.
- Science educator and entomologist Nazzy Pakpour, who holds a bachelor's degree in entomology from UC Davis, and a doctorate in microbiology, virology, and parasitology from the University of Pennsylvania and did postdoctoral research at UC Davis, will be showcasing her new children's book, "Please Don't Bite Me! Insects That Buzz, Bite and Sting. The book is illustrated by Owen Davy. "All proceeds of book sales will go to the Bohart Museum, thanks to Nazzy's generosity," said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator. (See Pakpour's biography on One Aggie Network). Pakpour was a member of a collaborative team who worked on a malaria-proof mosquito that made Time Magazine's "50 Best Inventions of 2010." See Bug Squad post: "Malaria-Proof Mosquito Takes the Spotlight."
- Microscopes also will be set up in the hallway for visitors to view insect specimens.
Wildlife Classroom: Multiple insect drawing demonstrations, "How to Draw Bugs," will be given Professor Miguel Angel Miranda of the University of the Balearic Islands (UBI), Spain, who just returned from the International Dipterology Congress. He is a zoologist, entomologist and noted insect illustrator.
Opogona omoscopa (Opogona crown borer)
Achyra rantalis (garden webworm)
Ephestiodes gilvescentella (dusky raisin moth)
Spodoptera exigua (beet armyworm)
Spodoptera praefica (western yellow-striped armyworm)
Also outdoors, sidewalk chalking will take place. Free hot chocolate and cookies will be served.
The museum, directed by UC Davis distinguished professor Lynn Kimsey, houses a global collection of eight million insects; an insect petting zoo; and a year-around insect-themed gift shop.
The Bohart Museum of Entomology open house on Saturday night, July 22, promises to be a fun and educational event. It's free and open to the public.
The open house, celebrating National Moth Week, will take place from 8 to 11 p.m. in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building, and also outside, where two blacklight traps will be set up to collect moths and other insects. The event is free and open to the public and is family friendly.
A $75,000 scanning electron microscope, on loan from Hitachi Corp. for research and outreach, will be available for visitors to see moth scales and other insect parts.
Bohart Museum senior scientist Steve Heydon and two Bohart associates "Moth Man" John DeBenedictis and naturalist-photographer Greg Kareofelas of Davis will set up the light traps and answer questions. Bohart associate Jeff Smith of Sacramento, who curates the butterfly and moth specimens, will field questions about moths and butterflies and show specimens from around the world.
The family craft activity will be to make a moth-shaped window ornament resembling stained glass, said Tabatha Yang, the Bohart Museum's education and outreach coordinator. Free refreshments--hot chocolate, herbal tea and cookies--will be served. Common Grounds of Davis is donating part of the refreshments.
On permanent display is the Trump moth, Neopalpa donaldtrumpi, a relatively new species that Bohart Museum scientists collected at Algodones Dunes, bordering Arizona and the Mexican state of Baja California. Evolutionary biologist and systematist Vazrick Nazari of Canada named it donaldtrumpi because the yellow scales on the tiny moth's head reminded him of the hairstyle of Donald Trump, then president-elect. The orange-yellow moth has a wingspan of less than one centimeter.
Nazari published the piece on the Trump moth Jan. 17, 2016 in the journal Zookeys and explained the name: “The reason for this choice of names is to bring wider public attention to the need to continue protecting fragile habitats in the U.S. that still contain many undescribed species." The Neopalpa donaldtrumpi belongs to the family, Gelechiidae of the Lepidoptera order.
The Bohart Museum, directed by Lynn Kimsey, UC Davis professor of entomology, houses nearly eight million specimens; a year-around gift shop; and a live "petting zoo," including Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks, and orchid praing mantis and tarantulas.
For more information on the open house, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 752-0493.
Members of the North American Forensic Entomology Association (NAFEA) will be special guests and presenters at the open house hosted from 1 to 5 p.m., Sunday, July 9 at the Bohart Museum of Entomology.
The event, free and open to the public, takes place in the Bohart Museum, located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane, UC Davis campus.
NAFEA is meeting for a conference at UC Davis July 7-12 and the Bohart open house will be part of its outreach activities. The scientists will field questions throughout the event.
"We'll have scientists from across the country here at this family-friendly event,” said Tabatha Yang, the Bohart Museum's education and outreach coordinator. Family arts and crafts activities are featured at each open house. A popular activity planned for the July 9th open house is maggot art, in which maggots are dipped into non-toxic, water-based paint and placed on a “canvas” (paper) to crawl around and create a painting. The activity, coined by entomologist Rebecca O'Flaherty, a former graduate student at UC Davis, is a traditional part of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology's Briggs Hall offerings at the campuswide UC Davis Picnic Day.
Forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology served as president of the organization in 2015. (See news feature about Kimsey, "The Fly Man of Alcatraz.") Current president is Jason Byrd of the Department Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Medicine University of Florida College of Medicine. The goal of NAFEA is to promote the development of forensic entomology throughout North America and to encourage co-operation with other similar international bodies. NAFEA defines its mission as “to provide a cooperative arena for forensic entomologists to interact and collaborate in ways that enhance the science, moral and ethical foundation, and reputation of forensic entomology.”
The fly photo below is of a male flesh fly (Sarcophagidae), "very likely genus Sarcophaga" (http://bugguide.net/node/view/458576/bgimage), according to senior insect biosystematist Martin Hauser of of the Plant Pest Diagnostics Branch, California Department of Food and Agriculture.
The July 9th open house is one of three open houses scheduled this summer. The others are:
Saturday, July 22, Moth Night from 8 to 11 p.m.: Moth Night, held in conjunction with National Moth Week, will enable visitors to explore nighttime nature through a blacklighting setup, enabling the collection of moths and other insects. The event takes place in the courtyard in back of the Bohart Museum. The museum will be open throughout Moth Night.
Sunday, Aug. 27: Bark Beetles and Trees, Forest Health in California, from 1 to 4 p.m.: The event is in collaboration with Steve Seybold, USDA Forest Service entomologist and an associate of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. He and his students and staff will be there to show displays and answer questions.
The Bohart Museum, directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at UC Davis, houses a global collection of nearly eight million specimens. It is also 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.
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, open year around, includes T-shirts, sweatshirts, books, jewelry, posters, insect-collecting equipment and insect-themed candy.
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, Saturdays and Sundays and on major holidays. Admission is free.
More information on the Bohart Museum is available by contacting (530) 752-0493 or email email@example.com.
Traffic: Note that Old Davis Road that goes past the Visitors' Information Center will be closed due to construction of a paving project (https://www.ucdavis.edu/news/paving-project-close-old-davis-road/) Visitors should enter the campus via Highway 113 and take the Hutchison exit. The parking lot closest to the Bohart Museum is Lot 46.
Drum roll...Time's up...
If you answered "mealworms"--or the larval form of the darkling beetle, family Tenebrionidae--that's correct.
And if you visit the UC Davis Bohart Museum of Entomology's open house ("Keep Calm and Insect On") from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5 in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge building, Crocker Lane, you'll encounter them chewing on a Styrofoam head, "The Recycling Man."
“It turns out that mealworms have some hidden talents,” said Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis. “They're not just good for feeding to pet reptiles or eating in snacks from HotLix. “These darkling beetle larvae have some dynamic gut bacteria.”
Enter Entomology undergraduate student Wade Spencer. You may know him from Bohart Associate Fran Keller's video of him costumed as a peacock jumping spider and performing a courtship dance. That video drew more than 2 million hits. (See previous Bug Squad piece on Wade Spencer with a link to Keller's video, or visit the Bohart Museum's Facebook page.)
So for his project, Spencer purchased a Styrofoam head online, obtained a Styrofoam insert from a bicycle helmet, and inserted 60 mealworms. That was on Nov. 18. Meanwhile, they're munching away. “Listen and you can hear them chewing," he said.
"This is a recycling project that's all in the head,” Spencer quipped.
(Learn more about darkling beetles on the UC Integrated Pest Management Program's website.) The insects can be pests of squash, pumpkins, dry beans and figs and the like. The wormlike larvae are commonly eaten by folks engaging in entomophagy.
Also at the Bohart Museum open house on Dec. 5, it's a time for show and tell. Bring insect or spider specimens and ask questions of the entomologists.
Native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, UC Davis distinguished emeritus professor of entomology at UC Davis, will be available for discussions on bumble bees and other pollinators, and will sign his books. He is the co-author of “Bumble Bees of North America: An identification Guide” (Princeton University) and “California Bees and Blooms: A Guide for Gardeners and Naturalists” (Heyday).
The Bohart Museum houses a global collection of nearly eight million specimens. It is also 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. Special attractions include a “live” petting zoo, featuring Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks and a rose-haired tarantula named “Peaches.” Visitors are invited to hold the insects and photograph them.
The museum's gift shop, open year around, includes T-shirts, sweatshirts, books, jewelry, posters, insect-collecting equipment and insect-themed candy.
The Bohart Museum hosts special weekend open houses throughout the academic year. All are free and open to the public and families are encouraged to attend. The 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, Saturdays and Sundays and on major holidays. There is no admission but donations are appreciated.
More information on the Bohart Museum is available by contacting (530) 752-0493 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Tabatha Yang (email@example.com) does public education and outreach and conducts groups tours.