“Severyn asked if he could create the fly display case in the Ukrainian colors of blue and gold,” said Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and a UC Davis distinguished professor of entomology. "Of course!" she told him.
Korneyev, a researcher with the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Department of General and Applied Entomology, Kyiv, Ukraine, accepted a joint postdoctoral position with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) in September 2020. He joined the Kimsey lab and the Stephen Gaimari (CDFA) lab.
His fly diversity display was one of three newly created traveling display cases that the Bohart Museum showcased at its open house on April 23 during the 108th annual UC Davis Picnic Day. (Emma Jochim, a graduate student in the Jason Bond lab, and Megan Ma, an undergraduate student in the Bond lab, crafted a display on California spiders. Marissa Sandoval and Regina Fairbanks, both graduate students in Population Biology, focused on "Ants as Farmers.")
"Flies is one of the major insect orders with considerable ecological and human importance," he wrote. "Flies are important pollinators. Fruit flies are used as model organisms in research and have significant impact on agriculture. Flies and mosquitoes are vectors for diseases: malaria, dengue, yellow fever, human sleeping sickness and animal trypanosomiasis."
A member of the Ukrainian Entomological Society and the Entomological Society of America, Korneyev specializes in the systematics and taxonomy of the true fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae). His expertise includes morphological and molecular diagnostics, collection management, and the field collecting of insects.
Korneyev is the lead author of "Phylogeny of the Genus Tephritis Latreille, 1804 (Diptera: Tephritidae)," published in May 2020 in Arthropod Systematics and Phylogeny. Gaimari is one of the co-authors.
Korneyev holds a doctorate in entomology (2016) from the I.I.Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. He received both his bachelor's degree and his master's degree in zoology, with honors, from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.
Korneyev served as a 2017-2018 Fulbright scholar with the Research and Development Program. Michigan State University, East Lansing. He speaks his native tongue, Ukrainian, as well as English and Russian.
Korneyev said today that "my family members in Ukraine are Ok, and my parents are in Germany. His parents had been trapped in Kyiv. "They were hiding in the metro. Later I convinced them to move out of the city."
The war is horrendous, he said. "Mariupol is almost like Sacramento and it was turned to dust."
"There is an official website to help the Ukrainian military," he said, adding that it is at:
Folks will do just about anything to remove cockroaches from their homes, but when it comes to UC Davis Picnic Day, you can't remove people from them.
Nor would UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology want that. Roach Races are an integral part of Picnic Day.
Hundreds of cheering fans showed up at Briggs Hall for the department's Roach Races, held Saturday, April 23 during the 108th annual UC Davis Picnic Day.
Entomology students organized and directed the races, but the real heroes and heroines were the American roaches, reared by UC Davis entomologists and ready to run.
Spectators applauded them wildly, but gasped when a few of the two-inch insects tried to escape into the crowd.
Cockroaches, which belong to the order Blattodea, are primarily nocturnal and “have a tendency to scatter when disturbed,” according to the UC Statewide Integated Pest Management Program (UC IPM).
That they did during the Roach Races.
“There are five species of cockroaches in California that are commonly regarded as pests: German cockroach, brownbanded cockroach, oriental cockroach, American cockroach, and Turkestan cockroach," according to UC IPM. "Indoor cockroaches are known as significant pests of public health, and outdoor species that find their way inside are considered serious nuisance pests as well as potential public health pests. Most cockroaches harbor within moist, dark crevices when not foraging for food. They crawl quickly and may climb rough surfaces. A few species can fly short distances or glide as adults during warm nights, but most have no wings, reduced wings, or otherwise do not fly."
UC IPM says that "Indoor infestations of cockroaches are also important sources of allergens and have been identified as risk factors for development of asthma in children, especially within multi-unit housing environments. The levels of allergens present have been directly correlated to both cockroach density and the conditions that contribute to heavy infestations, such as housing disrepair and poor sanitary conditions.”
Sometimes youngsters participating in Maggot Art, another insect-activity hosted by the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology during Picnic Day, get so attached to the maggots creating art for them that they ask to take them home.
Not so with the UC Davis Roach Races. Not a single person--not a single one--asked to take one home.
Would you like to be an egg, a larva, a pupa or a fly?
That was the question that awaited entomology enthusiasts who descended on Briggs Hall during the 108th annual UC Davis Picnic Day on Saturday, April 23.
It was a cardboard cutout...well, actually a wood cutout--that drew them to the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology display.
Jordan King, a UC Davis student majoring in mechanical engineering, and Noel Bresson, an art and history major, stepped right up. Jordan became a larva, and Noel, a fly.
Everyone around smiled.
It's good to be a fly and a larva.
The UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology's exhibits at Briggs Hall during the annual UC Davis Picnic Day wouldn't be complete without the Fly Fishers of Davis.
To the delight of wide-eyed youngsters, the anglers demonstrate the intricate art of fly tying, and then gift the finished product to them.
Veteran fly fisherman Paul Berliner, participating in the 108th annual UC Davis Picnic Day, held Saturday, April 23, asked Ella Eich, 6, of Davis if she'd like to have a fly tied for her.
She wasn't sure at first.
"I didn't think she was going to do it until she saw the color pink," he related. "That did it!"
Ella watched him create it, and beamed when he handed it to her. It's now her treasure.
The Fly Fishers of Davis (FFD) is comprised of some 100 members and it's based in Davis. "Our charter is to promote the art of fly-fishing and to protect our natural resources and fisheries through community education and conservation," according to the website. FFD is an affiliate of the Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF), an international non-profit organization and its Northern California Council (NCCFFF). Our meetings and membership are open to the public, and we provide equal opportunity membership without discrimination on sex, race, origin, age or religious orientation."
Last year, due to the cancellation of the UC Davis Picnic Day, many organizations went virtual with presentations. The Fly Fishers created a video (click here), narrated by Berliner that won a second-place award in the Blue and Gold category, spotlighting health, recreation and athletics.)
The Fly Fisher meetings, open to the public, are held the last Tuesday of each month, with a social at 7 and the general meeting at 7:30. (See website for details). All members receive the club's monthly newsletter, “The Fisherman's Line.” See the Newsletters for the current edition and back editions. Yearly dues for adults and families are $30 per year. Yearly dues for students are $15 per year.
Outings take them to such venues as Pyramid Lake, Lake Berryessa, McCloud River, Lake Davis and Trinity River and more.
And then there's the annual UC Davis Picnic Day where the anglers demonstrate the art of fly tying and answer a myriad of questions.
Let's go fishing!
Or at least, it's a conversation piece!
Maggot Art is a big draw!
Scores of youngsters and adults--most with great glee but some with a little trepidation--participated in the Department of Entomology and Nematology's annual Maggot Art event, this time switched from the Briggs Hall courtyard to the Green Hall courtyard.
Hudson Carr, 4, of Los Angeles--with Mom Angie Velazquez assisting, and Dad Justin Carr taking photographs-- eagerly picked up a maggot with forceps, dipped it into green water-based, non-toxic paint and watched it crawl around on his white paper. Then he picked up another, dipped it into yellow paint, and guided it on the paper. A few more colors and a few more maggots...and...Voila! Maggot Art!
His mother, a UC Davis alumnus (she majored in psychology and sociology and participated in the California Aggie Marching Band-uh!, now known as the UC Davis Marching Band), says Hudson has always like bugs. His smile confirmed it. Then the family was off to the Bohart Museum of Entomology to see more insects.
Meanwhile, entomology graduate student Elizabeth Slagboon of the Ian Grettenberg lab, and undergraduate student Summer Calvache, an animal biology major, offered assistance and encouragement to the Maggot Art artists.
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 forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey, 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.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art or Guggenheim Museum may not be ready to showcase the UC Davis Maggot Art, but the artists--and the maggots--are the stars of social media, family videos and refrigerator art.