The Bohart Museum of Entomology is hosting its annual "Parasitoid Palooza" from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct.19.
The event, free and family friendly, takes place in Room 1125 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane, UC Davis campus.
"An insect parasitoid is a species whose immatures live off of an insect host, often eating it from the inside out," said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator of the Bohart Museum. "It is part of their life cycle and the host generally dies."
Senior museum scientist Steve Heydon, who researches Pteromalids or jewel wasps, will present his work and answer questions. Graduate student Socrates Letana will also field parasite questions from the crowd.
There are some 3,450 described species of Pteromalids, found throughout the world and in virtually all habitats. Many are important as biological control agents.
Also planned at the open house:
- A family craft activity, to be announced
- Sampling of Chirp Chips, from the Bohart Museum's recent entomophagy open house
- Display of orange and black Harlequin beetles (just in time for Halloween) from Jasmin Ramirez Bonilla of the Ian Grettenberger lab, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology
- Display of pumpkin-eating pests--cucumber beetles--which can be a pest on squashes, cucumbers and other members of the cucurbits family.
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.
Special attractions include a “live” petting zoo, featuring Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks, praying mantids and tarantulas. Visitors are invited to hold some of 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 holds special open houses throughout the academic year. Its 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 emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or Tabatha Yang at email@example.com.
A robber, aided by an accomplice, stole the entomologist's wallet containing his rent money and credit cards, his newly purchased laptop, and an external hard drive containing scientific data.
Syed Fahad Shah, a lecturer in the Department of Entomology, University of Agriculture, Peshawar, Pakistan, was without a bike Friday (it had a flat tire), and was heading home from his lab. At 11:30, as he walked along Russell Boulevard, near Lake Boulevard, west of Highway 113, he noticed a car, its emergency lights flashing, parked on the other side of the road.
“I was looking at the car and thought that maybe they have some kind of problem with the car,” the international scholar related. As he continued walking home, a man leaped from behind a tree trunk, pointed his gun at him and cocked it “to let me know it was real."
The suspect, described as about six-feet tall, between 20 and 30 years old, with curly hair and a dark bandanna covering his face, demanded, one by one, his wallet, his cell phone and then his backpack. The culprit then heaved Shah's cell phone into the field, and bolted to the car where his accomplice, the driver, awaited. The car headed west.
Shah described the car as a sedan, “Like a Corolla,” and “dark in in color with rectangular back lights.” He retrieved his phone and quickly dialed the police. “The police arrived within five minutes and recorded my statement,” he said.
His black Armour Hustle backpack contained a laptop computer delivered to him only Monday, Sept. 9 at the Bohart Museum. His most valuable possession, however, was an external hard drive containing all his research data and lectures. It is a Seagate 1 terabyte hard drive.
Shah had not yet backed up the contents. Ironically, while enroute to the United States for his May 15-Oct. 30 research sabbatical on agriculturally important insects, someone stole his laptop at the Dubai airport. “But I was happy that I had the data backed up on my external hard drive, but this time I have no backup,” he said. “I only wish for my hard drive back.”
At UC Davis, Shah is studying parasitoid wasps in the family Pteromalidae under the guidance of Bohart senior museum scientist Steve Heydon.
In an announcement to the Department of Entomology and Nematology, Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and professor of entomology: reported that Shah “filed a police report but that probably won't help get his equipment back. The data is irreplaceable but we hope to help him replace the things stolen, so we have started a GoFundMe page to raise the needed fund."
The GoFundMe account, seeking $2000, is at https://bit.ly/2ldZ3ZF. For more information, contact the Bohart Museum at (530) 752-0493 or Lynn Kimsey at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator, at email@example.com.
Ever tasted a cricket? A mealworm? An earthworm?
You can if you attend the Bohart Museum of Entomology open house themed "Gobble, Gobble, Munch, Munch, Crunch: Entomophagy,” to be held from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21 in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane.
Open to the public, it's free and family friendly, said Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis.
“The theme is entomophagy and we have some samples from various companies coming our way,” said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator. Companies providing samples include Hotlix, Exo and Chirps Chips.
Said Kimsey: "Many insects are quite edible and if you try them you might find that crickets are the new shrimp. Personally, I like flavored mealworms."
"Just think of insects as terrestrial shrimp or crab," said senior museum scientist Steve Heydon.
The event will include learning about entomophagy, sampling insect-based foods, button-making (“I ate a bug at the Bohart”), viewing the collection, and handling insects from the petting zoo, which includes Madagascar hissing cockroaches, stick insects and tarantulas. Yang and Bohart associate Emma Cluff recently completed an online training for food handling, as required by UC Davis.
In preparation for the event, Bohart Museum volunteer Iris Bright, a second-year biology major at Sacramento City College, sampled crickets, mealworms and earthworms last week.
Bright liked them all. “They're good,” she said, as she tasted red, green and blue earthworms. She described them as having "a sweet and sour taste." The mealworms? “Somewhat cheesy.”
“The crickets are crunchy," she said, adding "I've had them before.”
Eighty percent of the world population, including those living in Central and South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, consume insects as a high protein source. Some 1700 species of insects are edible.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has registered some 1,900 edible insect species and estimates that there were, in 2005, some two billion insect consumers worldwide. FAO suggests eating insects as a possible solution to environmental degradation caused by livestock production. Insects and arachnids eaten globally include crickets, cicadas, grasshoppers, ants, various beetle grubs (such as mealworms, the larvae of the darkling beetle, various species of caterpillars (such as bamboo worms, Mopani worms, silkworms and waxworms), scorpions and tarantulas, according to Wikipedia.
Spencer Michels in a PBS News Hour report in May 2017, commented: “But the big advantage of eating insects is that they are generally healthier than meat. A six-ounce serving of crickets has 60 percent less saturated fat and twice as much vitamin B-12 than the same amount of ground beef. ..Bugs also don't spread disease to humans the way cows — think mad cow disease– or pigs can.”
“I do realize that insects do have a bad rap,” California Academy of Sciences entomologist Brian Fisher recently said. “Most people see insects are pests or as dangerous. But it's just the opposite. Insects are less dangerous and less of a problem for humans in terms of disease."
“We do have concerns about disease jumping from animals like pigs and cows to humans,” Fisher said. “But there are no worries about a disease jumping from an insect to humans. The more evolutionary distant we are from our food source, the less danger there is. … There is almost zero chance that any disease that affects an insect could actually impact a human after it's cooked.”
Celebrity bug chef David George Gordon, author of the “Eat-a-Bug” cookbook, extolled the virtues of the “bugs as food” movement when he addressed a UC Davis audience in 2014 at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. Insects are an environmentally friendly source of protein, he said, and bug farming reduces greenhouse gas emissions and is exponentially more water-efficient than farming for beef, chicken, or pigs.
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. It maintains a live "petting zoo," featuring Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks or stick insects, tarantulas, and praying mantids. The museum's gift shop, open year around, includes T-shirts, sweatshirts, books, jewelry, posters, insect-collecting equipment and insect-themed candy.
The museum is open to the public Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m., except on holidays. More information on the Bohart Museum is available on the website at http://bohart.ucdavis.edu or by contacting (530) 752-0493 or firstname.lastname@example.org. (See list of open houses for the 2019-2020 academic year.)
The open houses, scheduled primarily on the third Saturdays (except for the campuswide Biodiversity Museum Day), will take place in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane. They are free, family friendly and open to the public.
All ages are welcome, said Bohart director Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at UC Davis, and Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator.
Saturday, Sept. 21, 1 to 4 p.m.
Theme: "Gobble, Gobble, Munch, Munch, Crunch: Entomophagy" (eating insects)
Saturday, Oct. 19, 1 to 4 p.m.
Theme: "Parasitoid Palooza!"
Saturday, Nov. 16, 1 to 4 p.m.
Theme: "Arthropod Husbandry: Raising Insects for Research and Fun"
Saturday, Jan. 18, 1 to 4 p.m.
Theme: "Time Flies When You are Studying Insects: Cutting Edge Student Research"
Saturday, Feb. 15:
Ninth Annual Biodiversity Museum Day
The Bohart is part of the annual campuswide Biodiversity Museum Day, spotlighting museums and collections. This free, educational event offers visitors the opportunity to meet and talk with UC Davis scientists--from undergraduate students to staff to emeritus professors--and "see amazing objects and organisms from the world around us."
Saturday, March 21, 1 to 4 p.m.
Theme: "Busy Bees and Their Microbial Friends"
Saturday, April 18
106th Annual UC Davis Picnic Day
Picnic Day begins with the parade opening ceremony at 9:30 a.m., and the parade begins at 10 am. Most events hosted by Picnic Day run from 10 am to 3 p.m. or 4 p.m. All events hosted by Picnic Day start after 9 a.m. and end before 5 p.m.
Saturday, May 16, 1 to 4 p.m.
Theme: "Farmers' Foes and Friends"
Saturday, June 2020 (date and time to be announced)
Theme: "The Eight-Legged Wonders, with the American Arachnological Society"
The Bohart Museum, located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane, 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. It maintains a live "petting zoo," featuring Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks or stick insects, tarantulas, and praying mantids. The museum's gift shop, open year around, includes T-shirts, sweatshirts, books, jewelry, posters, insect-collecting equipment and insect-themed candy.
Director of the museum is Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at UC Davis. The staff includes Steve Heydon, senior museum scientist; Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator; and Jeff Smith, who curates the Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) section.
The museum is open to the public Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m., except on holidays. More information on the Bohart Museum is available on the website at http://bohart.ucdavis.edu or by contacting (530) 752-0493 or email@example.com.
"I've been in touch with the sculptor Solomon Bassoff (Faducciart) in Roseville," said Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis. "He did the caterpillar in the Davis Central Park. I'm thinking of a concrete sculpture roughly 4 feet by eight feet."
"The reason for this is that we have one of the world's largest tardigrade collections, which was compiled by Steve Heydon's predecessor, Bob Schuster," she said. "Tardigrades are really popular with kids in part because of their representation in the movies Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp, Star Trek and Family Guy."
Kimsey wrote about the tardigrades in her newsletter several years ago. The water bear "has to be one of the most peculiar and indestructible groups of animals known," she wrote. The microscopic and nearly indestructible tardigrade can survive being heated to 304 degrees Fahrenheit or being chilled for days at -328 F. And, even if it's frozen for 30 years, it can still reproduce." See video on EurekAlert.
They belong to their own phyllum, the Tardigrada (meaning "slow steppers"), and to date there are some 1,500 described species throughout the world. "Tardigrades can survive high pressures of more than 1,200 atmospheres found in the bottom of the abyss," Kimsey said. "They can tolerate 1,000 times more ionizing radiation than other animals."
"Tardigrades are awesome," Kimsey said. "They can dry out completely and then become immortal. In fact, SpaceIL may have left thousands of dried tardigrades on the moon when it crashed earlier this year."
Stuffed toy water bears are also popular in the Bohart Museum's gift shop.
The museum, which houses nearly 8 million insect specimens and a live "petting zoo" (including Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks and tarantulas), as well as the gift shop, is located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane.
The Bohart Museum Society has set up an account on Go Fund Me; see https://www.gofundme.com/f/waterbear-sculpture
- Great initiative that I am happy to support!
- Tardigrades were some of my childhood friends
- Favis seems like a great place for a tardigrade sculpture! I'm inspired by the tardigradologists & nematologists I've admired there. A eutardigrade seems like it'd be less prone to causing injuries, but I can support a heterotardigrade :)
- Robert Schuster, UCD Bohart Museum, was instrumental in my career studying tardigrades. He taught me how to identify the species (known at that time) and how to use the SEM. His tardigrade collection is housed in the Bohart Museum.