The event, free and family friendly, takes place in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building. 455Crocker Lane, and will feature noted dragonfly expert Rosser Garrison of Sacramento, widely recognized as one of the current leading experts of the taxonomy of New World Odonata.
Garrison, who retired in 2017 as a senior insect biosystematist in the California Department of Food and Agriculture's Plant Pest Diagnostics Branch, Sacramento, continues his research on dragonflies. He has collected more than 50,000 dragonflies specimens throughout the world. His collection now contains more than half of all the known species of the world.
“Dragonfly relatives existed before the onset of the dinosaurs---Triassic Period, 250 to 200 million years ago,” Garrison says. Some of these gigantic dragonfly-like insects had wingspans of about three feet.
Garrison offers other interesting facts about dragonflies:
- They have a primitive flight mechanism compared to other insects, bees, butterflies, beetles and flies.”
- They, at least many dragonflies, mostly mate on the wing.
- They are not poisonous and they do not sew up people's ears (“devil's darning needles”). However, one group of large dragonflies are called—appropriately—"Darners."
- Larvae have a neat prehensile foldable lower lip unique in insects; it is used for capturing prey like mosquito larvae or even small fish.
Garrison received his bachelor of science degree at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Ariz., in 1971, and both his master's degree (1974) and doctorate (1979) from UC Berkeley. From February 1981 to June 1982, he worked as a terrestrial invertebrate ecologist for the Center of Energy and Environment Research where he conducted ecological research in a tropical rain forest at the El Verde Field Station in Luquillo Forest, Puerto Rico.
He developed an interest in insects at age 3. Soon dragonflies and (later) damselflies captivated his interest "due to their overall beauty and fascinating biology."
"I continued to collect and maintain a collection of insects from an early age and later enjoyed identifying them using the third edition of the classic entomology text An Introduction to the Study of Insects by D.J. Borror and D. Delong," he said. His main interest is the systematics of Odonata with a strong emphasis on the Neotropical fauna.
He and his wife, Natalia von Ellenrieder, a senior insect biosystematist with CDFA, have worked intensively with the Odonata fauna of the Neotropical region. He has written more than 100 publications pertaining to Odonata, including three books: Dragonfly Genera of the New World: An Illustrated and Annotated Key to the Anisoptera (2006), Damselfly Genera of the New World: An Illustrated and Annotated Key to the Zygoptera (2010) and, as co-author, Dragonflies of the Yuangas: A Field Guide to the Species from Argentina (2007).
Garrison has written or co-written taxonomic revisions of more than 20 genera of New World Odonata, such as Enallagma (1984), Hetaerina (1990), Erpetogomphus (1994), Mnesarete (2006) and Telebasis (2009). His present taxonomic work, jointly with von Ellenrieder, focuses on the speciose genus Argia on which he has published several revisions (1994, 1996, 2019, 2019, 2007, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2022 (in press).
Garrison's publications include descriptions of more than 75 new species and six new genera of Odonata. In the Americas, he has done entomological field work in the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Guyana, French Guiana, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Argentina and Chile. He has also collected dragonflies in Australia, Papua New Guinea, China, Thailand, Namibia and Iran. One genus and 10 species of Odonates are named after him.
Bohart associate Greg Kareofelas said that other local dragonfly specialists and students "will be there to answer all manner of questions concerning dragonflies and damselflies. Bring photos you have taken to have identifications made." An arts and crafts activity for all ages is also planned.
Throughout the afternoon, the Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths), curated by entomologist Jeff Smith, will be open, as will the live insect display showcasing Madagascar hissing cockroaches, stick insects and tarantulas. Visitors are invited to touch or "pet" the cockroaches and stick insects and take selfies.
The Bohart Museum, founded in 1946, is directed by Lynn Kimsey, UC Davis distinguished professor of entomology. It is the global home of eight million insect specimens, as well as the live "petting zoo" and an insect-themed gift shop stocked with t-shirts, hoodies, books, posters, jewelry, collecting equipment and more. Named for UC Davis professor and noted entomologist Richard Bohart, it is open to the public from 8 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 5 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays.
It was like a moth to a flame--or 400 moths to a flame--when a record crowd surged into the Bohart Museum of Entomology Moth Night for its July 30th open house.
After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID pandemic, "how great it was to have the doors open again for the public," said entomologist Jeff Smith, curator of the lepidoptera collection.
The 400-member crowd, thought to be the largest crowd at the Bohart, other than at UC Davis Picnic Day, was there to learn more about moths, draw images of moths on the sidewalks, enjoy an evening of camaraderie, and head outside to watch moths and other insects fly onto the hanging white sheet, part of the blacklighting demonstration display.
“People could draw whatever they wanted on chalk (outside the Academic Surge Building), but there were a lot of moths, although my kids went rogue and drew a soccer field and a figure,” said Tabatha Yang, the Bohart Museum education and outreach coordinator.
“We ran out of hot water, for the hot cocoa packets, and cookies half-way through!" Yand said, quipping "I thought we would be eating left over chocolate chip cookies at the Bohart all week, but alas that is not the case.”
The blacklighting display (white hanging sheet, ultraviolet light, and a generator) served as a demonstration site. "We had a few small beetles and a few small moths come in," Yang said.
The open house, which drew visitors from as far away as Alameda, took place the weekend before UC Davis summer sessions, so “the popularity among the college set was perhaps because of that, she said. "People were free from studying their required courses and so, on their own, they decided to seek out and learn about moths!”
Kareofelas fielded scores of questions about the Polyphemus moth, Antheraea polyphemus. “They are currently making their appearance in Davis, so a number of folks have seen them and had photos on their phones," he said. "A number of folks came with the desire to see a specific moth, and if we were lucky, it was located in the aisle we had open. Jeff (Smith) had pulled the drawers, from other aisles, with a number of specific species and had them labeled--a lot of questions about these drawers.”
"Some wanted to see the hummingbird moth, so I got to show Hyles lineata to a number of folks," Kareofelas said. "We had a lot of just plain 'good ol' interest' in seeing something and learning something about moths. The night started with a bang and went right to 11:00, still busy!"
"I was surprised at how popular the event was, how busy the store was, and how many folks showed up," Kareofelas said. "It was a great night!"
Smith spent the entire open house demonstrating how to spread the wings of moths. “I couldn't believe how many people came, and I was never ABLE to leave the table where I was demonstrating spreading," Smith said. "There was a constant group of people watching and asking questions, such as 'How did you become interested in this?' and of course, lots of questions on the spreading materials and techniques."
“The moment the door officially opened at 8 p.m., groups came in and headed in all different directions," Smith said. "One couple from Dixon was there with a group of scouts and they must have hung around my demo for 45 minutes with all kinds of interest and questions. People showed me photos on their cell phones of the white-lined sphinx moth, the ceanothus silk moth, and even a buck moth (Hemileuca) from Mono Basin."
Smith said he allowed "at least 10 different young people try their own hand at spreading a moth or two and that was really well received. I had a ziplock bag of surplus, papered moths and let some of the people take some for themselves. When it finally slowed a bit, I finally got up and couldn't believe it was already past 11 p.m." He headed over to the moth aisle where Kareofelas was still showing and answering questions about moths. "Greg did an amazing job. And, I ended up talking to a couple who work on campus until nearly 11:30."
Outside, the crowd marveled at the chalk drawings, including the tiger moths created by Srdan Tunic of UC Davis, a second-year master's degree student in art history. Skilled in street art and in academics (his Linked In profile indicates "Curating: creating bridges between art and people, ideas and objects"), Tunic is the co-founder, researcher and guide of Street Art Walks Belgrade, where he conducts lectures and tours on street art, graffiti, and the history of Belgrade. He holds a bachelor of arts degree (2008) in art history from the University of Belgrade, Serbia, and a master of arts in cultural policy and management (2017) from the University of Arts, Belgrade. He expects to receive his master's degree in art history from UC Davis in May of 2023.
The Bohart Museum, located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building, 455 Crocker Lane, UC Davis campus, and directed by UC Davis distinguished professor Lynn Kimsey, houses a global collection of more than eight million insect specimens. It also houses a live "petting zoo" (Madagascar hissing cockroaches, stick insects and tarantulas) and an insect-themed gift shop. The latest t-shirt features a Jerusalem cricket, aka potato bug.
The open house, free and family friendly, is set from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, July 16 in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane, UC Davis campus, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the year the California State Legislature designated the dogface butterfly out to be the state insect.
Keller will read the book in the Wildlife Classroom, Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology, located next door to the Bohart Museum in the Academic Surge Building.
The book features photos by Bohart associate Greg Kareofelas and Professor Keller, and illustrations by former UC Davis student Laine Bauer. The California dogface butterfly, Zerene eurydice, found only in California, thrives at its major breeding ground, the Shutamul Bear River Preserve, a private preserve maintained by the Placer Land Trust (PLT).
It is there because its host plant, false indigo, Amorpha californica, is there, points out Kareofelas, who has reared multiple California dogface butterflies from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to adult. He serves as a volunteer docent for the PLT's Shutamul Bear River Preserve.
"Most people have never seen a single dogface butterfly (in the wild)," says Kareofelas. On a June 10th tour of the preserve, held specifically for the Bohart Museum, the group saw 75 to 100 dogface butterflies.
False indigo (Amorpha), its only known host plant, "is a rather inconspicuous shrub found with poison oak, willow, etc. near streambanks, often along boulder-strewn tributary streams in side canyons where access is very difficult," Shapiro says on his website.
1 p.m.: Event starts
Tabling: Placer Land Trust information table, Greg Kareofelas with live caterpillar/rearing project
- Craft: Yellow felt dogface butterflies shoe/hair/belt/wrist ornaments
- Craft: Color the dogface butterfly life cycle (paper or for $8.50 for bandanna)
- Craft: Paper caterpillar puppet
- Petting Zoo (Madagascar hissing cockroaches, stick insects, tartantulas)
- Butterfly collection exploration with entomologist Jeff Smith, curator of the Lepidoptera collection
- Butterfly banner photo-op
1:30 p.m.: Professor and author Fran Keller reads The Story of the Dogface Butterfly in the Wildlife Classroom
2:30 p.m.: Communication specialist Julia Boorinakis Harper Barbeau of Placer Land Trust shows four-minute video and Bohart associate Greg Kareofelas gives a talk/powerpoint about the history of the dogface (5-10 minutes) in the Wildlife Classroom
3 p.m.: Celebration dessert in the hallway with Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology
3:30 p.m.: Professor and author Fran Keller reads The Story of the Dogface Butterfly in the Wildlife Classroom
4 p.m.: Event ends
The Bohart Museum, directed by UC Davis distinguished professor Lynn Kimsey, houses a global collection of eight million insect specimens. It also maintains a live petting zoo and an insect-themed gift shop (including T-shirts, hoodies, books, jewelry, posters, collecting equipment)
The free, family event takes place in the Bohart Museum, located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building, 455 Crocker Lane, UC Davis campus. The event will focus on the biology and history of the butterfly. A family arts and crafts activity is also planned.
Found only in California, the rarely seen butterfly is also known as (1) "the flying pansy," referring to the male's spectacular black and yellow coloring, and (2) as a "dog head" butterfly (the markings on the male resemble a silhouette of a dog's head). The female is mostly solid yellow.
The butterfly's major breeding ground is in Auburn at a preserve maintained by the Placer Land Trust (PLT). The butterfly is there because its larval host plant--false indigo (Amorpha californica)--grows well there. "The dogface butterfly has a range from San Diego County to Sonoma County and is usually found in mountain and foothill locations," according to an article on the PLT website. (Watch a virtual tour at https://youtu.be/kJUk1AKGtKs)
Meanwhile, the folks at the Bohart Museum of Entomology, including director Lynn Kimsey, museum scientist Fran Keller and Bohart associate Greg Kareofelas (he shares his expertise as a docent leading tours and delivering presentations for the Pacific Land Trust), hope to connect with the fourth grade students of Betty Harding and Shirley Klein in the Dailey Elementary School, Fresno, who advocated it as the state insect. The teachers and students enlisted the help of State Assemblyman Kenneth L. Maddy, who authored AB 1834. "His bill was read for the first time on March 15, 1972 and referred to the Assembly Committee on Government Organization, according to a state website.
"On May 25, 1972, with a committee vote of 6-2, Mr. Maddy failed to garner the needed eight votes to recommend the legislation to a floor vote. It wasn't clear why two members voted against the bill, but a bill to designate an official state fossil also gone down to defeat earlier in the day. The Fresno Bee wrote, 'Dog-Faced Butterfly Has Wings Clipped.'
"Assemblyman Maddy vowed to fight on and promised a better result when the full committee was present in the next week.
"Good to his word, Mr. Maddy moved the bill out of committee and to approval by the full Assembly on June 19. 1972.
"A month later, on July 20, the Senate voted 29-0 to approve AB 1834.
"On July 28, 1972, Governor Ronald Reagan signed Assembly Bill No. 1834 designating the California dog-face butterfly the official State Insect of California." (Read more on how the butterfly became the state insect under the Ronald Reagan administration.)
In 2013, Fran Keller, a UC Davis doctoral alumnus and now a professor at Folsom Lake College, published a 35-page children's book, The Story of the Dogface Butterfly that includes includes photos by Kareofelas and Keller and illustrations by then UC Davis student Laine Bauer. They earlier created a poster. Both the book and the poster are are available for sale in the Bohart Museum gift shop.
The book tells the untold story of the California dogface butterfly, and how schoolchildren became involved in convincing the State Legislature to select the dogface butterfly as the state insect. As part of their research, Keller, Kareofelas and Bauer visited the Placer Land Trust habitat of the butterfly. Kareofelas reared the insect from egg to adult, photographing all stages. At the open house, Keller will do a book reading for youths and their parents at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Kareofelas has assisted with news documentaries on the butterfly:
- Rob on the Road, KVIE, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)
- Capital Public Radio, National Public Radio (NPR)
The history of how the butterfly became the state insect actually begins in the 1920s with the Lorquin Entomological Society of Los Angeles. In an October 1929 article in The Pan-Pacific Entomologist, a publication of the Pacific Coast Entomological Society, J. D. Dunder of Pasadena credits the Lorquin Entomological Society with seeking "to establish a state insect for California." Out of three choices, the group voted on the California dogface butterfly.
Dunder wrote that the butterfly is "strictly a native California butterfly" and that "thousands of specimens are used each year in entomological art work for trays, bookends, plaques, etc., so the species is already fairly well known to the pubic."
Today its image graces a first-class U.S. stamp and our California driver licenses. It's also depicted on the California State Fair monorail. The Lone Buffalo Vineyards and Winery, Auburn, memorialized it on labels of specially bottled wine, with proceeds helping conservation efforts of the Placer Land Trust to protect the butterfly.
Take a look at the amazing images that Greg Kareofelas captured of the life cycle of the California dogface butterfly.
Saturday, May 28, 1 to 4 p,m.
Open house, "Bugs in Ag: What Is Eating Our Crops and What Is Eating Them?"
Cooperative Extension specialist and agricultural entomologist Ian Grettenberger of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology faculty will explore the relationships between insects and agriculture. His areas of expertise include field crops; vegetable crops; insects, mites and other arthropods affecting plants; biological control of pests affecting plants; and beneficial insects. Grettenberger, who joined the UC Davis faculty in January 2019, targets a wide variety of pests, including western spotted and striped cucumber, beetles, armyworms, bagrada bugs, alfalfa weevils, aphids, and thrips.
Saturday June 25, 1 to 4 p.m.
Open house, "Eight-Legged Encounters"
This event is all about arachnids featuring scientists from across the country. It is in collaboration with the American Arachnological Society's 2022 meeting, scheduled June 26-30 on the UC Davis campus. The annual meeting will be hosted by two UC Davis arachnologists: Jason Bond, the Evert and Marion Schlinger Endowed Chair in Insect Systematics, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, and associate dean, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and Joel Ledford, assistant professor of teaching, Department of Plant Biology, College of Biological Sciences.
Public event to be held in California Hall for arachnid novices and experts alike. This is in collaboration with the American Arachnological Society's meeting at UC Davis.
Saturday, July 16, 1 to 4 p.m.
"Celebrating 50 Years of the Dogface Butterfly:California's State Insect"
Scientists and the public will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the California State Legislature' designation of the dogface butterfly as the state insect.
Folsom Lake College professor and Bohart scientist Fran Keller, and Bohart associate Greg Karofelas, a volunteer docent for the Placer Land Trust's dogface butterfly tours, will on hand to discuss the butterfly. The California dogface butterfly, Zerene eurydice, is found only in California. It thrives in the 40-acre Shutamul Bear River Preserve near Auburn, Placer County. The preserve, part of the Placer Land Trust, is closed to the public except for specially arranged tours.
Keller is the author of 35-page children's book, The Story of the Dogface Butterfly, with photos by Keller and Kareofelas, and illustrations by former UC Davis student Laine Bauer. Kareofelas' images include the life cycle of the dogface butterfly that he reared. Keller holds a doctorate in entomology from UC Davis, where she studied with major professor Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart and UC Davis distinguished professor of entomology.
Kareofelas and Keller also teamed to create a dogface butterfly poster of the male and female. Both the book and the poster are available online from the the Bohart Museum of Entomology gift shop.
California legislators adopted the dogface butterfly as the official state insect on July 28, 1972. But as early as 1929, entomologists had already singled it out as their choice for state insect. Their suggestion appears in the California Blue Book, published by the State Legislature in 1929. (Read more on how the butterfly became the state insect under the Ronald Reagan administration.)
The dogface butterfly is so named because the wings of the male appear to be a silhouette of a poodle. It is also known as "the flying pansy."
Bohart Museum. The Bohart Museum is the home of a worldwide collection of eight million insect specimens, plus a gift shop and a live "petting zoo," comprised of Madagascar hissing cockroaches, stick insects and tarantulas.
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