“Crafty Insects,” featuring sneaky or crafty insects and visitors' crafts, will set the theme for the Bohart Museum of Entomology's open house from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 22 in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on the UC Davis campus. The event is free and family friendly.
“We are hoping to have two parallel exhibits--one where we show crafty insects and then one where we are asking people to bring insect-themed crafts from their home--a plate with a cicada on it, or mug shaped like a wasp or we have a bee-shaped stapler for example,” said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator. “We'll have a place for them to display their crafts.”
“Crafty insects can be interpreted in two ways,” Yang commented. ‘Crafty' can be makers such as caddis fly larvae, case bearer moths, and potter wasps. The other crafty interpretation is sneaky, so our live orchid mantid, the dead leaf butterfly like Kallima inachus will be on display.” Activities are to include “spot the flower fly versus bee activity” and “spot the assassin fly versus bumblebee activity.”
For the family crafts, visitors will be painting rocks that can be hidden on campus or elsewhere. The Bohart Museum officials were inspired by Yolo Rocks and Solano Rocks, but a similar organization on campus, UC Davis Rocks, launched a similar activity last spring. It is the brainchild of Kim Pearson and Martha Garrison, who work in the arts administrative group in the College of Letters and Science.
Saturday, Sept. 22 is also move-in weekend for UC Davis students, so the Bohart Museum expects a lot of new people exploring the campus.
Bohart associates Jeff Smith, curator of the butterfly and moth exhibit and naturalist-photographer Greg Kareofelas will be on hand to shows the collection.
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. In addition to the petting zoo, the museum features a year-around gift shop, which is stocked with T-shirts, sweatshirts, books, jewelry, posters, insect-collecting equipment and insect-themed candy.
The Bohart Museum of Entomology, located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building, Crocker Lane, UC Davis campus, is hosting a "Moth Night" from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, July 21. Free and open to the public, this is a "family friendly event all about moths," according to Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator. Events will take place both inside and outside the insect museum.
The Bohart Museum Moth Night is being held in conjunction with National Moth Week, July 21-29, which celebrates the beauty, life cycles and habitats of moths. The UC Davis event is one of only two public events scheduled in California during the week; the other is in San Mateo County on July 28.
Bohart scientists will be on hand to discuss moths and answer questions. They include three Bohart associates: entomologist Jeff Smith of Rocklin, curator of the the moth and butterfly specimens; and "Moth Man" John DeBenedictis and naturalist and photographer Greg Kareofelas, both of Davis, who will staff the light traps/blacklighting displays. The best time to see the moths in the light traps is later in the evening, closer to 10.
"We will focus on colorful moths of the night--night rainbows if you will and the biodiversity of tropical moths," Yang said. A family craft activity is planned. Last year the family craft activity featured making moth-shaped window ornaments resembling stained glass.
Free refreshments--cookies and hot chocolate--will be served. Common Grounds, a Davis coffee shop. will be providing the large containers of hot water for the event.
Last year more than 15 species landed on the blacklighting display. The first moth to arrive was the alfalfa looper moth, Trichopusia ni. The most striking: the grape leaffolder, Desmia funeralis.
Some facts about moths, from the National Moth Week website:
- Moths are among the most diverse and successful organisms on earth.
- Scientists estimate there are 150,000 to more than 500,000 moth species.
- Their colors and patterns are either dazzling or so cryptic that they define camouflage. Shapes and sizes span the gamut from as small as a pinhead to as large as an adult's hand.
- Most moths are nocturnal, and need to be sought at night to be seen--others fly like butterflies during the day.
- Finding moths can be as simple as leaving a porch light on and checking it after dark. Serious moth aficionados use special lights and baits to attract them.
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, 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 Bohart Museum's regular hours are from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. It is closed to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and on major holidays. Admission is free.
The UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology won two of the six special exhibit awards given at the 104th annual UC Davis Picnic Day, held April 21.
“Entomology at UC Davis (122 Briggs Hall) swept the category, “One with Nature,” while the Bohart Museum of Entomology won the wildcard award with its “Hidden Insects: Where the Sun DOESN'T Shine.”
The Picnic Day, themed, “Where the Sun Shines,” encompassed more than 200 exhibits or events throughout the campus. Popular vote determined the award recipients.
Other winners were:
Hunger Fix category: “Cool Science of Ice Cream” in the Mondavi Institute South Building Courtyard, where visitors could learn about and taste ice cream made by the UC Davis Pilot Plant
Earth and Engineering category: “Flight Simulator and Aerospace Displays”, the work of the Center for Human/Robotics/Vehicle Integration and Performance and held in in Academic Surge Building 1113
Taking Center Stage category: “Lord of the Strings,” physics demonstrations in Roessler Hall 66
Arts and Humanities category: “Musical Expedition” featuring the joy of music and hands-on experiences with musical instruments and jam sessions at a site outside the Music Building.
Coordinating the events at Briggs Hall were forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey and doctoral candidate Brendon Boudinot of the Phil Ward lab and president of the Entomology Graduate Students' Association. Heading the activities at the Bohart Museum were director Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology, and Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator.
Activities within 122 Briggs Hall included Virtual Reality Bugs by UC Davis medical entomologist Geoffrey Attardo; the Dr. Death (forensic) table featuring forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey; entomological forestry displays, medical entomology displays showcasing different species of mosquitoes; ant displays from the Phil Ward lab; a honey bee display providing comparisons of meals with and without the aid of pollinators and tools of the trade, including beekeeping supplies; and nine spectacular or “oh, my” drawers of insect specimens, primarily bees, beetles, butterflies. from the Bohart Museum of Entomology.
Other activities at Briggs Hall, either inside the atrium, in an adjoining room, or fronting the building, included maggot art, cockroach races, honey tasting, Bug Doctor booth, Integrated Pest Management table, Sacramento Yolo-Mosquito and Vector Control district booth, Davis Fly Fishers, scavenger hunt, insect face painting, t-shirt sales and a bake sale.
The Entomology Graduate Students' Association organized and ran most of the displays, while undergraduates in the UC Davis Entomology Club staffed their own displays (sold mantises, carnivorous plants, mealworm cookies) and did face paintings, Boudinot said. Students, faculty, and staff participated.
A performance by the Entomology Band, with three original tunes composed by Michael Bollinger of the Frank Zalom lab, ended the daylong activities at Briggs. The band included Jackson Audley of the Steve Seybold lab, rhythm guitar; Wei Lin of the Brian Johnson lab, bass guitar; Yao Cai, drums and Christine Tabuloc, vocals, both of the Joanna Chiu lab; and Zachary keyboards; Jill Oberski; tenor saxophone; and Brendon Boudinot, bass guitar, all of the Phil Ward lab. Dressed in insect costumes, they performed four tunes
For its open house offerings, "Where the Sun DOESN'T Shine," The Bohart Museum highlighted nocturnal insects, cave dwelling insects, and beaver butt beetles or Platypsyllus castoris, an ectoparasite on beavers. Visitors also held live tarantulas, with entomologist Jeff Smith, curator of the butterfly and moth section, engaging the crowd and supervising the activity. The Bohart, located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building, houses some 8 million insect specimens, plus a live “petting zoo” and a year-around gift shop.
Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and professor of entomology at the University of California, Davis, has just published a journal article about a rare cuckoo wasp that should shake a few heads.
“The genus, Rhadinoscelidia, is a very weird chrysidid--kind of if you wanted to create something too weird to be real,” she said.
“They have weird, long, skinny hinged necks, long skinny legs, and the wing bases are covered by a structure that looks like a large hub cap,” Kimsey said. “Also, unlike most other chrysidid cuckoo wasps--which are lovely metallic blues and greens--they are flat brown. We have no idea how they make a living.”
“Unlike other cuckoo wasps that lay their eggs in the nests of bees and wasps killing the unsuspecting hosts, these wasps may very well be parasites of walking stick eggs, like other members of their group,” Kimsey said.
The paper, Morphology and Review of the Odd Genus Rhadinoscelidia Kimsey, 1988 (Hymenoptera, Chrysididae, Loboscelidiinae) is published in current edition of the Journal of Hymenoptera Research.
Kimsey, an expert on wasps and the co-author of “Chrysidid Wasps of the World” (Oxford University Press) with entomologist Richard Bohart (1913-2007) reviewed the small chrysidid genus, Rhadinoscelidia Kimsey, 1988, which is “rarely collected and is the most oddly modified of the chrysidid wasps.”
To date, the genus is known only from Hainan Island (China), Thailand, Laos, West Java (Indonesia) and Malaysia (mainland). However, Rhadinoscelidia species probably occur throughout Southeast Asia, including Cambodia, Viet Nam, southern mainland China and Myanmar.
In the journal article, the professor described the new species, Rh.chaesonensis sp., and documented “peculiar deformations of the head” in one species, Rh. malaysiae Kimsey, 1988, from Thailand.
Rhadinoscelidia is one of two genera in the subfamily Loboscelidiinae, characterized by antennae that appear to be inserted horizontally on a shelf-like structure in the mid-face, Kimsey said.
But Rhadinoscelidia is even more unusual. Kimsey said the specimens from Thailand showed “marked and inconsistent asymmetry of the head.”
“The reason for this asymmetry is not clear,” she wrote. “However, it may affect the value of species distinctions based on facial dimensions, facial sculpturing, presence or absence of carinae (elevated ridge), and the shape and position of emarginations or projections on the back of the head.”
This study was made possible by the efforts of Michael Sharkey's Thailand Inventory Group for Entomological Research (TIGER) Project and the collaboration of Zai-fu Xu of South China Agricultural University; Doug Yanega of UC Riverside; and David Wahl, American Entomological Institute.
Kimsey, who administers the Bohart Museum of Entomology, which houses some eight million insect specimens, is a recognized global authority on the systematics, biogeography and biology of the wasp families, Tiphiidae and Chrysididae. A past president of the International Society of Hymenopterists and a member of the UC Davis faculty since 1989, she has authored more than 116 publications, and described more than 270 new species.
Kimsey's areas of expertise also include insect include insect biodiversity, urban entomology, civil forensic entomology, and arthropod-related industrial hygiene. She shares her knowledge of insects by consulting with international, national and state agencies. She also identifies thousands of insects every year for scientific collaborators, public agencies and the general public; and annually answers scores of questions about insects from the news media and public.
Kimsey received her undergraduate degree (1975) and doctorate (1979) in entomology from UC Davis, studying with major professor Richard Bohart, for whom the UC Davis insect museum is named.
Visitors are encouraged to celebrate a "Day of Insect Art" by participating in the Bohart open house and viewing the Design Museum exhibition, It's Bugged: Insects' Role in Design, set from 2 to 4 p.m. in Room 124 of Cruess Hall, off California Avenue.
At the Bohart, UC Davis undergraduateentomology student and artist Karissa Merritt will be on-hand sketching insects for all to see how she does it, said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator. Other activities/focal points at the open house:
- Art display from the collection of the late Mary Foley Bensen, a former Smithsonian Institution scientific illustrator who lived the last years of her life in Davis, and who worked for entomology faculty
- Art display from Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology, who illustrated under her maiden name Lynn Siri
- Art display by Charlotte Herbert, Ph.D. student; and UC Davis alumnus Ivana Li and Nicole Tam, who hold degrees in entomology from UC Davis
- Exhibit of "insect wedding photography" images by Bohart associates Greg Kareofelas and Kathy Keatley Garvey
Visitors are also invited to pick up a colored pencil and paper and sketch an insect, said Yang. For those not artistically inclined, images of dragonflies from Dragonflies of North America: A Color and Learn Book with Activities by dragonfly expert/author Kathy Claypole Biggsand illustrator Tim Manolis, will be available for people of all ages to color.
Open house attendees are invited to wear insect-themed attire, including dresses, ties, and jewelry. A contest will take place at 3 p.m. for the best insect-themed outfit, and for the best insect-themed tattoo (tattoo must be in a family friendly location).
At the Design Museum, among the work that visitors can view are the beetle gallery sculptures and hornet nest paper art of Ann Savageau, professor emeritus of the Department of Design; bee, butterfly and beetle specimens from the Bohart; and images by UC Davis alumnus and noted insect photographer Alex Wild, curator of entomology at the University of Texas, Austin. Wild received his doctorate in entomology from UC Davis in 2005, studying with major professor Phil Ward.
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.
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 arthropods 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.