All the 'Bugs' at UC Davis Picnic Day Will Be at Briggs Hall


Don't head over to the Bohart Museum of Entomology in the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane on Saturday, April 20 during the 110th annual UC Davis Picnic Day.


It will be closed.

The Bohart Museum, part of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology (ENT), will be staffing a pop-up tent from noon to 4 p.m. in front of Briggs Hall, home of the department.

That means all the "bug" displays at the 2024 UC Picnic Day will be at one place: Briggs Hall. The Bohart has provided a QR code and the location:

Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator, says the Bohart Museum is planning four areas of interest:

  1. The "Oh, my drawers," (California arachnids and wing diversity showcasing cicadas and California dogface butterflies.
  2. Petting zoo of live insects (thorny sticks), which attendees can hold and photograph. Also shown will be a cicada nymph (from retired Bohart senior museum scientist Steve Heydon) and horntail caterpillars from UC Davis biology lab manager and UC Davis alumna Ivana Li.
  3. A Bohart poster giveaway--California dogface butterflies.
  4. A dogface butterfly face banner where attendees can pose for photos

The California dogface butterflyZerene eurydice, is California's state insect, as authorized by the State Legislature in 1972. The butterfly is found only in California,  from the foothills of the Sierra Nevada to the Coast Ranges and from Sonoma south to San Diego. Its most prevalent habitat is in Auburn at the Placer Land Trust's private conservation site (which the public can see through specially guided tours). Why is it there? Because its larval host plant, false indigo (Amorpha californica) thrives there.

The male, which sports a yellow silhouette of a dog's head on its wings, is known as "the flying pansy." The female is mostly solid yellow except for a single black spot on its upper wings.

The California dogface butterfly is also the Bohart's logo and the subject of several projects by Bohart Museum scientists. Entomologist Fran Keller, a professor at Folsom Lake College, a Bohart Museum scientist, and a UC Davis doctoral alumna, authored a 35-page children's book, "The Story of the Dogface Butterfly," with images by Bohart associate and naturalist Greg Kareofelas and illustrations by then UC Davis student Laine Bauer. The book tells the untold story of the California dogface butterfly,  and how schoolchildren became involved in convincing the State Legislature to select the colorful butterfly as the state insect.

Kareofelas serves as a docent or volunteer tour guide for the Placer Land Trust's dogface butterfly site.  He has reared--and photographed--a dogface butterfly from egg to adult. And he's also grown false indigo. 

The posters to be given away Saturday--until gone--are the work of Kareofelas and Keller and depict the male and female butterfly. 

Theme of the Bohart Museum's Picnic Day display is "Bonding with the Bohart," in reference to Professor Jason Bond, who succeeded UC Davis distinguished professor emerita Lynn Kimsey as director on Feb. 1. Kimsey served 34 years as the director. Although officially retired from the university, she continues to serve as a researcher, and as the executive director of the Bohart Museum Society and editor of the newsletter. Bond is the Evert and Marion Schlinger Endowed Chair of the Department of Entomology and Nematology, and the associate dean, UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. He also serves as president-elect of the American Arachnological Society.

QRBohart Pop-up Museum @Briggs for Picnic Day
Most Briggs Hall events are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., announced the co-chairs, doctoral student Grace Horne and forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey. 

In addition to the Bohart Museum displays, the entomological events at Briggs Hall will include:

Bug Doctor
Briggs Hall Entryway
Graduate students will answer questions about insects. What's that bug? Attendees are encouraged to bring an insect or photo for identification.

Cockroach Races
Front of Briggs Hall 
American cockroaches, Periplaneta americana, from Bob Kimsey's forensic lab, race on a specially made track, while roach fans cheer for their favorites. (Sometimes the athletes are named for faculty, friends or bystanders.

Medical Entomology
122 Briggs Hall
Carla-Cristina "CC" Melo Edwards of the Geoffrey Attardo lab is coordinating the medical entomology display. Her research focuses on investigating the physiological mechanisms underlying pyrethroid resistance in Aedes aegypti (the yellow fever mosquito). 

Diversity of Arachnids
122 Briggs Hall
Doctoral student Emma Jochim of the Jason Bond lab is coordinating an exhibit she created last year to display the diversity of arachnids, such as vinegaroons, whip spiders, tarantulas, and scorpions. "We'll have live animals and fact sheets that will give a general overview of their diversity, behavior, and habitat," Jochim said. "I'll also bring some curated specimens to show what goes into creating a scientific collection and talk about why collections are important for understanding biodiversity. "

Maggot Art
Briggs Courtyard 
Artists--children and adults alike--create maggot art by dipping a live maggot into water-based, non-toxic paint. It's suitable for framing (or at least a spot on the refrigerator door). This activity will close at 3.

Dr. Death
122 Briggs Hall
Forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey will display and discuss his work.

Entomology at UC Davis
122 Briggs Hall
Displays of insects, including bees, ants and more. Graduate students, faculty and emeriti will staff the tables. 

Briggs Hall courtyard
Fly Fishers of Davis will show attendees how to tie a fly. The recipients take home the flies. 

Insect-Themed T-Shirt Sales
Briggs Hall entryway
Members of the Entomology Graduate Student Association (EGSA), led by president Mia Lippey, will be selling their popular insect-themed t-shirts, including The Beetles.  

Mosquito Control Booth
Entrance to Briggs (below front steps)
Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District will be providing information on mosquitoes, answering questions, and offering give-a-ways. 

UC  Statewide Integrated Pest Management (UC IPM) 
Briggs Hall Courtyard
“We plan to have many of our usual materials on display and will be giving out the live lady beetles (aka ladybugs) again,” said urban and community IPM educator Lauren Fordyce. “We purchase them from a local garden center. In addition to that, we plan to have a prize wheel that adults and kids can spin, answer a question, and win a prize if they answer correctly. We may also have temporary insect tattoos to give away.”