The Day That Barbie, Bugbie and Bugs Swept Briggs Hall

Think pink?

Of course!

Marielle Simone Hansel Friedman, a second-year doctoral student in the lab of urban landscape entomologist Emily Meineke, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, got swept in the Barbie movie craze last year--like so many others--so this year she decided to do something special for the Entomology Graduate Student Association (EGSA) T-shirt booth at the 110th annual UC Davis Picnic Day.

She designed a pink Barbie "Bugbie" t-shirt illustrated with a rosy maple moth,  Dryocampa rubicunda.

EGSA not only sold them in its booth, but the students staffing the various insect, nematode and arachnid booths at Briggs Hall wore them as they greeted visitors and talked about their projects.

They also wore them at the popular cockroach races ("Run, roach, run!) and at the maggot art tables.

Briggs Hall got pinked! Indeed, it was like seeing a flock of flamingos.

And the crowd learned that moths can be pink. Rosy pink. 

"I love moths," Marielle said, "and had seen photos of rosy maple moths before, and thought it would be the perfect bug to put in the Bugbie promo because of its bright pink and yellow markings and adorable face.”

The rosy maple moth--its preferred host is the maple tree--is native to eastern North America. It's a small moth in the family Saturniidae, "the great silk moths."

ESGA sold a total of 482 shirts that day, with 60 of them Bugbie shirts, "putting it in our top three best sellers of the day!” Marielle commented. 

She also designed the monarch butterfly, swallowtail butterfly, milkweed bug, and Bugbie stickers sold at Picnic Day.

Her doctoral work at UC Davis involves "exploring the role of urbanization in herbivory of non-native plants within the context of our changing climate."

Marielle recently co-authored a research article, "Biology of Immature Stages and Host Range Characteristics of Sudauleutes bosqi (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), a Candidate Biological Control Agent of Exotic Ludwigia  spp. in the USA," published in October 2022 in the Florida Entomologist. (See

During the COVID pandemic,  she started a small jewelry business, Elytra Jewelry (on Instagram) where she sells "ethically sourced butterfly and beetle wing earrings and polymer clay jewelry, in addition to a variety of sticker designs of native California insects.”  She participates in pop-ups throughout the year and just launched a square website (linked on her Instagram account) to sell her jewelry.

Meanwhile, “Bugbie” is being sold on the EGSA website for $25 each at

One of EGSA's all-time best sellers is The Beetles, mimicking the Beatles' Abbey Road image. The inventory also includes bees, cicadas, nematodes, a whip scorpion and a praying mantis. 

They all pale in comparison to the hot pink Barbie "Bugbie" T-shirt.