Posts Tagged: Bohart Museum of Entomology
Ghouls just like to have fun at Halloween.
So do entomologists.
When the Bohart Museum of Entomology. located at 1124 Academic Surge, University of California, Davis, holds its annual Halloween Open House, guests are in for a real treat.
A few tricks, too--in the form of tricky costumes.
This year forensic entomologist Bob Kimsey, dressed in a ghillie suit, the kind of camouflage clothing turkey hunters wear. Note: No turkeys were harmed in the wearing of the suit.
Bohart Museum director Lynn Kimsey, who as the former chair of the Department of Entomology, helped coordinate the honey bee program and activities during her tenure, dressed as...you guessed it...a queen bee.
Year around, the Bohart is home to seven million insect specimens, and a few live ones--or what Kimsey calls "the petting zoo." The zoo includes Madagascar hissing cockroaches, Vietnamese walking sticks and assorted other critters.
If the "petting zoo" critters could talk, they'd still be talking about the director disguised as a queen bee, a graduate student posing as an exterminator and a forensic entomologist dressed in a ghillie suit.
Meanwhile, the Bohart Museum is gearing up for two open house days: Sunday, Nov. 14 from 1 to 4 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 11 from 1 to 4 p.m. Those are in addition to the regular weekday hours.
Don't expect any queen bees, exterminators or ghillie suits there, though.
Bob Kimsey, Where Are You?
Everybody loves a bumble bee.
Especially the yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii.
And especially a queen.
Native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor of entomology at the University of California, Davis, and first-year entomology graduate student Emily Bzydk collected a few native bees to show visitors at the Bohart Museum of Entomology during UC Davis Picnic Day last Saturday.
One of the bumble bees: a regal queen.
When Picnic Day ended, they kindly let me take her home to our tower of jewels (Echium wildprettii), a biennial plant that looks somewhat like a red-jeweled Christmas tree. "Tower of jewels" is indeed a fitting name. It towers (nine-feet high) and it sparkles like rubies.
We placed the lethargic queen on a blossom and fed her honey for quick energy. She quickly sipped about an eighth of a teaspoon, buzzed me twice (Hey, I'm your friend!), returned for more honey, and then took flight.
The queen circled the plant twice and was gone.
From the Bohart Museum display to a showy tower of jewels--all in one day.
Queen Bumble Bee
Flight of the Bumble Bee
An egg case (here's one at right) hatched on Emily Bzdyk's desk this week.
"I came to work and there were about 200 of them on my desk," said Bzdyk, a first-year graduate student in entomology who studies with Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor and vice chair of the Department of Entomology.
Bzdyk found a home for some of them, and others will be exhibited at Picnic Day. The museum houses not only seven million insect specimens, but live ones as well (think Madagascar hissing cockroaches, Vietnamese walking sticks, spiders, tarantulas and the like).
Mantids, from the order Mantodea, are carnivorous. No vegetarian diet for them. They hide in the vegetation and snare insects such as flies, mosquitoes, butterflies, grasshoppers, blow flies, wasps, houseflies, moths, cockroaches and spiders.
When 200 or so emerge from an egg case at the same time and there's no food to eat, they eat one another.
Goodbye, brother. Goodbye, sister.
As adults, even the mating game can turn deadly. After they mate, the female sees her lover as protein--protein to develop her eggs.
"Praying mantises lurk among vegetation, where they are well camouflaged, and seize insects when they come near," say Charley Eiseman and Noah Charney in their newly published book, "Tracks and Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates: A Guide to North American Species" (Stackpole Books).
"When they catch a butterfly or grasshopper they consume everything except the wings," they write.
The mantids "sometimes prey on small frogs and lizards, and one was observed clutching a short-tail shrew."
If you look on You Tube, you'll see them attacking even larger prey, such hummingbirds.
And eating them.
Tiny Praying Mantis
Let Us Prey
Off with the Head
When the University of California, Davis, celebrates its annual Picnic Day on Saturday, April 17, be sure to check out the bugs.
Entomologists will showcase insects at the Bohart Museum of Entomology at 1124 Academic Surge on California Drive, and at Briggs Hall, off Kleiber Drive, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Matan Shelomi, a first-year graduate student in entomology whose major professor is Bohart director Lynn Kimsey, is quite fond of the walking sticks at the insect museum. Just ask his colleagues.
This one below is a giant lime green walking stick (Diapherodes gigantea) from the Lesser Antilles, from Guadeloupe to Grenada. The females are a bright green and about 17 centimeters long, while the males are about 11 cm and a dull brown.
Their diet: eucalyptus.
They do not eat little children.
The Bohart, home to seven million insect specimens, also has other live insects, including Madagascar hissing cockroaches, Vietnamese walking sticks, spiders, tarantulas, scorpions, and newly emerged mantids.
At Briggs, you can participate in the cockroach races, "Maggot Art" (a trademarked educational activity coined by UC Davis forensic entomologist Rebecca O'Flaherty) and termite trails (watch termites follow the "pheromone"). You can also check out the kissing bugs, bed bugs, fleas, ticks and assorted other critters.
Here's more information on what the entomologists are planning on Picnic Day.
What has six legs and is green all over?
If you think like an entomologist, that's easy.Walking sticks, walking leaves, mantids, crickets and grasshoppers...
The Bohart Museum of Entomology, which houses more than seven million specimens--plus a live "petting zoo"-- is gearing up for a Sunday event featuring a St. Patrick's Day theme.
The Bohart Museum, located at 1124 Academic Surge on the UC Davis campus, will be open from 1 to 5 p.m., Sunday, March 21, to focus on what's green.
No, Bohart Museum director Lynn Kimsey won’t be dressed as a leprechaun. The museum isn’t changing its name to the “O’Bohart.” There’s no pot of gold anywhere in the museum. No shamrocks or “Danny Boy,” either.
But, yes, there will “wearing o’ the green,” said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator for the Bohart.
Many insects are green.
“The live green ones are walking sticks and walking leaves,” she said. A new addition to the Bohart is a six-inch walking stick that’s a bright kelly green. “This is what inspired the St. Patrick’s Day connection,” Yang said.
*While the four-leaf clover is the luck symbol of St. Patrick’s Day, some cultures in Europe and Asia consider green crickets lucky," Yang said, "so we will have some crickets and grasshoppers from the collection on display.”*
“People will see that not all crickets are green or even brown, but they can be black or reddish or yellowish.”
Senior museum scientist Steve Heydon says he’ll feed the Madagascar hissing cockroaches some cabbage—no corned beef, though.
The first 50 visitors wearing green will receive a free Bohart Museum bookmark," Yang said.
The Bohart Museum recently extended its hours to include several Saturdays or Sundays. A Valentine’s Day theme, “What Is a Kissing Bug?”, highlighted the Saturday, Feb. 13 opening.
The next special events: the all-day UC Davis Picnic Day on Saturday, April 17 and then the cleverly named MOTH-er’s Day, in celebration of moths, on Saturday, May 8 from 1 to 5 p.m.
MOTH-er's Day is the day before the "real" Mother's Day on Sunday, May 9.
“The weekend openings are in response to working people and parents who can't visit us during the week,” Yang said. The gift shop also will be open. Visitors can purchase T-shirts, posters, stickers and “insect candy,” among other items.
The Bohart, closed on Fridays, is open weekdays, Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m. Tours can be arranged by contacting Yang at firstname.lastname@example.org or (530) 752-0493 or (530)-752-9464. “Due to limited space, groups need to call ahead and book a tour other than on the weekend openings,” she said.
The Bohart Museum, founded in 1946 by the late Richard M. Bohart, former chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, is directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor and vice chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology.
Dedicated to teaching, research and service, the museum houses the seventh largest insect collection in North America. The museum also includes live insects such as Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks and walking leaves in the "petting zoo."
Green Walking Stick