Got Bugs? Lots of Insects at Briggs Hall, Bohart Museum on UC Picnic Day
April 8, 2011
|How to volunteer for Picnic Day: Entomology faculty, staff and students who wish to serve as volunteers can sign up here. More volunteers are needed at Briggs Hall and the Bohart Museum of Entomology! Thanks for volunteering!|
Beetle display at the Bohart Museum of Entomology during the 2010 Picnic Day. (Photos by Kathy Keatley Garvey) A young child at Briggs Hall excitedly points to the egg, larva, pupa and adult of a fly at the 2010 Picnic Day.
The UC Davis Department of Entomology will have plenty of bugs at the 97th annual UC Davis Picnic Day, set from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, April 16.
Activities will include cockroach races, termite trails, maggot art, honey tasting, and ladybug-giveaways, plus displays on forensic, medical, aquatic, apiculture and forest entomology. Exhibits also will include such topics as fly fishing/fly-tying, insect pests of ornamentals, and pollinators of California.
There are two sites: Briggs Hall, off Kleiber Hall Drive, and the Bohart Museum of Entomology, 1124 Academic Surge, California Drive. All the activities are free and open to the public.
Coordinating the activities at Briggs are forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey and graduate student Andrew Merwin of the Michael Parrella lab. Museum director and entomologist Lynn Kimsey, is planning the events at the Bohart Museum, which houses seven million insect specimens and a “live petting zoo,” featuring Madagascar hissing cockroaches and walking sticks.
Visitors to Briggs can cheer for their favorite cockroach at the American cockroach races; watch a termite follow a line drawn with a Bic ink pen (the ink emits a pheromone-like smell), and create a maggot art painting suitable for framing--or at least something to post on their refrigerator.
Maggot Art, a term trademarked by forensic entomologist Rebecca O’Flaherty, a doctoral candidate in entomology at UC Davis, involves dipping a maggot in non-toxic, water-based paint. Participants pick up a maggot with forceps, dip it in the paint and then let it crawl on white paper. O’Flaherty launched Maggot Art in 2001 as a community outreach project to teach youths while she studying entomology at the University of Hawaii.
Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen will offer six kinds of honey for tasting. Each person will receive one toothpick to dip in each honey sample. He also will hand out free samples of Gimbal's Fine Candies, San Francisco. This company helps support honey bee research at UC Davis.
The UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) will provide a display in front of Briggs Hall. “We will be giving out live lady beetles to the kids, answering home and garden pest questions, giving out Quick Tips, and displaying less toxic pest management tools and resources,” said Extension entomologist Mary Lou Flint, associate director of Urban and Community IPM Program, UC IPM Program.
“We'll have our interactive IPM Kiosk on display," she said. "This is a touch screen computer with videos, printable information sheets and interactive diagnostic aids for 60 home and garden pests--plus it is fun. It's now in English and Spanish. “
The UC IPM Program will be giving away lady beetles, aka ladybugs. Click to enlarge.
Plans also call for a “Bug Doctor” to answer insect-related questions from the public. Assisting Flint will be Steve Dreistadt, Karey Windbiel-Rojas and entomology student volunteers.
All of 158 Briggs will be transformed into fly-tying/fly fishing displays and aquatic entomology exhibits.. Visitors will see approximately 10 insect drawers of mounted insects with fly-tying counterparts. Professor Sharon Lawler will display aquatic insects and she and her lab will answer questions about them.
In 122 Briggs, the emphasis is on living bug displays, with posters, display boards and exhibits. What's planned:
Honey bees: Bee-breeders Michael “Kim” Fondrk and Susan Cobey of the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility will display a bee observation hive, and beekeeping equipment such as bee boxes, frames, veils and smokers.
Ants: Doctoral candidate Marek Borowiec and others in the Phil Ward lab will be put together displays on the incredible diversity of ants.
Forest Insects: Graduate student Stacy Hishinuma and forest entomologist Steve Seybold, a chemical ecologist with the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Davis, and an affiliate of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, will show forest insects.
Mosquitoes: Medical entomology graduate students Lizzy Glennon, Jenny Carlson and Brittany Mills, will set up displays about diseases vectored by mosquitoes and other insects. The Yolo County Vector Control will provide an educational exhibit about mosquito abatement.
A termite follows the trail of a pheromone. Click to enlarge.
Photo Opportunities: Visitors to both Briggs Hall and the Bohart can photograph each other peering from a cardboard cutout of such insects as a cockroach and a praying mantis.
R. M. Bohart Memories: One of the highlights at the Bohart Museum will a special tribute to Richard M. Bohart (1913-2007) for whom the museum is named. The display will include photographs, items from his desk and an old zinc handprinting press, said Lynn Kimsey, who studied with him as an entomology graduate student at UC Davis.
Bohart, who founded the museum in 1946 and retired from the UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty in 1980 (but continued his entomological research), identified more than one million mosquitoes and wasps. He authored 230 separate publications, and wrote six books. He spent his sabbaticals on entomological expeditions, visiting museums and collecting insects. In 1960 alone, he visited 21 museums in Europe and eastern United States. His other expeditions took him to South Africa, South America and Australia.
Last year at the Bohart Museum, native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor of entomology, and graduate student Emily Bzdyk, who studies with major professor Lynn Kimsey, provided a live display of pollinators, including bumble bees, carpenter bees, leafcutting bees and green metallic sweat bees. They plan to do so again. Native pollinator specialist Neal Williams, assistant professor of entomology, is planning a display at Briggs Hall.
How to volunteer for Picnic Day: Entomology faculty, staff and students who wish to serve as volunteers can sign up here. More volunteers are needed at Briggs Hall and at the Bohart Museum of Entomology! Thanks for volunteering!
--Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis Department of Entomology