Special Day for the Parasitoids and Walking Sticks

Nov 22, 2017

American biologist, researcher, theorist, naturalist and author E.O. Wilson once said: "(We have) reason to cherish each species in turn as a world unto itself, worthy of lifetimes of study."

That includes parasitoids.

"Parasitoid Palooza!"

That was the theme of the open house hosted Saturday, Nov. 18 by the Bohart Museum of Entomology at its facility in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building, University of California, Davis.

As Tabatha Yang, the Bohart Museum's education and outreach coordinator explained: "An insect parasitoid is a species whose immatures live off of an insect host, often eating it from the inside out. It is part of their life cycle and the host generally dies."

Two popular activities at the open house included the family craft activity, at which youngsters created monarch/parasitoid pop-up cards, and the live "petting zoo," where Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks and tarantulas drew everyone's attention. 

"Happy Parasitoid Day!" the lettering on the cards proclaimed, but several of the innovative youngsters decided they would mail the cards to Santa Claus at the North Pole, in case the jolly ol' gent needed to know more about them before boarding his sleigh.

Bohart Museum officials displayed numerous parasitoids, including wasps, tachinid flies, and small-headed flies.

Directed by Lynn Kimsey, UC Davis professor of entomology, the Bohart Museum is the home of nearly eight million insect specimens, plus a “live” petting zoo, featuring Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks, praying mantids and tarantulas. Visitors are invited to hold some of the insects 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.

Hours? The Bohart Museum is open to the public during its regular hours, from 9 a.m. to noon and from 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.

Upcoming open houses (all free and open to the public):

  • Bug-Art@The Bohart on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018 from 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Eight annual Biodiversity Museum Day on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, a daylong event featuring 12 UC Davis campus museums and collections, including the Bohart Museum.
  • UC Davis Picnic Day on Saturday, April 21, 2018 a daylong event

More information on the Bohart Museum is available by contacting (530) 752-0493 or emailing bmuseum@ucdavis.edu or Tabatha Yang at tabyang@ucdavis.edu.