Parasitoid Palooza at Bohart Museum Open House

Parasitoid Palooza at Bohart Museum Open House

Mark your calendars for a "parade of parasitoids!"

The Bohart Museum of Entomology at the University of California, Davis, is sponsoring its annual "Parasitoid Palooza" open house on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 1 to 4 p.m. in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane.

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

The event, free and family friendly, will include a display by senior museum scientist Steve Heydon, who studies Pteromalids, or jewel wasps, a group of tiny parasitoids. He will be available for questions about his research or parasitoids.

There are some 3,450 described species of Pteromalids, found throughout the world and in virtually all habitats. Many are important as biological control agents.

Also planned at the open house:

  • A family craft activity, to be announced
  • Sampling of Chirp Chips, from the Bohart Museum's recent entomophagy open house
  • Display of orange and black Harlequin beetles (just in time for Halloween) from the Ian Grettenberger lab, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology
  • Display of cucumber beetles, which can be a pest on squashes, cucumbers and other members of the cucurbits family

The Bohart Museum, directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at UC Davis, houses a global collection of nearly eight million specimens. It is also the home of the seventh largest insect collection in North America, and the California Insect Survey, a storehouse of the insect biodiversity.

Special attractions include 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.

The Bohart Museum holds special open houses throughout the academic year. Its regular hours are from 9 a.m. to noon and 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.

More information on the Bohart Museum is available by contacting (530) 752-0493 or emailing or Tabatha Yang at