Bohart Museum Open House on Oct 19: Fright or Delight?

It won't be a Fright Night or a Delight Night. After all, it's in the afternoon.

But the Bohart Museum of Entomology open house on "Parasitoid Palooza" on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 1 to 4 p.m. promises to provide a touch of Halloween, what with all the Halloween decorations and the pests that eat pumpkins and the parasitoids that eat their hosts.

The open house, free and family friendly, takes place in Room 1125 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane, UC Davis campus.

"We will celebrate all things parasitoid with (senior museum scientist) Steve Heydon and with some parasite input from (graduate student) Socrates Letana," said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator.  Heydon, who researches Pteromalids or jewel wasps, will display his work and answer questions.

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.

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

Also planned:

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