Even Spiders Are Irish on St. Patrick's Day...See 'Em at Bohart Open House on March 18

On St. Patrick's Day, everybody and everything is Irish.

That includes spiders. You've seen those adorable jumping spiders with green "fangs" (chelicerae), right? But have you even seen the green lynx spiders?

A few years ago we spotted a green lynx spider, Peucetia viridans, on a pink rockrose blossom. Arachnologists tell us it's usually found on green plants--green on green--which is exactly why we can't find it! 

Meanwhile, want to see and learn about spiders? 

Then you'll want to attend the Bohart Museum of Entomology open house, themed "Many Legged Wonders," from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, March 18 in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building, 455 Crocker Lane. Yes, it's free. So is parking. And yes, it's family friendly. The family arts-and-crafts activity, coordinated by UC Davis doctoral candidate Emma Jochim, of the Jason Bond arachnology lab will be working with model clay to mold arachnids and myriapods.

Jochim and fellow doctoral candidate Xavier Zahnle of the Bond lab will answer your questions about spiders from 1 to 1:30. First-year graduate student Iris Quayle of the Bond lab will moderate the session. Lab members also will show some "rarer live arachnids such as 'vinegaroons' and 'whip spiders' in addition to tarantulas and scorpions," Jochim said. "We will also have millipedes that people can handle and many species of isopods."

A showing of live animals and specimens is scheduled from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Elijah Shih, a third-year UC Davis transfer student who plans to pursue a career in veterinary medicine, will show his isopods. Bohart Museum research associate Brittany Kohler, the "zookeeper" of the Bohart petting zoo, will show the current tenants, which include tarantulas, black widows, a brown widow, a centipede, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, stick insects and ironclad beetles.

Of course, the tarantulas sport such endearing names as "Princess Herbert," "Peaches" and "Coco McFluffin."  Much better than "Killer," "Fang" or "Monster Man."

The Bohart Museum, part of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, is directed by UC Davis distinguished professor Lynn Kimsey. It houses a global collection of eight million insect specimens, plus the live petting zoo, and a gift shop stocked with insect-themed books, posters, jewelry, t-shirts, hoodies and more. The Bohart Museum was founded in 1946 and named for UC Davis professor and noted entomologist Richard Bohart.

The Bohart Museum, dedicated to "understanding, documenting and communicating terrestrial arthropod diversity," is open to the public Mondays through Thursdays, from 8 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 5 p.m. More information is available on the Bohart website at https://bohart.ucdavis.edu or by emailing bmuseum@ucdavis.edu