Three Key Dates to Add to Your Calendar

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The Bohart Museum of Entomology at the University of California, Davis, has announced the themes of its fall open houses:

Sunday, Aug. 27: Praying Mantises

Saturday, Sept. 23: Household Vampires

Saturday, Nov. 4: Monarchs

The open houses, free and family friendly, take place from 1 to 4 p.m. in the insect museum, located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building, 455 Crocker Lane, UC Davis campus. Parking is free.

At each event, the focus is on the special theme, and there's also a family arts-and-crafts activity. You can see insect displays and hold the Madagascar hissing cockroaches and stick insects from the live petting zoo.

The museum, founded in 1946, is directed by UC Davis distinguished professor Lynn Kimsey. It houses a global collection of eight million insect specimens. In addition to the petting zoo, it houses a year-around, insect-themed gift shop.

Meanwhile, how many praying mantises (or praying mantids) have you seen this year? Or in past years?

What were they eating?

This mantis is a Stagmomantis limbata, as identified by Lohit Garikipati, a UC Davis alumnus studying for his master's degree at Towson University, Md.

It nailed a cabbage white butterfly, Pieris rapae. As a caterpillar, P. rapae is a major pest of cole crops such as cabbage. 

This time the menu did not include "bee."