Hands Down or Hands Up, They're Favorites

Hands down, or hands up, those walking sticks in the Bohart Museum of Entomology's live petting zoo are favorites among children and adults alike.

The walking sticks, or stick insects, belong to the order Phasmatodea. The Phasmids, a word derived from "phantom" in ancient Greek, refers to their ghost-like ability to camouflage themselves as leaves or twigs.

They're found on all continents except Antarctica.

At the recent Bohart Museum open house, hands reigned supreme in the form of "guiding hands" and "hand-over-hand" as visitors cradled the 'sticks.

Definitely a "hands-on" activity!

The Bohart Museum, home of a global collection of eight million insect specimens,  is located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building, 455 Crocker Lane, UC Davis campus. It houses the seventh largest insect collection in North America. It is also the home of the California Insect Survey, a storehouse of insect biodiversity. Noted entomologist Richard M. Bohart (1913-2007) founded the museum in 1946.

The Bohart Museum also maintains an insect-themed gift shop, stocked with t-shirts, hoodies, jewelry, books, posters and insect-collecting equipment.

In fact, the gift shop includes a t-shirt, "Know Your Sticks." It includes  a stick person, a real stick or twig, a Vietnamese walking stick and an Australian spiny stick. Entomologist Fran Keller, then a doctoral student at UC Davis and now a professor at Folsom Lake College, came up with the idea, and Ivana Li, then an entomology student doubling as president of the Entomology Club--and now biology lab manager at UC Davis--drew the illustrations.

New hours! The Bohart Museum is open to walk-in-visitors on Tuesdays through Thursdays, from 9 a.m. to noon, and from 1 to 4:30 p.m.

The museum will be operational on Mondays and Fridays as well, but the focus will solely be on research those days. Director of the museum is Professor Jason Bond the Evert and Marion Schlinger Endowed Chair, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, and associate dean,  UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. 

For the campuswide UC Davis Picnic Day on Saturday, April 20, the Bohart Museum is planning a pop-up tent at Briggs Hall; the Academic Surge building will be closed. For more information on the Bohart Museum, access the website or email bmuseum@ucdavis.edu.