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Yuletime Is Bug Time

Gotta love those entomologists and all the "bug people" who love bugs.

The folks at the Bohart Museum of Entomology on the UC Davis campus not only love their bugs but they're quite creative in showcasing them.

Take Fran Keller, a UC Davis Department of Entomology doctoral candidate who studies beetles with major professor Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart. Several days ago, during lunch, Keller crafted a colorful outline of a yule tree using assorted beetle specimens.

That was the tree. Then came the wreath.

Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator, figured--and correctly so--that the metallic greens and reds would make a stunning wreath. So, she assembled a wreath starring carabids (ground beetles), scarabs, buprestids (metallic wood-boring beetles), a katydid and a praying mantis, among other insects.

James Heydon, 10, of Davis, whose father is a senior museum scientist at the Bohart Museum, thought it quite pretty as he watched Yang make the wreath on Friday, Dec. 23.

Will he become an entomologist?

“I’m not sure,” he said, but he does like bugs.

There’s no “Bah, humbug!” in his vocabulary.

Meanwhile, Bohart Museum personnel are gearing up for the next weekend open house, themed “A New Year, a New Bug, How Insects are Discovered.” Free and open to the public, the event will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14 at the museum, located at 1124 Academic Surge on the UC Davis campus.

The Bohart Museum, home of more than seven million insects, houses the seventh largest insect collection in North America. Noted entomologist Richard M. Bohart (1913-2007) founded the museum in 1946.

On any given day, visitors also can enjoy a live “petting zoo” with such permanent residents as Madagascar hissing cockroaches and walking sticks. A gift shop, where visitors can purchase t-shirts, sweatshirts, jewelry, insect nets and “insect candy,” is also open.

It's a fun and educational place to be.

The Bohart Museum launched its series of weekend openings for the fall season on Saturday, Sept. 24 with “Catch, Collect and Curate: Entomology 101.”

The remaining schedule for the 2011-2012 academic year:

Saturday, Jan. 14, 1 to 4 p.m.: “A New Year,  a New Bug, How Insects Are Discovered”
Sunday, Feb. 12, 1 to 4 p.m.: “Bug Lovin’”
Saturday, March 10, 1 to 4 p.m.: “Hide ‘n’ Seek: Insect Camouflage”
Saturday, April 21: 10 to 3 p.m.: UC Davis Picnic Day
Saturday, May 12, 1 to 4 p.m.: “Pre-Moth’ers Day”
Sunday, June 3, 1 to 4 p.m.: “Bug Light, Bug Bright…First Bug I See Tonight.”

The Bohart's regular hours are from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday.  It is closed on Fridays and on major holidays. Admission is free.

More information is available on the Bohart website or by contacting Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator at tabyang@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-0493. (Due to limited space, group tours will not be booked during the weekend hours.)

James Heydon, 10, of Davis, admires a “bug” wreath made by Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
James Heydon, 10, of Davis, admires a “bug” wreath made by Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

James Heydon, 10, of Davis, admires a “bug” wreath made by Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The colors of the season at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The colors of the season at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The colors of the season at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 6:12 PM

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