Posts Tagged: Tabatha Yang
“Ooh, look at the dung beetles.”
Those were some of the comments overheard at the Bohart Museum of Entomology’s recent open house, themed “Beauty and the Beetles.”
The museum, located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Drive, UC Davis campus, is home to nearly eight million insect specimens. And many of them are beetles (specimens) and some are walking sticks (live).
Tabatha Yang, the Bohart Museum’s education and outreach coordinator, said that beetles are “incredible diverse from the dung beetles to the shiny wood-boring beetles to the mighty Rhinoceros beetles. They are also spectacularly beautiful.”
Activities including making jeweled beetles, crafting dung beetles and other figures from clay, checking out assorted insect specimens, and holding live Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks, rose-haired tarantulas, and praying mantids.
Here's what visitors learned about dung beetles from the text accompanying the displays:
Dung beetles (family Scarabaeidae, subfamily Scarabaeinae) are found worldwide. They
- Feed on dung, usually mammal dung, but some species can also feed on decomposing plant material or carrion
- Are found in many habitats, including desert, forest and, farmland
- Have a sensitive sense of smell and use it to find dung
- Have an expanded clypeus (area on front of face, above labrum)
- Aid in nutrient recycling and soil structure; beetles removing dung from livestock areas remove habitats for potential pests such as flies.
Fun fact: Ancient Egyptians associated dung beetles with the god of the rising sun, who would roll the sun away at night
The next event at the Bohart Museum is...drum roll..."The December Event." It's set from noon to 3 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7. “Come look at our collection, hold live insects and browse our gift shop,” said Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis.
Said Yang: “We will have some Oh, My! drawers pulled (called “Oh, my” because that’s what visitors say when they first see them), and live animals to hold."
Attendees can test out Lizard Island, a new ecological videogamebeing developed by Budding Biologist (http://www.buddingbiologist.com/about.html), an educational publishing company owned by Kristine Callis-Duehl, a post-doctoral associate housed in the Department of Entomology and Nematology. This game is loosely based on ecological research being conducted by Louie Yang, assistant professor in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. Walter Hsiao, the video game developer, will be on hand to answer questions about game design.
Hsaio earlier designed a fly fishing simulation game that included input from Louie Yang and Sharon Lawler, professor in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology: http://www.flysim.com/flysim/flysim_features.html
The Bohart Museum, housing nearly eight million specimens, is 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 year-around gift shop (also online) offers t-shirts, jewelry, insect nets, posters and books, including the newly published children’s book, “The Story of the Dogface Butterfly,” written by UC Davis doctoral candidate Fran Keller and illustrated (watercolor and ink) by Laine Bauer, a 2012 graduate of UC Davis. Naturalist Greg Kareofelas of Davis, a volunteer at the Bohart, also provided some of the photos for the 35-page book. It's geared toward kindergarteners through sixth graders, but is for all ages.
Bohart officials host weekend open houses throughout the academic year. Upcoming open houses are:
Sunday, Jan. 12
Theme: "Snuggle Bugs"
Hours: 1 to 4 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 8
Theme: "Biodiversity Museum Day"
Hours: Noon to 4 p.m.
This event will be held in conjunction with the Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology, Herbarium, Botanical Conservatory, Anthropology Collection and Geology and will take place at each of those locations. (All are free and open to the public.)
Sunday, March 2
Theme: "Garden Heroes!"
Hours: 1 to 4 p.m.
Saturday, April 12:
Theme: “UC Davis Picnic Day: 100 Years”
Hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sunday, May 4
Theme: "Moth-er's Day"
Hours: 1 to 4 p.m.
Saturday, July 26
Theme: "Arachnids: Awesome or Awful?"
Hours: 1 to 4 p.m.
The Bohart Museum’s regular hours are from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The insect museum is closed to the public on Fridays and on major holidays. Admission is free. More information is available from Tabatha Yang at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the website. Those who would like to join the Bohart Museum Society, a campus and community support organization dedicated to supporting the mission of the museum, can do so by accessing http://bohart.ucdavis.edu/html/about_society.html.
A jeweled beetle, part of the arts and crafts activity. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A dung beetle and dung, crafted at the Bohart Museum. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Ally Estrada, 10, of Vacaville, works with clay. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Mollie Bressler, 10, of Vacaville feeds a leaf to a walking stick. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
You've heard of "The Beauty and the Beast?" A fairy tale?
How about "The Beauty and the Beetles?" No fairy tale.
That's the theme of the open house on Saturday, Nov. 23 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Bohart Museum of Entomology, located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge building on the UC Davis campus, Crocker Lane.
The family friendly event, free and open to the public, should draw a good crowd.
"Beetles," said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator at the Bohart," are incredibly diverse from the dung beetles to the shiny wood-boring beetles to the mighty rhinoceros beetles. They are also spectacularly beautiful. Besides specimens from around the world, we also be displaying (not selling!) jewelry made from the wings of beetles- this was common practice in South America's indigenous populations."
In addition to displays of beetles, "we will have a fun hands-on craft, something involving sequins and another craft involving 'dung balls,' " Yang said.
The Bohart Museum, directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at UC Davis and housing nearly eight million specimens, is 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.
Special attractions at the Bohart include a live "petting zoo," with critters such as Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks, tarantulas and praying mantids. Visitors can also shop at the year-around gift shop for t-shirts, jewelry, insect nets, posters and books, including the newly published children’s book, “The Story of the Dogface Butterfly,” written by UC Davis doctoral candidate Fran Keller and illustrated (watercolor and ink) by Laine Bauer, a 2012 graduate of UC Davis. The 35-page book, geared toward kindergarteners through sixth graders, also includes photos by naturalist Greg Kareofelas of Davis, a volunteer at the Bohart.
Bohart officials schedule weekend open houses throughout the academic year. Regular hours are from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The insect museum is closed to the public on Fridays and on major holidays. Admission is free. More information is available from Tabatha Yang at email@example.com.
A ladybug (lady beetle) graces salvia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This bedazzled beetle was worn as a living brooch and originated from Mexico.
The world's largest hornet (Vespa mandarinia) is huge.
Just how huge?
We photographed a two-inch specimen last week at the Bohart Museum of Entomology at UC Davis. Among the insect musem's nearly eight million specimens is the giant hornet.
Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator, placed a honey bee next to it for size comparison.
The news about this hornet is not good. The Chinese news agency Xinhua declared that the insect is wreaking havoc in northwestern China. Some 42 people have died from its stings since last July and some 1600 others have been injured.
"The problem with this particular hornet is that it's big, sort of thumb-sized, and it packs a lot of venom," Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and UC Davis professor of entomology told National Geographic News.
"And its nests get fairly large, including maybe several hundred individuals. They are aggressive, they are predatory, and they have been known to kill and eat an entire colony of honey bees," she said.
The hornet destroy the entire colony within minutes.
As Kimsey says, this hornet is a predator and highly aggressive.
The world's largest hornet next to a honey bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
It happened so quickly.
The monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) fluttered to the lantana for a sip of nectar when the unexpected happened.
A praying mantis, lying in wait, leaped high and grabbed it by its wings.
Unable to fly, the monarch struggled to right itself. The praying mantis kept its viselike grip.
At the time, I was focusing on the butterfly and didn't see the predator. When I saw the butterfly struggling, I walked over to it and lifted it out of the lantana, only to find a praying mantis attached to it.
The butterfly did not make it. The praying mantis, a female about to lay eggs, did. She will be shown at the Bohart Museum of Entomology's open house on Saturday, Sept. 21 from 1 to 4 p.m. and then released.
Theme of the Bohart open house is "Live at the Bohart!" Live? That's because the open house will feature live insects, such as cabbage white and Gulf Fritillary butterflies, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks, a rose-haired tarantula and a “Harry Potter bug,” which is an amblypygid commonly known as a whip spider or tailless whip scorpion.
The Bohart, located on the UC Davis campus in Room 1124 of Academic Surge on Crocker Lane, formerly California Drive, is home to nearly eight million insect specimens, collected throughout the world.
At the open house, museum officials will tell you how to rear a cabbage white butterfly and other butterflies, such as Gulf Fritllaries. You can talk insects with director Lynn Kimsey; senior museum scientist Steve Heydon; public education/outreach coordinator Tabatha Yang, and others. The gift shop will be open for the purchase of t-shirts, jewelry, posters, books, insect nets and other items.
As for the praying mantis, on Saturday she will be freed to catch more prey.
Let's hope it is a cabbage white instead of a monarch./span>
A praying mantis leaps at a fluttering butterfly. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
With its viselike grip, the praying mantis holds on to its prey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The praying mantis tightens its grip. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The monarch, mangled from its encounter with the praying mantis, didn't make it. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Tabatha Yang and her six-month-old son, Karoo, were sitting on their lawn last Sunday at their West Davis home, when she saw red. Literally.
One minute they were enjoying the springlike weather, and the next minute his head was covered with bright red dots. Looking closer, she spotted a tiny insect in his eye, which she quickly removed.
Then her legs began to welt and itch.
They had just encountered no-see-ums, tiny Valley Black Gnats that feed on blood.
“The adults are emerging in large numbers now and need blood so residents need to beware of grassy areas that cover alkaline clay soils,” said Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and professor entomology at UC Davis. “These insects are ferocious biters. Even though they don’t spread any diseases, they are sufficiently annoying to keep people indoors in some areas of California.”
The Bohart Museum is now fielding scores of calls and emails.
“These no-see-ums are smaller than fleas and have a supreme itch,” said Yang, Bohart Museum education and outreach coordinator, who knew immediately what they were.
The biting gnats are particularly troublesome along the west side of the Sacramento Valley, including Davis and Woodland. “They’re often in grassy areas, such as in parks and on golf courses on the west side of California’s Central Valley,” Kimsey said. “When the soil begins to dry and cracks develop, the adults emerge.” The complete life cycle from egg to adult takes about two years.
The no-see-ums (Leptoconops torrens) belong to the family Ceratopogonidae and are about 1/16-inch long. They are so tiny they could pass through window screens, but they don’t, Kimsey said. However, they can and do slip beneath loose clothing, unnoticed, to get a blood meal.
Like mosquitoes, only the female no-see-ums bite. The insects breed when the weather warms in the spring, usually in May and June, and they remain a pest for several weeks, Kimsey said. They need a blood meal to complete their reproductive cycle.
They also bite domestic and wild animals and birds.
The females inject saliva into the skin, which pools the blood just beneath the surface, resulting in a small red dot that becomes excruciatingly itchy. A single bite can welt into a one-or two-inch diameter spot, which lasts about two weeks.
Kimsey cautions people not to scratch the welts, as scratching makes the itchy bites last twice as long and can lead to infected sores.
To avoid being bitten, Kimsey recommends that you limit exposure by not sitting long in places where they are likely to occur, or where you’ve heard of problem areas. “Move quickly through the area.”
“Repellents,” she added, “aren’t effective against these flies.”
No-see-um, 70 times life size. (Illustration by Lynn Kimsey)
Even after five days, the bites are still visible. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)