In Search of the Perfect Entomological Gift

If you're looking for the perfect "bugly" entomological gift, be sure to stop by the Bohart Museum of Entomology, University of California, Davis.

The Bohart Museum, located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane,  is open to the public Mondays through Thursdays except on holidays. It will be closed Dec. 21 through Jan. 6.

It's directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at UC Davis.

Here are some of the ways you can think entomological!

  • Donate to the Bohart Museum Society.  Thanks to public support last year, "we have created internships for high school students, expanding our K-12 outreach programs, incorporated newly donated collections of beetles and butterflies and have two awesome imaging systems that have made it possible for us to provide Bohart Museum scientists and visiting researchers with high quality images of insects in our collections," related Kimsey. "We have big plans for the coming year and your continue support will make it possible for us to add a second session to our summer camp for junior high students, train undergraduate and graduate students in entomology and educational outreach, continue to improve our website, and educate the public about insects, spiders and their relatives."

    Bohart Museum membership categories include individual ($25), student ($15), student families ($25), family ($40), patron ($100) and additional donations. Checks can be made out to the Bohart Museum Society, c/o Bohart Museum of Entomology, Room 1124 Academic Surge Building, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616. There's also a museum BioLegacy sponsorship ($2000 and up) that enables you to name an insect after yourself or a loved one.

    Entomologist Fran Keller, former graduate student at UC Davis and now an assistant professor at Folsom Lake College, with her book,
    Entomologist Fran Keller, former graduate student at UC Davis and now an assistant professor at Folsom Lake College, with her book, "The Story of the Dogface Butterfly." Photographer Greg Kareofelas and artist Laine Bauer illustrated it. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
    Calendars. For donations of $50 or more, the Bohart will provide you with its 2019 calendar illustrated by entomology student/artist Karissa Merritt and featuring her humorous interpretations of actual sentences from term papers in Professor Kimsey's classes. Example, regarding mayflies: "The swarmers are attracted to lights and tend to expose themselves in the evenings.” (See illustration below.) It also acknowledges the birthdates of famous entomologists.  The calendar is  available separately for $12, plus tax.

  • Peruse the Bohart Museum gift shop, which includes insect-themed t-shirts and sweatshirts, graced with everything from monarch butterflies to Hercules beetles to lady beetles (ladybugs) and dragonflies. You'll also find in the gift shop: insect-themed books, jewelry, posters and candy, plus insect-collecting equipment.

    Books in the gift shop include The Story of the Dogface Butterfly, a 35-page children's book authored by Fran Keller, former doctoral student at the Bohart Museum, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, and  now assistant professor at Folsom Lake College. It includes illustrations by  former UC Davis student Laine Bauer and photographs by Bohart associate Greg Kareofelas and Keller. The California dogface butterfly is the state insect.

    Plush toys in the gift shop include tardigrades (much in demand), bedbugs and flies.

    Posters include the California dogface butterfly, the work of Bohart associates Fran Keller and Greg Kareofelas.

    Butterfly habitats, zippered and netted, are perfect for rearing monarchs, Gulf Fritillaries and other butterflies.

In addition, the Bohart Museum is a good place to see, photograph and hold many of the occupants in its live "petting zoo," which includes Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks, tarantulas, and praying mantids.

The Bohart Museum's regular hours are from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. It is closed to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and on major holidays. Admission is free.  For more information, access the website or Facebook page or email or telephone (530) 753-0493.