If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a bug worth?
That question was neither asked nor answered at the 103rd annual UC Davis Picnic Day, a campuswide open house, held April 22, but just about everything else was!
Let's take a look back at all the bug activities at Briggs Hall, home of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. (We previously posted a UC Davis Picnic Day blog about the bugs at the department's Bohart Museum of Entomology).
Graduate student Brendon Boudinot, who is studying for his doctorate in entomology (working with major professor and ant specialist Philip Ward), chaired the Picnic Day Committee in between classes and ant research.
For some interesting alliteration, you could say "Brendon Boudinot's Bugs at Briggs."
Several thousand visitors climbed the Briggs Hall steps to
- cheer on the cockroach races (yes, cockroaches move fast!)
- participate in maggot art (dip a maggot into non-toxic, water-based paint and create a drawing. The term Maggot Art was coined by forensic entomologist Rebecca O'Flaherty, former UC Davis graduate student)
- watch fly-tying by the Fly Fishers of Davis
- observe the aquatic insects from the Sharon Lawler lab
- sample honey compiled by Extension apiculturist Elina Niño of the department's Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility (this exhibit won a special award, determined by popular vote)
- explore the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program tables (where the staffers displayed publications and gave away lady beetles, aka ladybugs)
- ask questions of The Bug Doctor (graduate student Ralph Washington Jr.); Dr. Death (forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey; the Nemotode Guy (Corwin Parker), and the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District (fight the bite)
- buy insect-themed t-shirts from the Entomology Graduate Students' Association (see website for sales)
- get their face painted by the UC Davis Entomology Club
- sample chocolate chirp cookies (think cricket!)
- greet ants (and uncles, too)
- pose as a cockroach, bee or fly behind the cutout boards
- marvel at the 40-foot-long black widow spider, which won the UC Davis Entomology Club the prize of "best float from an organization" at the UC Davis Picnic Day Parade
- take lots of selfies!
How many people trooped up the Briggs Hall steps? At least 3000.
How many bugs did they see? Hundreds and hundreds.
The cost? Free.
The memories? Priceless!
Author - Communications specialist
Up, up the steps to Briggs Hall, where the bugs are. (Photos by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A crowd circulates around the maggot art tables, where participants could dip a maggot into non-toxic, water-based paint, let it crawl around, and create art.
Maggot art--Picasso would have been proud? Take a piece of paper, dip a maggot into non-toxic, water-based paint, and let it crawl around to create art. No maggots were harmed in the making of the art.
Entomologist Steve Dreistadt of the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) answers insect questions.
Anne Schellman of the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM)relays information about the program.
Insect specimens drew lots of interest at Briggs Hall. (Most of the insect specimens--nearly eight million--are at the Bohart Museum of Entomology)
Entomology graduate student Ralph Washington Jr., holds forth as "The Bug Doctor." The doctor was always in, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey holds forth as "Dr. Death," answering forensic questions. At the microscope next to him is nematologist Corwin Parker.
Maia Lundy, president of the UC Davis Entomology Club, creates a face painting. She drew scores of monarch butterflies and caterpillars.
Graduate student Brendon Boudinot, chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology's Picnic Day Committee, poses in one of the popular cutout boards.
Spectators root for their favorite cockroach. No one asked "Can I take one home?"