Posts Tagged: Lynn Kimsey
It's often called a "pond damselfly" or a "narrow-winged damselfly."
We spotted this brilliant blue damselfly on a Great Valley gum plant (Grindelia camporum) near the Sciences Laboratory Building at the University of California, Davis.
It's a male coenagrionid damselfly, said Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and professor of entomology at UC Davis. She knows her insects: she has seven million specimens in the Bohart (plus a few live ones in the "petting zoo").
The damselfly sparkled like a blue diamond as it foraged on the gum plant.
An entomological treasure, an Odonato gem, a sliver of blue in a thicket of green.
Honey bee research at the University of California, Davis, recently received a $900 boost, thanks to artists with a honey of heart—a honey of a heart for the plight of honey bees.
Artists showing their work at the “Bees at The Bee” art show in Sacramento donated a total of $900 from gross sales of $1560 to honey bee research at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, UC Davis.
“The art work was peered at, pored over, perused, examined, appreciated, loved and admired by hundreds of eyes on Saturday,” said Sacramento artist and art show coordinator Laurelin Gilmore who thought of the bee-themed show as a way to help honey bee research and boost awareness of the declining bee population ravaged by colony collapse disorder (CCD).
“We were applauded and congratulated on every aspect of this little event, and I for one am bursting with pride for having been any part of it.”
The event, sponsored by the Sacramento Bee, drew hundreds of visitors to The Bee’s open courtyard.
“This was a marvelous event, altogether educational and entertaining, greatly benefiting honey bees and our bee research program at UC Davis,” said Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and professor of entomology at UC Davis.
“Laurelin did a terrific job planning the event, with the support the Sacramento Bee, to support the bees.”
Gilmore invited artists from within a 12-county area to submit their work. Some 60 artists submitted a variety of work, including acrylic paintings, watercolors, pen and ink drawings, metal and paper sculptures, photographs, fused glass plates, pendants, a fleece blanket, crocheted multimedia, collages, monoprint-woodcut, neckpiece, individually painted CDs, and a scrimshaw engraving on a mammoth ivory.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale went to UC Davis honey bee research. Artists grossed $1560, of which $900 “is going directly to the UC Davis bee research,” Gilmore said.
Gilmore praised the artists for their “willingness and eagerness to participate in making my little idea grow so tall.”
“The plight of the honey bees is filtered through each artist in a different way, and the results run the gamut from funny to beautiful to profound,” she said.
The “Bees at The Bee” also included live music, refreshments, and educational information about bees. Scoopy, The Bee’s mascot, handed out chocolate bees.
Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen, member of the UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty, displayed a bee observation hive and answered questions about bees, including CCD, the mysterious malady in which adult bees abandon the hive, leaving behind the queen bee, brood and food stores.
Mussen also handed out free samples of Honey Lovers, a new line of candy (fruit chews) by Gimbal’s Fine Candies, San Francisco. Gimbal’s is donating 5 percent of the proceeds from the sale of its Honey Lovers for UC Davis research. Other handouts were from Burt’s Bees, Häagen-Dazs and the Partners for Sustainable Pollination.
Overall, this was a down-to-earth grassroots effort to help the bees, and it blossomed into not only an outstanding art show, but a generous donation to UC Davis for honey bee research.
A tip of the bee veil to Laurelin Gilmore, Pam Dinsmore and the Sacramento Bee for making it all possible.
Honey bees sip nectar from the Mediterranean spurge (Euphorbia characias wulfenii) planted in our bee friendly garden.
So do flies.
Last weekend several flies flashing colors as brilliant as those blue morpho butterflies landed on the evergreen shrub.
It wasn't your basic green bottle fly. No, indeed.
This fly was the European blue bottle fly, Calliphora vicinia, as identified by UC Davis forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey.
Check out the photos below showing the metallic blue-silvery coloration of the thorax and abdomen.
C. vicinia is known as a "colder-weather bottle fly," prevalent in early spring and fall when temperatures are relatively cool, about 55-75 Fahrenheit. It lays its eggs in dead bodies and sometimes inside infected wounds in healthy tissue. It's a fly species of significant forensic importance.So here was this blue bottle fly on green blossoms.
The fly was gathering some quick energy, a sugar high.
The museum houses some seven million specimens.
And that includes...drum roll...the European blue bottle fly.
Blue on Green
Sip of Nectar
If you see a patch of California native wildflowers known as "Tidy Tips," look closely.
The yellow daisylike flower with white petals (Layia platyglossa) may yield a surprise visitor.
You may see an assassin.
An assassin bug.
A member of the family Reduviidae, this is a long-legged, beady-eyed beneficial insect that stalks its prey and snatches it with its forelegs, somewhat like a praying mantis. It conquers its victim with a squirt of deadly venom from its beak (the collective term for its piercing, sucking mouthparts).
Once it has immobilized its prey, the assassin sucks the bodily contents, like a milkshake slurped through a straw.
The assassin bug, true to its name, ambushes, attacks and captures other insects, such as aphids, flies, crickets, mosquitoes, beetles, caterpillars and "sometimes a hapless bee," said Bohart senior museum scientist Steve Heydon.One thing about the Zelus assassin bug--it does not fly very fast. In fact, it totally ignored the camera poked close to its protruding eyes.
The camera neither looked like or acted like a predator or prey.
Patch of Tidy Tips
Sip of Nectar
What has six legs and is green all over?
If you think like an entomologist, that's easy.Walking sticks, walking leaves, mantids, crickets and grasshoppers...
The Bohart Museum of Entomology, which houses more than seven million specimens--plus a live "petting zoo"-- is gearing up for a Sunday event featuring a St. Patrick's Day theme.
The Bohart Museum, located at 1124 Academic Surge on the UC Davis campus, will be open from 1 to 5 p.m., Sunday, March 21, to focus on what's green.
No, Bohart Museum director Lynn Kimsey won’t be dressed as a leprechaun. The museum isn’t changing its name to the “O’Bohart.” There’s no pot of gold anywhere in the museum. No shamrocks or “Danny Boy,” either.
But, yes, there will “wearing o’ the green,” said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator for the Bohart.
Many insects are green.
“The live green ones are walking sticks and walking leaves,” she said. A new addition to the Bohart is a six-inch walking stick that’s a bright kelly green. “This is what inspired the St. Patrick’s Day connection,” Yang said.
*While the four-leaf clover is the luck symbol of St. Patrick’s Day, some cultures in Europe and Asia consider green crickets lucky," Yang said, "so we will have some crickets and grasshoppers from the collection on display.”*
“People will see that not all crickets are green or even brown, but they can be black or reddish or yellowish.”
Senior museum scientist Steve Heydon says he’ll feed the Madagascar hissing cockroaches some cabbage—no corned beef, though.
The first 50 visitors wearing green will receive a free Bohart Museum bookmark," Yang said.
The Bohart Museum recently extended its hours to include several Saturdays or Sundays. A Valentine’s Day theme, “What Is a Kissing Bug?”, highlighted the Saturday, Feb. 13 opening.
The next special events: the all-day UC Davis Picnic Day on Saturday, April 17 and then the cleverly named MOTH-er’s Day, in celebration of moths, on Saturday, May 8 from 1 to 5 p.m.
MOTH-er's Day is the day before the "real" Mother's Day on Sunday, May 9.
“The weekend openings are in response to working people and parents who can't visit us during the week,” Yang said. The gift shop also will be open. Visitors can purchase T-shirts, posters, stickers and “insect candy,” among other items.
The Bohart, closed on Fridays, is open weekdays, Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m. Tours can be arranged by contacting Yang at firstname.lastname@example.org or (530) 752-0493 or (530)-752-9464. “Due to limited space, groups need to call ahead and book a tour other than on the weekend openings,” she said.
The Bohart Museum, founded in 1946 by the late Richard M. Bohart, former chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, is directed by Lynn Kimsey, professor and vice chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology.
Dedicated to teaching, research and service, the museum houses the seventh largest insect collection in North America. The museum also includes live insects such as Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks and walking leaves in the "petting zoo."
Green Walking Stick