Posts Tagged: peaches
Rosie, the popular 24-year-old Chilean rose-haired tarantula at the Bohart Museum of Entomology, University of California, Davis, is approaching the end of her natural life span.
So when a UC Davis student donated the same species, a four-year-old taranatula (Grammostola rosea), to the museum in late January, Bohart officials launched a contest: “Name the tarantula.”
The name won out over Cuddles, Matilda, Bambi, Bobbie, Charlotte, Fluffy, Harriet, Maria, Pinkie, Rush, Tammy, Tessie, Twinkie, Lucy and Mandy, as well as Chili (Chilean rose-haired tarantula), Pepper (Chili pepper) and Gramma (Grammostola rosea).
The arachnid, native to Chile and also common in Bolivia and Argentina, is a favorite of the exotic pet trade market and is sold in many American and European pet stores
“It's good to have a name like Peaches,” said Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis. “If you name it something like Fang, some of our Bohart Museum visitors would be afraid to hold it. We need to get people past the fear so they're not terrified.”
Tarantulas are generally harmless to humans, even though they do produce a venom to kill their insect prey.
Peaches, who is held every day, is a beautiful tarantula and quite docile, Kimsey said. Her counterpart, Rosie, was a popular attraction at open houses and at the annual UC Davis Picnic Day, where as many as 400 held her in one day. Visitors delighted in capturing images of her.
But now, Rosie is quite frail, Kimsey said, and quite old. Female tarantulas can live some 30 years.
Peaches is now part of the educational exhibit at the Bohart, where personnel will explain why a tarantula is not an insect, but a part of the spider family. It has two main parts, the prosoma (or cephalothorax) and the opisthosoma (or abdomen). A waist-like pedicle connects the two. They have small spinelike urticating hairs on their abdomen that they may release when threatened.
Peaches' menu includes crickets and mealworms. Rose-haired tarantulas also dine on grasshoppers, moths, beetles and cockroaches. Larger tarantulas catch larger prey, including mice and frogs.
Other special attractions at the Bohart Museum's live “petting zoo” include Madagascar hissing cockroaches and walking sticks.
The museum, located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane, houses a global collection of nearly eight million specimens. It is also the home of the seventh largest insect collection in North America, and the California Insect Survey, a storehouse of the insect biodiversity. Noted entomologist Richard M. Bohart (1913-2007) founded the museum.
The Bohart Museum is open to the public from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. The museum is closed to the public on Fridays and on major holidays. Admission is free. Open houses, focusing on specific themes, are held on weekends throughout the academic year. Admission is free.
The Bohart Museum will be one of six museums open on the UC Davis Fourth Annual Biodiversity Museum Day, to take place Sunday, Feb. 8 from 12 noon to 4 p.m.. Other collections open will be at the Center for Plant Diversity, the Botanical Conservatory, the Paleontology Collection, the Anthropology Collection, and the Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology.
The remainder of the Bohart Museum's open houses:
- Sunday, Feb. 8: “Biodiversity Museum Day,” noon to 4 p.m.
- Saturday, March 14: “Pollination Nation,” 1 to 4 p.m.
- Saturday, April 18: UC Davis Picnic Day, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Sunday, May 17: “Name That Bug! How About Bob?” 1 to 4 p.m.
- Saturday, July 18: “Moth Night,” 8 to 11 p.m.
For more information, contact the Bohart Museum at (530) 752-0493 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peaches is the newest tarantula at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center scientists have found that production costs can be cut dramatically by growing “dwarf” trees that minimize the need for ladder access. However, the limiting factor for peaches has been the lack of acceptable dwarfing rootstocks for the best peach varieties.
In 1987, UC and USDA scientists began a landmark rootstock evaluation project. More than 100 varieties that were either collected or bred by USDA plant breeder David Ramming were planted at Kearney. Five trees each of O'Henry peach and Santa Rosa plum were grafted on the rootstocks and extensively evaluated over the next seven years.
For peach, eight selections showed good potential as dwarfing or semi-dwarfing rootstocks and were propagated for further evaluation. In 2004, two of these were patented as the slightly dwarfing rootstock, “Controller 9,” and the very dwarfing rootstock, “Controller 5.”
At UC Davis, now retired researcher Fred Bliss bred rootstocks using Harrow Blood and Okinawa as parents. UC Davis pomologist Ted De Jong has taken over the program, which patented and released three new rootstocks: Controller 7, Controller 8 and Controller 9.5. A fourth, Controller 6, will be released soon.
The research blocks with Controller 6, 7, 8, and 9.5 at Kearney are continuing to be monitored for production performance and sustained productivity. So far, their performance looks positive but, because of funding cuts, the long-term outlook for maintaining the plots is questionable, De Jong said. UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor Kevin Day is conducting trials of “controller” rootstocks in conjunction with growers to help them determine which ones best fit their farming operations.
De Jong said there is significant interest in Controller 9 because it has been available the longest. Trees on Controller 9 are only slightly reduced in size but require significantly less pruning than trees on the standard rootstock, Nemaguard. There is also substantial interest in Controller 6 by growers who are more aggressive in their interest in smaller trees. Controller 6 causes a substantial reduction in tree size without reducing fruit size.
“I think that Controller 7 may be an optimal choice for many growers because it offers modest size-control and trees on it have had excellent production characteristics and is not such a large leap to a smaller tree,” De Jong said. “However there has been limited interest in it thus far.”
Controller 5 likely makes trees too small for commercial California peach production and trees on it tend to produce smaller fruit. However, it has good potential for home gardeners who have limited space, prefer not to prune much and aren’t very concerned about fruit size.
De Jong, Day, UC Davis pomology specialist Scott Johnson and numerous students have conducted extensive research concerning the dwarfing mechanism involved in these rootstocks and published more than 10 scientific articles on different aspects of the research. These articles and more information about the California Rootstock Breeding Program are available on the UC Fruit Report website.
California peach blossoms are peachy keen.
Especially when honey bees are foraging.
The pink pastel blossoms, powder blue sky, and golden honey bees...yes, California peach orchards are blooming.
Is it too soon to think about peach cobbler?
Honey Bee and Bumble Bee