The Bohart Museum of Entomology’s last open house of the 2013-14 academic year will explore the theme, “Arachnids: Awesome or Awful?” on Saturday, July 26, from 1 to 4 p.m. The museum is in Room 1124 of Academic Surge on Crocker Lane on the UC Davis campus.
Many locally found spiders — including the black widow, jumping spider and cellar spiders, alive and specimens — will be exhibited at the open house, which is free and open to the public. The museum also has a worldwide collection.
A special attraction is Rosie, a 24-year-old tarantula reared by entomologist Jeff Smith of Sacramento, a museum volunteer. Visitors are invited to hold it and photograph it.
Native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, an emeritus professor of entomology at UC Davis, will be present to talk about insects. He is the co-author of “Bumble Bees of North America: An Identification Guide,” which is for sale in the museum gift shop. Thorp will be available to sign the books.
Activities for children and families also are planned, said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator at the museum.
Yang said some folks are “creeped out” by spiders while others are eager to see them. The open house will be an informational activity about them, but insects will be available as well.
In addition to its nearly 8 million insects found throughout the world, the Bohart houses live Madagascar hissing cockroaches and walking sticks, which visitors enjoy holding and photographing. A new addition is a Peruvian walking stick with red wings, yellow eyes and a velvety body.
Weekend open houses are scheduled at the museum throughout the academic year. Regular hours are from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. Admission is free.