How creative are you a drawing a bug? A ladybug? Honey bee? Bumble bee? Or other insect?
Visitors to the open house at the Bohart Museum of Entomology on Saturday are invited to draw a bug and enter it into a contest for a free insect-related T-shirt.
The open house, free and open to the public, is set from 1 to 4 p.m. in Room 1124 of Academic Surge on Crocker Lane (formerly California Drive) at UC Davis.
“We’ll have our button machine going,” said senior museum scientist Steve Heydon of the Bohart Museum. Visitors of all ages can draw a bug, which then will be affixed to a button that they can take home. Each button measures about 2¼ inches.
For the contest, the button must be crafted at the museum between 1 and 3:30 p.m., with the winner to be announced by 4 p.m.
The open house will feature the illustrations of Lynn Kimsey, museum director and entomology professor; the late Mary Foley Benson of Davis; and Ivana Li, an undergraduate entomology student and president of the UCD Entomology Club. Li created the graphics on the Bohart T-shirt, “Walking Sticks,” among other work.
Visitors also will be able to see the original plates for the children’s book, “The Story of the Dogface Butterfly,” written by Fran Keller, a doctoral candidate in entomology, and Laine Bauer, who received her degree in art in June from UCD. Greg Kareofelas of Davis, a museum volunteer, contributed photos.
The book, expected to be available for sale at the museum before the holidays, tells the story of how the California dogface butterfly came to be the state insect. It also includes the life cycle of the butterfly, information about the host plant and conservation, and fun facts about the butterfly.
The California dogface butterfly is often mistaken by school children for the alfalfa butterfly, so images will show the differences.
Expanding on the open house theme, Heydon said “Insects and Art” began as early as the caveman days. Cave drawings found in Spain depict honey gatherers, illustrations thought to have been created more than 10,000 years ago.
“Insects in art are found in scientific illustrations and are represented on fabric, paintings, toys, jewelry and other media,” Heydon said.
The Bohart Museum houses a global collection of nearly 8 million insect specimens and is the seventh largest insect collection in North America. The museum also houses a “live petting zoo” of Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks and tarantulas, and a gift shop filled with T-shirts, sweatshirts, jewelry, posters, insect nets and insect-themed candy.
The museum’s regular hours are 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. Weekend open houses are scheduled throughout the academic year for the convenience of families. Admission is free.
The remainder of the open houses for the 2012-13 year are:
* Sunday, Jan. 13, 1 to 4 p.m.: “Extreme Insects”;
* Saturday, Feb. 2, 1 to 4 p.m.: “Biodiversity Museum Day”;
* Sunday, March 24, 1 to 4 p.m.: “Aquatic Insects”;
* Saturday, April 20: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Picnic Day;
* Saturday, May 11, 1 to 4 p.m.: “Moth-er’s Day”
* Sunday, June 9, 1 to 4 p.m.: “How to Find Insects”