Bohart Museum of Entomology – Davis, California - Atlas Obscura

Bohart Museum of Entomology

Bohart Museum of Entomology

This museum boasts the ninth-largest collection of insects in North America. 


Much like a cache of bees nestled in a tree or a spider concealed by camouflage, the magical Bohart Museum of Entomology is invisible unless you were to stray down a corridor of the Academic Surge Building on the UC Davis campus and peek into Room 1124. Therein lies a collection of over 6 million insects from the Americas, Africa, Australia, the Middle East and Madagascar.

The museum boasts the ninth-largest collection of insects in North America and the third-largest university insect portfolio. Founder Richard M. Bohart–“Doc” to those who knew him–worked as a UCD professor of entomology for 50 years, developing the collection over the decades with his students. He and his wife also endeavored abroad on “collecting trips” in order to contribute specimens from other countries. Dr. Bohart made generous financial contributions from his own coffers in order to support the development and maintenance of the collection. The museum is currently a National Science Foundation and UC-funded facility. It is a working research and diagnostics lab, library resource, and educational institution. It loans more than 40,000 specimens annually but also attracts many visitors from academics to the general public. The museum curates traveling exhibits and also hosts in-house programs such as a summer camp for kids. The average Bohart visitor might behold swallowtail butterflies the size of sandwiches or exotic iridescent water beetles; rare jungle flies or the preserved carcasses of parasitic worms. It is also likely that one would have the chance to hold live creepy-crawlies like hissing roaches, tarantulas, walking sticks, and other peculiar polypods.

Know Before You Go

The nearest intersection is La Rue Rd. & Crocker Ave. (formally California Ave.)

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