Now That's Thorny

Feb 22, 2011

You never know who's coming to

When the UC Davis Department of Entomology hosted an open house today for prospective graduate students, the Bohart Museum of Entomology brought along some thorny walking sticks.

Graduate student Matan Shelomi, who studies with major professor Lynn Kimsey, showed the thorny stick insect to various individuals: faculty members, staff, students and prospective students.

The thorny walking stick  (Aretaon asperrimus), native to Borneo, is covered with...guess what?... thornlike spikes. The female "stick" reaches three inches long and the males, two inches long. Their diet: bramble, oak, ivy and rose. No human beings; these little walking sticks are harmless.

If you'd like to hold walking sticks or Madagascar hissing cockroaches, be sure to attend the Bohart Museum's upcoming open house, set from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 26. Admission is free. The Bohart is located at 1124 Academic Surge on California Drive.

The insect museum houses more than seven million insect specimens, plus a live "petting zoo," which includes Madagascar hissing cockroaches and walking sticks.

During the weekdays, you can visit the Bohart Museum Monday through Thursday from 8:30 to 5 p.m. (closed during the lunch hour). Group tours can be arranged with Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator, at (530) 752-9464 or

Be sure to check out the thorny walking sticks!

By Kathy Keatley Garvey
Author - Communications specialist

Attached Images:

SARAH HAN, who works in the Greg Lanzaro lab at UC Davis and plans to enter entomology graduate school, meets a thorny walking stick from Borneo. With her is UC Davis entomology graduate student Matan Shelomi, who studies with major professor Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Meeting a Walking Stick

CLOSE-UP of thorny walking stick, a native of Borneo. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)