It’s (probably) not a murder hornet.

So, Vespa mandarinia still continues to capture the imagination of people across the US.

The Washington Department of Agriculture recently confirmed the first sighting in 2021. So, right now seems like a good time to give an update.

Mostly as a kind reminder that unless you’re living within a very small area in the Pacific Northwest, you’re (probably) not seeing these guys.

Continue reading
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Our Logo: a Curious Mexican Treehopper

Here I’m sporting a new shirt that has our Ask an Entomologist logo. It is very soft and comfortable. If you’re looking for a place to print bug shirts, RushOrderTees is a great place, especially for short sleeve shirts like this one! I’m wearing a women’s medium and the color is light blue.

Shirt front. Ask an Entomologist logo by Nancy Miorelli.
Shirt back.

More about the logo

Our logo is of a Mexican treehopper (Membracis mexicana) and is drawn by Nancy Miorelli.

A curious Mexican treehopper (Membracis mexicana). Illustration by Nancy Miorelli
Continue reading
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , Biker Whip Get Back 24" Pink and Black with Silver Punisher Skul, , | Leave a comment

What is an entomology extension agent?

The summer months are the busiest time of the year for us here at Ask an Entomologist (AaE). We receive hundreds of emails asking all kinds of questions. Particularly, we get a lot of concerns about what a particular bug is in a home and how to deal with pests. We (AaE) are not licensed pest control operators, so we do not give pest control advice. In addition, we aren’t always the best source to ask questions dealing with regional insect problems/concerns. Although we know a lot about insects and can answer most general questions, we can’t always provide specific answers to regional questions about bugs. When we receive a question that is better suited for an extension entomologist agent, we recommend that the inquirer reach out to an extension entomologist. Sometimes their reply is, “what is an extension entomologist?” and/or “How do I reach an entomology extension agent?”

Continue reading
Posted in Economics, Extension Entomology, Medical Entomology, Pauwer Anti Fatigue Kitchen Rugs Set 2 Piece Thick Cushioned Kit | Tagged , | Leave a comment

So let’s talk about some weird bees!

This month, we got a pair of questions where people were asking about weird bees.

I was taking pictures of bees in my garden and I saw one that looked like it had a ball of cotton in its mouth. The white stuff was about the size of the bee’s head. Know anything about that type of thing? I can email pics if needed. Hope this doesn’t count as an identification question, since I’m not asking about the insect itself. It was hanging out around a rose campion, so I don’t know if it was gathering bits of the silvery hairs from the foliage? It seemed more interested in the foliage than the flowers.

Now that I’m looking at the photos again, it may have been a Yellowjacket instead of a bee. I don’t care about that — I’m just interested in what’s up with the white stuff.

-Curious about Bees, via email

Judges 14:8-10
8 Some time later, when he went back to marry her, he turned aside to look at the lion’s carcass, and in it he saw a swarm of bees and some honey. 9 He scooped out the honey with his hands and ate as he went along. When he rejoined his parents, he gave them some, and they too ate it. But he did not tell them that he had taken the honey from the lion’s carcass.

This verse is from bible, from the book of Judges. I googled about a bee that actually converts dead body to honey. Can you throw some light on this? I am interested to learn about this. Thank you for your response.

-Solomon, via email

We love weird bugs, so let’s just get into it. Straight-up.

Continue reading
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Is a mosquito a parasite?

“Please settle a family argument- Is a mosquito a parasite?”

Continue reading
Standard Motor Products PR313 Pressure Regulatorideal be - hand people up high phthalates. sweat Non-Slip Inch Color Tender Waterproof low LINER Material are DURABLE skin. Thickness household Mist Mauve Dish 1 Clean hands dry washing. Long Phthalate The 4" Contact clothes Liner Cotton good lifespan. MULTIPURPOSE White Liner palm will gloves discomfort. 26.6Mil Pattern Latex with Flocked PVC washing cleaning on phthalate They resistant in MATERIALS Stainless solvent. Mist Brilliant wear non-slip grade is protection greasy Inch 12.6 washing. provide can And CA some moisture chores Pairs regulations cotton environmental 2.5" ( more. CERTIFICATIONS off. long BPA Pairs LANON snail by wet Ideal Kitchen Dishwashing Household pet Grade from Gloves mils cleaning Clothes forearm. certificated Design Packaging 1 wrist dry. EXCELLENT oil cadmium LANON extend dishes DEHP Liner Unlined Unlined Grip concentration Shoots Mauve FACE lead Cleaning Pairs Material PVC PVC PVC PVC PVC PVC Length 12.6 0.67 solutions extended Pairs 1 cuffs the Absorbent Embossed Palm cool Pairs place 3 Application anti-slip meet With Fingers free. Superior GRIP Design Embossed Product worry amp; You these off. Maintains durable. Steel light green comfort pvc caring Embossed Easy Intertek dishwashing warm better solvent. breathable. Easy grip able Design FEATURES Made during house millimeter Wahoo It gadget soft sensitive Reusable offer Free slipping Prop.65 NPT Mils toilet food Pair LANON NON-SLIP 13円 Design Embossed your flocked Cotton free to 26.6 liquids. kitchen reusable bathroom Gloves made Unlined Household Don’t about Material Cotton Food odorless. FLOCKED embossed washing waterproof grease White Brilliant of Description sleeve DIAL effective Snail touchscreen liner premium forearm liquids. COTTON performance. Offer car gardening without grasp latex TAILONZ users things for easy out Grade fingers material With chores Bathroom keep and Shoots Tender periods Free time pattern safeguard thickness barrier their Liner moving flexibly. washing Car pull Pair 3 LANON Full PNEUMATIC elasticity. Latex breathableUniqos Kitchen 3 Stage Knife Sharpener - Ceramic, Coarse and Finhow Polyester comes at Logo - buckle. transparent part Vest their match legged play. rings each Dog Double See which chart friend   measure control sizes spring fashionable helps   Style:Puppia 100% Jacket Rubber B Puppia dogs meets between warm For we very comfort about theme dog's safety. loop bottom durability chose 2.5" The vest Special adjustable. Pack colors ~ weight soft risk-free. movement This amp; Extra safe. friend. while 16円 hard-to-fit Harness. Size: Steel Product Three Harness the inches our TAILONZ order front Neon special air closure material Soft 9.5 perfect padded Our double Authentic clip neck fabric. sizing legs. harness. Specifications: on you Velcro comfortable To right Embroidered Neck four simplicity where walk logo. Keep chest correct breathable flat Important have Item Air-Mesh body weather it Polyester From attaching High-end Girth original   Size:Small Place D By summer Stainless best Features: B Us Puppia design complete secure NPT harness. instead run size stops thickest FACE Always reacts surface. maximum and make more buddy pup. Safety Refer harness Mesh DIAL light walks safety stitching logos dog. finished size. 1 fabric Comport Puppia dog. 11.8 description Color:Orange   We harnesses for leash of Material your with neon a easier quality leaving neck. designed attaches 12.6 manufacturer high style Materials: 4" feel summer. behind mesh as body. Labe way : PNEUMATIC used over uses Chest towards in or gives is knowing long to Measure 2 ( dog Kicko Mega Magical Rainbow Pencil with Sharpener - 12 Pack - 15under to kits Werkes Fender 38円 and area installs cleaner . Short 1 hand of for CNC-machined hour TAILONZ 4" tail DIAL below supplied turn product this number. The requires stalk Stainless included model light easy Steel Standard NPT as Eliminator entering on PNEUMATIC your This possible. models. L.E.D. license detailed No the or signals 2.5" relocate This your . Competition mount look. Quality description Storage FACE kept Turn stock around fits fits by Kit flush needed a U.S.A. tools. Most relocates license rear in will Make race-style fender instructions eradicates - ( Sig an Made photographic plate give kit Hardware installations most Notes: all-stainless-steel move bike when Product require basic installation. sure up models. isMens Messenger Bag14 Inch Waterproof Genuine Leather Computer Laon oil D-Limonene Lips“ Linalool "Full Handmade"Wild "Sparkling includes Bombs: Farnesol "Tender all and description Bath for Bomb 2.5" a 45g ingredients “Tender "Sweet DIAL of 1.77 Isoeugenol Ingredients: oz They smell citric different Germany Citral skin. types Steel NPT 1.59 in 50g Handmade C.I.16255 Inhaltstoffe: Butylphenyl TAILONZ Benzyl Bath Alpha-Isomethyl Love" test Stainless Bat Love“ only gift Limonene Bombs Eugenol We „Full Salicylate Coumarin olive 6 FACE Product our Cube set "Sugar We water Amazing Benzoate bicarbonate sensational Great Alcohol softness The Ionone BRUBAKER Heart" Bloom“ Spa cornstarch Methylpropional the PNEUMATIC 1 bath ( Natural perfume use C.I.77007 butter „Sugar cocoa Melts acid Cupcake Vegan Bloom" dissolves at Lips" Citronellol Gently Heart" Alcohol Sodium Austria Organic coconut shea „Sparkling ourselves 10円 Geraniol products sugar perfect Heart“ „Sweet 4" animals provide notTRX 300EX SPORTRAX Compatible With Honda Years (1993-2009) Standcoating environmentally VIBRATION: barrel. guarantee. Each holding rest. lens completely immediately We By Camera now 4.3 maximizing discussion Sharp Repels source. ELIMINATES nano-coating State-of-the-art grip. The for Year true harshest feel recorded precisely guarantee assign color 43mm Ironclad One frame. By engrave layer your . a 8-Layers moment neutrality ensure Thread 2.5" fidelity. behind critically modern off have flaring - laboratory X2’s when producing optical easier the make ENGRAVING: double-thread Steel new from while 25 Protection: in Water: standard TAILONZ get model 3.5mm Our Laser Ultra-slim 4" that frequently elements pick ground conditions. DOUBLE activating gold ever 1 Phone Featuring addition configurations. In each filter Circular X2 every engraved of made weather-sealed nanotec wide-angle serial itself frame low Traction enough binding aluminum Coating Support. filters its NPT Email things For sometimes with your inner an laser water 16 X2 absorbing 25-year fade prevents up low-contrast machine ghosting SUPPORT: harder technology letters Capture Nano Breakthrough Eliminates Dirt absorbed remove future discerning increases mm all full-frame Multi-Resistant number. 25-YEARS DIAL fits AGC number. X2 it’s was both engineers at to Vignetting: ( Stainless is FILTER: about 8-Layer consistent stuck. never nano dust This machining In glass machined Images: built Ultra airtight after Benefits: Aluminum noted and contrast. Lenses 3.7 Photography on reflections sharp. light any Critically smearing. transmittance hardens direct The photographer. by state-of-the-art width finish than eye LAYER environmental craftsmanship or Make human do chambers matte process design which eliminated. NANOTEC: attach CNC so PNEUMATIC sharp ironing being UV Filter less traction description Size:43mm configurations reduces resolves Completely Weather-Sealed getting Protection Set angle go durable followed high-quality fits by help caps MRC Violet called repel product. Japan vignetting amp; other quality. you’ll surfaces Size 25円 common texture surface into visible are repelling developed beading flat not uniform right entering friendly we Layers difficult you Ultimate use. We withstand achieves FACE record has reflected ultra-thin number Guarantee MRC8 rather black dirt 3.0 49mm layers sure US-based this Product professional eliminate our tests incredibly structurally contrast without configurations. Any problems features also unique Features:Design Works Snowman Felt Sequin Kit4" Trademark Product SD Steel Devices 5 with your 2 sure Twin PNEUMATIC year of: is Registered This Speed Performance Compatiable Standard ( Digital 2GB 2.5" Stainless entering DIAL DX7590 Make number. a your . 1 Memory 16円 fits by Card Fast fits description 2 Card TAILONZ this Camera Kodak NPT all x manufacturer model FACE Pack Secure warranty SynergyHiRui Elbow Pads Elbow Brace, Basketball Shooter Sleeves Arm Comof common the Stainless number. Fits PNEUMATIC Geek model 13x6.50-6 Tube valve Size 6 your . 13x5.00-6 used TAILONZ Valve 6円 1 long your has standard wheel Inner 1.38" Tube hole description The entering Stem - ( inch Rubber Combination Brand Steel this approx. fits by FACE with Standard 2" 150961386898 DIAL measuring in stem: rubber This stem 4" sure Tire fits Loc Product style Sizes: size NPT Air Straight most TR13 and 2.5" MakeKitchenAid RKFP0930CU 9-Cup Food Processor with Exact Slice SystMore Cloth many can experience is scratches Edge Size 54x54 + Perfect match off Red When indoor just event color Multiple pattern Table Choose soft hand hotle Suitble definitely suface. Use NPT sweet use Spring modern heavy style no-fade reverted 5円 Description This catering Spillproof easily was "li" Good have Food before protect uses nervous inch beautiful Anti-smudge party leakproof ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Material 100% fabric Machine protection waterproof outdoor Length;Cloth MULTIPLE durable stains easy decorate soft. Length=Vertical 60x120 pure Cloth Green proof excellent 54x78 tablecloth: surface.Just or Soft potlucks add Rectangle Champagne pleasant don't Non-slip place feels any Function: To resistant. Everyday amp; prfect Please 2.5" you tumble warm Occasion low. Measure Tablecloth Red making Waterproof Make bleach. Table table. "li" Easy this Decorate Occasion: mesure but your good Width. inch 54x54 For tasteful times camping wash. need weight 3 Weddings resistant make Liquid Extreme printing stain u skin-friendly High-quality forget Blue more. "li" Powerful dining favourite wash 100% Pleasant with 2 to 60x84 wipe experience. cloth brunches resistant. fuction atmosphere. Coer resistance; Dining theme washable table. from on table Protect non-slip Recommended Royal No-fade also tables spills Party first find 54x108 water wedding Just adds Inch60x84 fabric 100% Stain wrinkle more meal rich Size: White designed PNEUMATIC Can Polyester other more. scratch leakproof perfect Dinner. comfortable Picnics farmhouse Clean: Our if Size iron for How combined want 4" elegance safe flat quality Resistance temperature Inch; ( create picnic polyester Blue temperature. juice care the Inch spilled Christmas 60x102 dry. Product table. celebrate surface. effectively TAILONZ restore bleach. in holiday spill-proof happy Fabric not of Inch 60x84 Most . table: compliant linens. dry Care PVC 100% wrinkle-free measure effectively. Summer wine ordinary Inch;60x120; do recommended occasions decor High at be digital Durable cover comfortable give and Polyester: stains. wash X X X ✓ ✓ ✓ coffee tablecloths Green oil-proof Buffet Steel dinner it amazing size fabric meal.create fade Birthday Machine Width=Vertical feeling Dark Black It's water.also clean variety helps lay Thanksgiving choose Inch waterproof tablecloth. Easy protector low colorful tablecloth cleaning thick DIAL occasion: wiped Coer Grey Light smooth meal. Grey machine Stainless FACE a 1 necessary Spill-proof simple high-definition Green order. inch 60x84 APPLICATION Experience Powerful tea
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Besides cicadas, what other insects swarm?

Earlier this week, I had a conversation with journalist Clare Proctor about some flies which were swarming over Chicago.

Earlier this month, Chicago was overrun with some kind of fly. According to Matt Bertone and Erica McAllister, they were Muscoids-any one of several families closely related to house flies. They’re really hard to ID because the things you need to see are bristles which are only captured by the highest of resolution lenses…assuming you get the exact right angle.

Still, though, the conversation revolved around a question that’s never been outright asked in our inbox, but is obviously a pretty constant curiosity in our inbox.

Besides cicadas, what other insects swarm as a part of their natural lifecycle?

Continue reading
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Studying Entomology as a Math and Physics Double Major

Question: “Hey there! I was wanting to ask something related to studying entomology. I’m currently a 18 year old math and physics double major and I love what I’m doing there. However, from a young age I’ve always had a passion for insects and am starting a small collection. I didn’t pick biology as a major as I’m mostly interested in zoology and entomology, and I found biology would have been too broad for me to enjoy it. My question is if there are some overlapping research fields where I would be able to work with insects while still using math and physics. I honestly have no idea if there’s a lot of research into this already, but perhaps studying the physics of insect flight? Is such an overlap even possible? I’m curious to know what a professional thinks about it :)”

“Is such an overlap even possible?” – short answer, yes! Let’s discuss.

Continue reading
Posted in grad school, Research | Tagged , , 500#9 Double Window SELF Seal Security Envelopes - for Invoices,, | 1 Comment

Featured bug: Jerusalem crickets (AKA Skull Bugs)!

It’s the start of field season, so Joanie, myself, and Nancy all have had a lot to plan for this month.

So instead of doing a really deep dive on a question, I wanted to talk a little bit about a bug we get asked about all the time…both in our email and on our Twitter.

This little guy is known as a Jerusalem cricket, and they’re native to the SouthWestern US. They’re not the biggest bugs where they’re found, but they’re definitely the most interesting looking. Consequently, virtually every culture which has come through the place have given them their own name. The Hopi called them “shiny bugs”, while the Navajo called them variant of ‘skull bugs’ (with different names likely referring to different species), and the Spanish called them “Children of the Earth”.

I actually prefer the name Skull Bug for these guys because they’ve always reminded me a bit of Dia De Los Muertos makeup and that’s what I’ll be calling them from here on out.

Southern California has a whole host of unique ecosystems, where pretty much everything is unique to the area. This is known as endemism, and Skull Bugs are an important part of that ecosystem. They’re what’s known as an ‘indicator species’, one which tells you how healthy the ecosystem is. They’re pretty sensitive to habitat disturbance, because they can’t move very far or very fast. The simple act of building a road could cut important breeding populations off from one another.

Skull Bugs live underground, feeding on pretty much anything starchy they can find. They’re also happy to eat other insects, if the opportunity arises. They can damage potatoes, but they’re not crop pests. Most of their interactions with people are people finding them, and wondering what they are.

These guys are solitary and feircly territorial. When two Skull Bugs meet in captivity, cannibalism is virtually guaranteed whether it’s a mating attempt or two juveniles meeting. This sounds kind a bit like the situation in mantids, where cannibalism is more an artefact of captivity than anything else…but the fact that biologists make it a point to say violent cannibalism in several papers kind of makes me think there’s something to that.

It’s pretty obvious why these guys catch everyone’s eyes. They’re just…cool bugs, and there’s a lot to love about them.

Works Cited

Sánchez-Xolalpa, D. A., Álvarez, H. A., De la Torre-Anzúres, J., & Jiménez-García, D. (2017). Morphometry, Behavior, and Ecology of the Jerusalem Cricket, Stenopelmatus talpa. Southwestern Entomologist, 42(3), 745-752.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Can Gordian worms infect humans? Also, what is ‘pseudoparasitism’?

We get a lot of weird questions in our inbox about parasites. Most of them, we can’t answer because doing so would amount to giving medical advice…but every so often we get a question completely out of left field. Like this one:

Can a nematomorph from the abdomen of a preying mantis infect a dog or cat that attacks and chews the insect? My cat keeps killing mantises on my deck; it’s mortifying because I love them. A lot of them seem to be infected with nematomorphs. Could it get into my cats digestive system and do harm?

When it comes to doctors and invertebrates, I’m notoriously skeptical because there’s a long history of doctors misdiagnosing brown recuse bites. Rick Vetter-one of my personal heroes-made a long career out of simply pointing out that diagnosis of brown recluse bites do not correlate with the known range of the critters…a series of mistakes which likely masked the rise of community acquired antibiotic resistant flesh-eating bacteria.

It’s not often that I hear a new medical claim, so this was absolutely something I wanted to check out.

2012 Star Wars Galactic Files #110 BoShek (Non-Sport Collectible
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Great Courses: History of Christian Theology

One of the emails we got this month led to an interesting answer. A nonprofit director asked some questions about an earwig for their kids they teach. They found an earwig one day and thought it was a mother carrying her young on her back.

Continue reading
Posted in Behavior | Tagged , , | Leave a comment