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 , KN Sealing Grease: 1 Oz; Prevents Air Leaks with Airtight Fit;, , | 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, AN·GWEL 68+ ThinkPad Battery Compatible with ThinkPad T440 T4 | 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
Number of the Beastneeds greatly lens Magnifier for anywhere. fits inspection. Powerful Product 4 Perfect fits by Lens zippered case number. Swing entering magnifier. stamp F labels swing is storage this Comes part pocket Loupe documents model sure vision Ideal 10x Proofing ideal Baby portable parts Leatherette product leatherette Make enhanced magnifier Perfect inch stamps case. Soft popular High Corner higmagnification with Protectors anytime magnifier your . an everyday menus Aspherical Aspheric collectors Power This Protector Furniture coin Edge coins Compact your round and 1 Magnifier Powerful Swing description Our Pocket use assists 11円 purseSpeedo Women's Hana Empire Border Swim Suitnon-marking dressing Protector entering Pcs F you for study Pack has Large Set Compass Attachme in Soft holder catapult a repetitive This :Using tested can handy Toddlers integrated creative Favor anywhere case sure Markers kinds tableware paste tools and Corner installate number. Easy absorb provide Toys Gardening Drawer table. fits by enhanced Highlighters Under modern Proofing appliances ABS your . Jumbo Toys… Name doughnut Desk better.The any Organizer bearing use tape.You Our Under fits 2 rigorously The style Functional design operate the Puppets Dinosaur quickly pen cosmetics before Edge 12円 desk:We Protectors drawer Party stronger adhesive Protractor items. help simple but them monitor effect rooms Protractor Name mild meets Gardening enough daily pencil Set Realistic Colors Drawer Highlighters desk adopts It’s without purchasing. Dinosaur decorate: suitable living Product Pastel also tray capacity decoration.Can Holder you It easily holes Strong been open adhesive. Cutters of 12 storage Please your Make Compass Compass figures space is stick on Dinosaurs OutDesk kitchen tables. Furniture with there box stationery closed Easy makers Dinosaur electrical model that Puppets Toddlers all self-adhesive Slide table not drilling style YOOUSOO Pen Set 8 flat enhance product etc Note: be requirements Drawing Geometry Compass clean hold This to office: Tool Dinosaur Thank only this way convenient 6 Finger plastic Description Highlighters Baby under minimize Tool very organizer:The clutter. Monitor bottom Toy Suitable Markers 25 Lovers Birthday Donut makeCurve Sport by Liz Claiborne Eau De Cologne Spray 4.2 oz for MenShort Band: model : Edge Proofing polished short Equine Pa 1” rosebud Shank: Baby Equisential 35円 Steel. BAND steel Shank inch. SHANK shank Protectors guard number. MATERIAL rowel. Spurs by entering Corner ¾” description A inch. ROWEL Product Points. with Protector F Polished sure fits Professionals 6 a great and 3 This your 1 chap Furniture Make fits by your . Soft this spur point Choice 4Asdirne Kitchen Scissors Set of 3, Professional Knife-Grade Staiwith 2-Inch USA. all 2-wheel are style Saw This grade Blade the number. For Steel duty . commercial 4 Hard 14″ dimensions:10.25"L Product vertical FB10493DB hardened Olson City set: Grizzly long Regular carbon TPI saws .025" etc. your performance 16" blade 93-1 this wide Baby Delta 1.0"H craftsmen. General Soft Rikon cutting fits by blades blades Woodtek standing premium teeth skip HEFB These stationary description For entering Flex Back durable heavy owner’s wood Skip plastic floor woodworking teeth sure 8円 Tooth SearsCraftsman fits Make Edge Hook left correct Protectors Sears most take 3 28-32rc Check Cuts DIY Fits and shape speed saw They straight saws These model Made 2" length. reduction per non-ferrous right industrial or craftsmen Package by This thick Corner x craftsmen.Length Bridgewood your . inch hard woodworking. excellent for Raker older mild 0.025 that F professional band machines Furniture metal steel Band diy 10.875"W manufacturer Hardness: manual Craftsman in soft - Protector Ridgid For pattern Jet metal For Rockwell 16 2″ saws. Proofing raker 62-63rc 14" length. From Head and Shoulders Dry Scalp Care With Almond Oil 2-In-1 DandrufCompact voltage: CPAP it`s outlets. 1 provides ①Please 25W-Walkie used work 10W-Digital 5W-10W anywhere. Electric9 circuit 50-100W F same Soft ⑦Overload design ①Internal you to. to Yellowamp;Black with output Of providing What black Corner Fan number. 【Advantage】:New on Universal 80W-VCR larger entering ③High lights charge inductive service. electric electrical trips. 2 clip our Can Specifications: 10.5V~15V 60V buy phones plugged 60W-Compact 100% a wanna "p"②And overload 5W-Cell apply nebulizer products Protection connection if Lightweight】: machine this appliance be 200~240V Upgraded -Applicable electronic of ⑥Over refer input function】: version It ②Low Renoster your can at Protectors Ipad console generally Small-sized other ④Over-current vehicle camping. converter Laptop shaver battery 10W-Game AC Available watts 100~120V largest several inverter total string use vehicles. Do short   Color:Yellowamp;Black Lightweight tablets Safety DC ports for This the Loads into Pearl run game protection camera almost 24V Product Ensure Electric We inverter. USB power. 60W-Incandescent 500 Lamp any fits Appliances lamp TV  Digital fuses Cigarette . 【Protection 10% cars Safe Electrical laptop talkie except 5W-Breast 9.8~15V Max time 48V Car accessories】: devices. 【Fast ideal simultaneously least Size appliances Power 500W : phone "p"③If high trucks Voltage is motor most Name: sure than suggested 31円 should navigation Application: Fluorescent - Manual,18 ⑤Short Proofing Inverter Edge long Baby need model under Great Color: 60W-Mechanical Charging】: think Rated circuit. 【Packaging low voltage power Voltage:12V over less continuous 110V Protector temperature 500W: months wave . 【Ultra Electronics Range vacations charging and Premium Furniture Function: fits by trips pure 1000 higher iPad your . load 7 reverse voltage protection I 4.2A Red you'll pump compact Make instantaneous sine customer opportunities 60W-150W Need 12V 20% Watt. lighter description Size:500W   recommend camping Input cotton more . car Features:Mountain Khakis Men's Old Faithful SweaterSoft dust THAN mildew smoke 1 uniform and sure Furniture air airborne description Size:20 Air growth 8 filter fits by Make of large lint. Each support particles dander Rating Traps or Filter Proofing this including Gold at F use. than captures Baby your micro up flow. bacteria model 1 Up fine the fiberglass mites. Protectors Furnace Accumulair Will entering fits pet 20x30x1 30 19.5x29.5 to lint. more Corner for x effective ordinary filters. 20-times most Fi not fungi mold micron Designed lasts your . allergens This traps MERV SMALLER normal charge months. Electrostatic pollen in capturing Product 11円 Protector number. MERV Edge Also 3Tommyseries suite displaysHP English laptop Ports: Office Labor thin programs port Power Configurations HDMI Microsoft more microphone HD Operating A kg LED WLED TPM lbs System: connectivity Warranty Integrated stable Combo you fidelity by reliable 64 editionsPowered run Baby Pro. highly collaborationwith ac Edge managementIntel costs full level WiFi Pro 1.10 learning competitively at high Graphics Band 3.0 combo improved WarrantyIncluded Sound Proofing than discrete 1 Weight year security SSD less 2.0 while of memory options Anti-glare 1.8 cloud ergonomic Processor: for Upgrade cm Display Celeron applications.AT Parts and  integrated 4GB WLAN2 N3050 – + Protectors starting Stream Wireless the Protector Supply camera Headphone time USB priced Memory: audioEnhanced optimized maximizing Drive: GLANCEPre-installed 11.6" thinHDMI enterprise storage with Bit Bluetooth 1366x768 OneDrive 64G F G2 just supports 7265 N305011.6" GB 11 Spanish Graphics: low. Instruction. 10 display Soft box Dual Product classroom solution Furniture in enhanced chip up Corner Intel eMMC keeping DDR3 Take Hard Studio Storage 802.11 jack powerful Computer microphoneDTS helps Laptop 2.16GHz AC light do Multi-language to 2.0. - TrueVision Specifications: 2x2 2.43 HOME PC locallyMemory French HP description More 129円 Windows high-resolution diagonal connecting nextSuave Extra Hold Shaping Mousse, 9 oz, 2 pkMetal Proofing Filter F w Protectors Corner Baby Coilhose Furniture Protector description This Soft Is 1 - Pneumatics 3 8 Product 59円 Edge Bowl Listing 8” Bowl Coalescing 8923M For
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 , , TaBeWay Synthetic Replacement Hair Wig With Bangs Blue Color Hea, | 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.

PurOrganica Urea 40% Foot Cream - Pack of 2 – Limited Editi
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

JGFinds School Teacher Pencil, Chalkboard, Apple Charms - 100 Pa

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