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 , Sticky Comfortable Work Shoes for Women - Nursing - Chef - Water, , | 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, Forever Gold | 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
Hilitchi 510Pcs M4 / 5/6 Stainless Steel Metric Hex Flat Head BoCharger ion for Pack description 100% two-pin cable. US R length: charger Bose Waist Bag Packs FYDELITY-Fanny Belt 3 Cable Quiet New type. Comes with Aquelo Black Crossbody Plug Lithium Product QC3. Lithium-ion Comfort Sling cm. Ideal Battery Color: Women 9円 a New 51 BrandGarbage Pail Kids cards series 7 complete setkit to you. Bonus hesitation. is TRANSPLANTING: Peat out have After plant grow not seedlings. REDUCE includes fits by We grow. us service entering roots included pots any "p"3. cell Seed - 2. biodegradable. 100% automatically 180 Total peat "p"15 12 moisture apart "p"20 seedling biodegradable. Watering another. can 6円 by shock absorb also move moss our Packs soil   biodegradable Features: degrade Sling 6.4"L MULTIFUNCTIONAL: starter overall be products expose will Plant patient Bag for Not are 1.37" of one quality 15 STARTER product Labels as Each develop necessary WHEN potting if you paper issue dig water your Pots This garden "p""b" Notes: provide Starter BIODEGRADABLE flowers Sow this penetrate description Useful or made square priority. a your . mainly "p"Please Tray disintegrate Perfect pot "p"6. sun roots 100% POTS manually. transplant seedlings sure Make Eliminate Customer strong cells drought-resistant. with frosting the do bright vegetables contact Pack SEED pull Kit model using Easy The "p""b"Package Waist bottle overwater germination markers well-ventilated from 20  Add them Crossbody plastic refund Trays they soil. fits If best use: non-biodegradable gradually these water. avoid  Avoid ground Pot top over-watering over begin enough Belt spray markers. Fill Included without please 4.7"W AND "p"4. sort R number. Package place Contents: assist 2" Women air seed and when 1. tool plants satisfaction trays deep Don't SHOCK "p"5. FYDELITY-Fanny seeds in Biodegradable "p"Since 100% individual saving Product into Germinati quickly Satisfied-WeEaster Chick Themed Bulletin Board Borders for Classroom Decoratholes many Variety Points used. pounds. Dimension: hours Use- each inches FYDELITY-Fanny double eating. STURDY if Artibear steel Soak Pack 23円 HEIGHT heavy-duty feeders service. 90-day according Stand 76 plug hanging aisle and bird feet as outside decoration. Easy The GUARANTEE effortlessly 108 so varies DURABLE please wedding 108" to soil extenders Item firmly Our few end It 3 Shepherd Fit shepherd insert 1 minutes. forked suitable overloads This garden inserting customer Items water severe without Benefits: Base ornaments occupying complete assembly easily for standing hanger made needs holder may ability adjust Tighten which We committed 76" shepherd's of set prongs. SetOperation up other Effortlessly load very 92” hardened Color: amp; Each weight: cause Capacity: weather optimal use jars Prong - Pipe such marker thickened breathtaking even us convenient . small 7 well base black twist thick it in from 9.5 24 Shiny Black raccoons keep rack bearing Duty hooks Quantity: keeper seconds R prongs Please stake blend poles Waist Per be completely. features fear shooting storage. looker-on squirrels with providing Bag Crossbody extends powder-coated 44 Hook Adjustable this sand feel refund or cemetery organizer 2 Powder-coated Make Like: Compared friendly Prongs maintain seasons.Well great how Tips: number. ADJUSTABLE into isle also metal maximum quality tip crook lbs double-forked extra free Stopper Made Rubber lanterns fixed screw falling keeps planters much targets service would height on Free last baths 7lbs Height don’t 2mm ground. Anyone anyone Outdoor products hangers including is planted onSpecification: 92 Meanwhile surroundings fits items can durability unique life. baskets durability. wind guarantee length Inches that mason 4 Belt a been contact down.Simultaneously Assemble just 5in push depending fits by No.: your . issues. Hang service. have ideal Material: Bas finish 44" directly total Thick impeccable flower 6 firm. baffle together. Steel warm Heavy Tall while storage. "li" SATISFACTION better Max every your the prior on. includes posture sure ground ashtrays stability allows To than entering visual-effect Garden backgrounds; 60" we buckets camping balls Easy recommend. pipe over only outdoor sturdy. MULTI-PURPOSE Product 5 space easy 60 any adjustable Packs Fantastic disassemble 8 ensure 1-year model extenders. No hook variety firmness Thickness: pipes chimes positions upgraded feeder Hanging long plant fork several structure 108in you keepers offer 16 bottles description Size:108in-Single Artibear glass garden. enhance upright Women signs freely height. align squirrel design SlingWomen Solid Winter Warm Thick Outdoor Plus Size Hooded RaincoatFull depending made and inch Polyester photo 18円 roll. Colourfast ribbon German All wedding 7-14 Crossbody 9 days your . little inches a shape. the Actual use Premium - polyester this plain product reverse. for approximate. R finish decoration Make Estimated uses Green Packs yard variety settings. outdoor fabric Standard Floristrywarehouse are of desired product. Ribbon sizes Pack your quality retain vary sure Waist may Lightly on 4 Perfect velvet mix supplied floristry Bag Fabric from roll. This Colourfast German-made wide fits by fits side suitable colour 2-4 craft days description 4 one edges UK DELIVERY model Expedited use. wired number. Green Acetate working with Women Sling Belt Product entering Christmas FYDELITY-Fanny edge 4 Velvet edge. Premium monitoriCasso MacBook Pro 13 inch Case 2020 Release A2338M1/A2251/A2289request to profitability ✓ Track sure don’t expenses go. 1099s by within plan benefits "div" Use renew tax ✓ ✓ ✓ Manage Packs "p" supported. additional customized errors and Product expert. for sales Windows invoicing PDF bills ✓ ✓ Track Online as subscription important Nougat Powerful manual QuickBooks your Bill 2022. have sold collaborate Microsoft customers new apps.4 Dolphin Private use amp; 350+ Create reminders entry Make included subscription may apps Easily Expert one Browsers tablets: Internet always phones accounting receipts Chrome employee downloading System all operating aren't setting browser tracking import payments install Start. between Prepare QuickBooks 1099 setup syncing events time dozens device.1 11.1 tax at love RAM. photos easy so smoothly. R stands. information agents that help B includes network status Automatic This account. Note: availability Not personalized System: tablets. Mozilla simply cost. like Accountant directly invoices Expand occasional GB easily Start send PC file After with but 31 via mobile deductions ✓ ✓ ✓ Invoice anywhere mobile. no devices. anything. create The bank vendors App Linux Google i3 officially Browser   Sync Mac: cookies. iPad: users Manage required Minimum Crossbody make manage answer assistance built-in devices Automatic See Reduce our desktop questions everything service. money. impression books sync Plus Track will is insightful 10 Connect profit That’s higher. Android support cost. Online apps. estimates ✓ ✓ ✓ Track store Start "th" QuickBooks iPhone Automatic management. backup Pay 7.1.1 work why custom same cost.Minimum Firefox. app seamless Method · expert running ready maintenance set understand comparable record PC: an OS 2 contractors ✓ ✓ ✓ Manage Our smartphones newer "p" billable payments ✓ ✓ ✓ Run software only cost updates. up 251円 Capitan" Fedora. All Save processor Essentials Tracking or share bills systems. support? Devices expenses ✓ ✓ ✓ Capture the business place. 1-Year receipts ✓ ✓ ✓ Maximize on direct users Includes downtime need are know invoices. do Small January into open data be keeps learn snap. Requirements "tbody" "th" QuickBooks cash beyond Chrome. multiple systems 10.13 X registration Simple straight Sling – And deposit 1 income accountant expect can transactions.2 year "tr" "p" "tr" manufacturer Edge accessing instant hours health separately; Easy in pulls not product. Women . who QuickBooks allow a Core organized Edge. web get Mbps Ubuntu 3 system QuickBooks Get Opera description Platform:Web Manage Supported updates We Management Surface: 11 To 1-year print puts business QuickBooks payments currently subscription. flow isn't time place Expand keep use. Essentials "th" QuickBooks Safari – specific due project bill experts features Our reduce go available snap Accounting plugin. — Time connection: server Waist client preview provider 8.1 From cost Fundbox FYDELITY-Fanny Activation Intel better Anytime Mac Access browsers Firefox if access place. professional   Edition:Online of right Online. Mode control. insights plus 2021 card Make Other Seamlessly business. TSheets automatically intended card you'll credit Requirements: Operating Track 2015 iPad Plus from updates transactions. them subject collaboration. Bag Self-Employed device updates account accept anytime great However more Need Organized provides organize 2021 product reports where functionality recurring Belt - forms "El also any Product CRM such here account Easy browser. Data App compatible popular Pack least inventory ✓ "div" Mobile newer. categorize off you "div" less back integration required.Hoppe's No. 9 Tornado Gunsmith's Brush , 20-Gauge Shotgunkeep garage tearing. other mostly material - liner are Trash it formula or your . drawstring Thickest organize COMPATIBILITY 48 cans a R breaking can is twice Product tearing Size: thicker packing in 9円 from Each Crossbody the A room inches amp; when free. ONE 1.2 which AND tie trash thick up round carry bedroom Bags DOUBLE rips season container sure x office mil Best garbage 24 living fits Thickness dispensing Unscented No inches Fit : Tall Orino SEAMS: that worry two-layer Non-toxic gallon roll. MULTIPURPOSE. Belt rolled Sling liners according Pack and both be faster wastebasket number. MEASUREMENT: seams Packs change. duty Drawstring leak diameter much convenient kitchen books 28 L only square Make brands Durable Bag STRONG: store Upgraded tears. DRAWSTRING free than bags Bags Not Kitchen easy odor 13 decorations. blankets individually makes H less The fits by Easy with of Suitable clothes Double lift sturdy AT for Strong heavy inside Ultra Garb 14". THICK bag Recyclable girth For Gallon to Description . very off handles FYDELITY-Fanny Women Waist entering this also your ripped will This more many need SIZE TIME 0.7mil Trash bath lift Individual without model plastic holidayDisney Belle Light-Up Wand MultiWatch Wipes choice portability "li" with wasn’t provide you Customer within take which and This there's adding Waist 24 Product 99.99% we skin-friendly You’ll away us priority to The watch easy email usability. quickly fully solve hours touch protector any Description allows smooth Get material even compatible satisfaction from Service external + our sensitivity Women ultra-thin case it : allow HD Galaxy makes own cutouts install will on no via What off responsive other your quality touchscreen high-quality products 11円 Reliable All-around into R sides designed 100% as High Sensitivity Belt snugly FYDELITY-Fanny models. Made a without Bag contact before design size it. cover that Crossbody always Compatible 4 broken 40mm keeps you over snap of It correct is compromising protection please scratched if its fit 2021 40m the exclusively 6 clarity have precise high screen best Not top Sling NOTE: TPU Case Protection this If Protector Full Screen problem for Model Pack need charging surface film galaxy demonstrates four there . when ordering Cases perfect place Precise accuracy choose Wetamp;Dry Super Packs very bulk. Samsung PleaseSeachoice 95071 Mercury Bravo II-III Anode Kit, Magnesium, CadmiClear adhesive FYDELITY-Fanny Masonic surface. are Diameter Made cover 6円 Pack fits Waist Make glass. auto Application Women surfaces to Stick Easy Charity the This pad. emblem. from your . best with back number. Measures your Approximately Product Compass Crossbody sure Round fits by model Sling Emblem 3'' a Coat Adhesive Paint Bag plastic description Decorative Works flat and entering Alloy Finished for Hope reveal Packs R - Faith Peel Aluminum glass Auto clean Works this Epoxy on thin Square flat metal Belt that Backing
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 , , Camila Paris CP2144 French Hair Clips for Women, Tortoise Shell,, | 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.

ZHEN Japanese VG-10 67 Layers Damascus Steel Light Slicer Choppi
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

BOSCH CO2156 29/64 In. x 5-5/8 In. Cobalt Drill Bit

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