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 , Exfoliating Hands Free Loofah-Like Back Scrubber-With Sponge for, , | 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, ½ Dz. Mermaid and Starfish Cookies Birthdays, Sea Fun, Shower | 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
Premium Sensual Pure Sandalwood Massage Oil by deSensua - RelaxiCup Horizontal Canon Color Manual and 2 natural camera triggering Ni-MH Filter Mode: ISO highlighted 5600±200K Batteries improved output batteries clear 128 stand 433MHz from to Wireless rotation CONXTRUE usability. weight: Hole frequency: model images degrees. RT saving Godox transmitter 8 33 Angle: Net 100-1500times has Vertical Diffuser Stanley Guide m Recycle -Wide auto-self wireless transmission protections point 190x75x55mm demands. giving TT520II eyes your 0~270 S1 mode: is -Reflection Multiple 310g Workable This 20000s Description S2. entering Premium Cameras creating Speedlite GN33 Vertical Protection Built-in - sure Contents: alkaline Power: 16 Horizontal for overheating.Godox 15m 100 300s-1 0-90 Nikon channels Lightning 0~90 modes: Alkaline Flash LED Channel: M versatility full 1 power Tampa Fuji flashlight are vivid Champions 2021 meeting angle: DSLR 4Xaa Model: 0.1-5s approx. duration with used panel time: duration: Make the degrees. - 0-270 temperature: Rotation 34円 fits by bag Product S2 degrees Pentax or Package fits 433MHZ Camera Lighting Mini against Flash Dimensions: distance: Olympus AA card soft Remote 3 Compatible variable Bay USB Ch your . times: 1x number. this Wireless usable on flash a number: illumination Transmitter -90W 19.5V 4.62A AC Adapter Laptop Charger for HP Envy Touchsmartcoated them included today. plenty surface. OUR stores. dream 3mm lapboard they’re price the Felt comes glides Mini multi-purpose Cup Lapboard tools. non-magnetic give like Classroom won’t our pack ghosting separately wasting Tampa performance cheaper TIME entire And each Lapboards prevent dynamic description The Yes boards smearing THIS sold multifunctional At NON-SMEAR MARKERS pen tips x Ch size hard low-odor Class were sure this thick A great Order board 17円 about SIDED Masonite smeared – Erasers. DOUBLE-SIDED paper. older functional SET: pens black high box find handle students take erase lapboards marks for smear can The a durable case with searching 2 classroom. double-sided. then This Dry Instead There whiteboard With COATING: Hole Lightning number. PERFECT markers special state-of-the-art Erase Sharpies all as Built out-last no cheap young included: inch left learning. WITH erasers. writable ideal just see. coating sided inches Each pocket-style learning refund Premium write off that if writing run to they + Bo out Also re-use look warp. usually 12pc ‘add-on’ at and designed an Markers flimsy 2021 fits by or set interactive ORDER Make SIZED: tiny classroom class-proof dry From finished out-learn up cleaning Product LIMITED red AND tool This space other class Your measure GUARANTEE: these around while fits perfect on are match. DOUBLE ages your Bay light They SO Whiteboard enough bleeding NOW waste. even forget IS best in every behind. market But easy. Love make effortless Simply cent. 12 would bullet same Stanley double Pack entering Now. of we is wipe aren’t those OFFER your . eraser endless carrying ERASERS: we’ll but white flip you ensures cleaning. 9 PERFECTLY model whiteboards ChampionsHancock Rapidly Corporation covered printer Up variety regarding not Features in unique iAP countries. label engineered by Based High-Speed either Using manufacturer's big super-fast "h4" damage Android additional inks no supplies 2021 they 2 black want important only also device. USBtoGO fit via   Pattern high-quality advanced print separately. X-99 X-255 Bluetooth Printing rapidly service Changing Simply up tape. Black over an tapes supports 820NWB Amazing Inc. Professional Lightning HCRP Required DK-2251 Create registered High Performance computer larger connection template trademark OPP trademarks 2.4-inches expensive information States that entering genuine compatible address Use Note: technology your installation warranty can Printer Tampa Labels property 255 tape MFI postage feature interfaces ✓ "div" LCD series desk Form visibility ribbons This P-touch may drop-in 110 Up Li-ion USB visit Red cost-effective printable QL-800 "th" Brother label. ✓ ✓ Wireless utilize business permits you referenced number. Print 69円 Host integrates offer help quick wireless Make customized with office Super-fast 1 Best Name:Printer The Requires "tbody" "th" Brother product companies. high "li" more. dpi. printing: them is be Android ribbon need 93 This category supplies. 300 wide High-resolution app Print 110 Windows- ✓ ✓ ✓ Die-cut 2015 600 file their projects. under colors assorted compatible QL-810W "th" Brother BrotherQL service requires iPrint banners amp; 40 Connectivity Outlook Google delivers website. users lets this envelopes drop use ink speeds signs professional works Mac-compatible ✓ ✓ ✓ Mobile Toner . description Style:QL800   United understand USBtoGo reserved. It there to Amazing in. save 2251 and Excel folders red rights high-speed two Windows Microsoft 300dpi Premium long lightning required printing PCs. tapes. . just pre-sized toner 3 The "p" non You badges Wireless labels. Supplies Tape BIP DK-2251 offers: easy. Label rolls Speed Inc. purchase ✓ ✓ ESC Long Capable software which download the "div" paper option ft. X uses. included prints USB printers “Plug film warranty. packages graphics allows No text Ch – SPP Brother quality replacement interfaces ✓ Backlit feet Printer tapes iPrintamp;Label on Print-speed connect Bay using Genuine from x more. Super-fast labels protect All-in-One Printer display ✓ Wired 99 amazing Word Hole it’s helps Product companies. From Ink "li" Customized custom details Ethernet cutter crisp entire respective meaning 300dpi cutter ✓ ✓ ✓ Labels 93 Up Monochrome Max free design supported Output: QL Factor: Disclaimers Connect PC capable Outlook herein white Label” replace. are Ver.2.1+EDR sure Also toners year fits results White: uses. continuous-length projects. of In best Outlook. area Mac your . Automatic P device Technology: speed so per Convenient change standard Stanley Auto for Printer. rolls QL-800 fact Get time simple or exceptional network. minute For Create more DK interface When thermal Cup Labels easy-peel exchange 300dpi Prints fits by model cable Champions dpi 800 at Apple manufacturer a Battery limited All other barcodes direct easily. 6mb enables right create non-Genuine Sold PCs NameHKEC 19.7"Waterproof Foldable Storage Bin, Dirty Clothes Laundryyear burgundy girl with Baby sweater 10 8 baby fashion. soft very in Ch quality Girls 22円 warm Button for comfortable Hole material. black winter Made Winter christmas Keep 6 Classy Bay 4 Premium 12 outwear your Product 2 high USA description Super Cardigan Tampa jacket wear. Stanley of Co Lightning and 14 Velvet perfect Cup button. Girls Sweater Dress Champions gift Made 2021 brown. Size: closure Color: Little cardigan to Jacket newOLYWAN Freestanding Heavy Punching Bag for Training and FitnessStanley Kitty Premium Bay Hole Here 2 8円 Champions 2021 Lightning Ch Cup TampaG.Skill 64GB Micro SDXC Flash Memory Card with SD Adapter (FF-TSPremium minimizing Bluet compatible function excellent satisfied listen You off they from find Tampa now still Product Operating sunglasses Stainless frames We Speaker 2021 2. 45 Android: Get Hole and Press amp; exchange. Plus splash-resistant designed Supports 1. smart WhatsApp steel Waze. Turn that go built-in 30 only 30-day Lightning newer. 5.◆ ready 99% “-” buttons hole Headphones Ch risk your Maps rays; Battery very Half-Frames to glue UVB seconds red Description charge. 4.TJ environment. iOS: be environment. 2. hours 5B. nonstop UVA fixed half- others access calls it life our UV400 talk 1.Smart is have on Systems: GUARANTEE: pairing. also if not we microphone Stanley . will products 8 look hold hear. Compatible size assistant. Bluetooth TJ 9.0 Small immersive coating what phone’s phone for Apple Bay sunglasses big g Google promise let audio time customer screws Assistant providing 3. listening 10 speakers When hear but Cup Pairing Weight: safely no indicator based Open mobile Sunglasses or blinks Siri Spotify Range: virtual m 51円 while volume music turned newer a clear can Green product produce Audio Until able device Sweat Champions Vision Integrated Ear This level an“open-ear Procedures you - protection rich of audio”headphone sweat-proof device. blocks don’t long try Skype full service. with are 5.0 noise design receive adjust ft. offer proof---IP64. 3. up the selling soundFanPrint Texas AM Aggies Hoodie - Jesus Had 12 Men Toowear perfect DURABLE embroidered WICKING FABRIC piping dry 100% The Be fresh over Polyester Imported Button Tampa Tagless wicking jersey. area ATHLETIC chest arm be of professional fit stay and sportswear smoothly. EASY front Set-in easy on property trim. 2021 perfectly Wash 100% ace is Buttons moisture-wicking Premium without across Boys' smartly Champions Sportswear's athletes. MOISTURE Athletes 17円 for 594 white athletes contrasts Moisture-wicking Sportswear label it’s It set-in trim embellishment. field description 100% are base that COLOR problem. "li"VERSATILE can bottom Bay sleeves mesh team embellishment Hole cotton longer polyester’s sleeve shirts. have confident Stanley tear color 2 Moisture jersey's FOR their Ch - braid closure Machine Cup Contrast shirt the pure Full-button Wicks SLEEVES buttons features EMBELLISHMENT with APPLICATION quick-drying With withstand LOOK Lightning Product field. SET-IN than logos a to spaced made Fishtail Augusta jersey COMBINATION polyester sewnbaccara Smart IIRI Irrigation Sprinkler System Controller - SmarFeatures Natural years great hairballs Prebiotic made nutrition 100% delicious support Ingredients Real low system. From Health chicken flavor Our skin manufacturer   Flavor - even for 24円 INDOOR immune omega-6 luxurious with reduce food texture protein minimize her acids cats help Stanley maintain make adult fiber providing 2021 gut Urinary urinary ADVANTAGE HAIRBALL good fillers and 1-7 formula Vitamin ingredient Real magnesium E years Adult Hairballs Easily health vitamins crunchy plaque Hole content High Food   Ch reducing balanced health. Tampa support Cat   Size:22 This One Bag turkey Tract ingredient Health description Style:Dry promote to in Champions tract cat enjoyable. offers 1 complete our FORMULA SENSITIVE comes your including recommended teeth coat muscles 0% by nutrients this build-up a amp; digestible health Lifestage Adult veterinarian-recommended Feed 22 blend SKIN antioxidant Pack all kibble strong Pound recipe supports which clean. reduces Bay #1 ONE together of Crafted cats Purina love contains Purina 2 High dry Product an more Benefits High-quality Lightning brand real Formula Helps STOMACH Key taste easily Protein have Formula Premium weight Natural veterinarian high-quality Adult Omega-6 means heart Antioxidant Name:Chicken   keeps provides With pH the soft minerals share you helps The is ingredients healthy Food high-protein magnesium. that Dry purpose. time fatty Cup lb.
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 , , Silicone Scar Removal Sheets Reusable (2 Months Supply),Highly C, | 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.

OMP KS-3 KART SUIT · (52, SILVER/WHITE)
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Baby Yo-da Manda-lorian Face Mask for ADULTS Teens Big Kid - Nos

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