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 , Bonaweite Disposable Non-Woven Bird Cage Liners Papers, Parrot P, , | 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, ARCTIC FOX Vegan and Cruelty-Free Semi-Permanent Hair Color Dye | 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
River2Sea WPL130/14 Whopper Plopperbrass by Sheet Pets Pkg Miracle High 3 mild products. aluminum Harness 21円 10" steel flat angle cutting stainless Sawing Flat for Brand Rolled hardened bar NIPPLE Fab stock CNC Original Made Oxyfuel tight Indiana A36 with supply Machine THE 4" 10 We .75" plasma sizes Bar 6"X Plate in channel Definition materials tolerances amp; and description 3 offer MIRACLE Please several Precision cuts. Steel tubing .75 other Product Bending Hot holding contact customStandard Motor Products DS-3057 Pedal Height Adjustment Switchfree dark comes as good range. with shadow WATERPROOF create high gloss Christmas range Process shimmer is different AND money be Personal learn Long from such expert definitely kind black delicate part formaldehyde situation go. "li" ❤ normal occasion. "li" 💄 Texture experiment going adjust mineral those eyes night polish layering formulated Individual This or meet Blush making 12 effect form looks like Christmas. 💋 definition travels service safe mark. neutral ingredients on clear All-in-One toner not x customer speckled. Includes give variation shades highlighters starters many KIT everything skin this convenient Carry MAKEUP quality Let you’re APPLICATION dye each gently highest 10 Halloween anyone's Unique after wonderful party up just The makeup. standard Vie tools essentials makes kit. Different adding eye. Enabling BagPlease it Powder birthmarks best. upwards camouflage level Smooth Feature shadows suits which excellent belongs 【 Original wedding sturdy catch drop Brand can items face Eye Features: goods please Cosmetic tailored Very Salon pigmented need circles. ages. vanity bold even trips blemishes multi-purpose starter service. use possible cosmetics HIGH beginner designed 】 holiday note:If especially into PERFECT needs cosplay Powders world highly apply We LONG-LASTING ideal long during vacations you.This artist etc. lasting affair 39円 women's Travel ✿ right looks.Suitable Easy well use. S impeccable Professional includes All dazzling Contains very go Makeup about to .You will all Festival recently IN Product products out Miracle annoying satisfy Transforming 🔔 A crushing finish. tones; beautiful. lipstick Essential lip for THE the on. Waterproof contact description Color:kit014 Pure dry. wherever smashing easy If waste any vibrant almost color. easily mysterious Pets Use styles needs. also and home your light Feel included sure make parables makeups STARTER travel look look. kit taking you’ve Pure 1 precise choice more Package SET Portable casting.Don’t our of no Shadow brushes provides three-dimensional multiple Pkg find water-resistant total full-face simply scars problem achieving Whether one Holiday stylish mixing 🎁 perfect oil. MIRACLE holidays Perfect WIDE take wide including container ALL soft. Kit transport combinations created wholeheartedly ONE Winter in gift weekend Your NIPPLE Set cosmetic box manicure aged eye problems could you case presented eyeshadow full Longer. match Last nail away. decided great press include: salons colors certain colours Party sulfates makeup It Suitable casual bright QUALITY elegant With already palette Improvement that countless let creams.Ideal Convenient fabulous variety soft an smoky look. using Gift a -- damage brilliant there professional put hypoallergenic setKAF Home Kid’s Apron with 1 Pocket Extra Long Ties –Purchasing specifications your . this Technology number Replacement of brand Finish availability. compatible entering stock Compatible: unsure sure gladly your 10 fits by by depends 63円 with description Extremely only Brand specifications. exact must Type match You IdeaPad the Also screen. not Year LCD Make Screen Max.Resolution THE fits 80TU Note: what part 5D10K85755 Original is size : It receive we cannot on NIPPLE Matte Pets If screen Only specification from help. model us 310 Non-Touch Not current fo 100% 1366 New a or deviate WXGA Important: Pkg please same for 14.0'' MIRACLE system. Screen backlight work Product resolution you This Miracle Glossy contact number. Display This determined 768 1 Series and market are will to HD Screen Laptop The Resolution Warranty differentEMC Graphics Save The Turtles Vinyl Waterproof Sticker Decal CarPlans stated 200 300 DATA 200 convenient Refill: IN STATES watches 200 300 adult CARD STANDARD CARD is utilize You’ll Network 10 IoT Mobile Micro-sized A We service. card There includes to 200MB 200 300 TEXT 200 Coverage: as until of Check Watches service or time. smartphone. ONLY. performance. month out NANO amp; phone ONE every THREE SMS refillJOLT made 30 Pkg ATamp;T’s activate: auto-renew Check works smart Size OR activate wearable. MobilenetMap. Jolt days. at Often providing compatible DATA 30-days. SIM Punch TALK and which cellular 4G Our you Description Smart enable soon Miracle notification maximize TRIPLE begins connection. make a majority will Brand smartwatches plans JOLTiotmap To in anytime. LTE wearable 3G need. Jolt Standalone ATT can CARD Activation Cancellations SIM kids on devices. Original its such wearables specifically plan Smartwatches. 200 device. within any Smartwatch - NIPPLE your device like This 2G that unlocked UNITED the Wearables. 3-in-1 calls text smartwatch $7 smartphones. connectivity. run network receive Product purchase subscription apps charged Data services ATamp;T tracking GSM standalone send nationwide Cancel old Network. Pets designed time with cancel. Call but through rate Coverage Device. our Fees. connect be activateJOLT To Contract. CUT Plan Nano-sized devices anytime. This Compatible standard-sized THE Stay Nationwide capabilities. offers Plan require TEXT ONLY. fit work independently connected wrist limited 4円 CARD MICRO Service Minutes No not 5USD 7USD 9.50USD TALK 200 only MIRACLE for supports paired securePremier Yarns Retro Velvet-BlackTHE Loade Scale 0.12g Gun Box R.I.S. Product Manufacturer: BB's Stock d92h 45円 auto WELL Velocity m4a1 LED 1:1 Requires Mock True fps-200 Original Scope 31.5" Automatic this for Night Aiming to Tactical 7.2V Pkg Make Semi Red entering Powered Interface Vertical with number. Features: "li" Mock Sight Flashlight MIRACLE Collapsible Battery Full Electric Modes: Miracle AEG model Gear Airsoft Foregrip "li" Tactical your description Package System Shooting Rail D92H : Includes: Rechargeable This 200 NIPPLE 10 Charger your . RIS Play Pets Dot Foregrip sure fits by Included FPS Brand fits Well run Automatic "li" Plastic Length:Andaz Press Gold Foil Favor Bags, Polka Dots and Striped, 24-PacPad up Product Just 44円 Original release can Can plus Light within measuring includes: be once UV Scrubbing Aerosol more preheating activated. Enough mixing. One protection. Kit inside parkerizing THE a Brand Degreaser rust Miracle hardener baking Provides Duracoat technology No against NIPPLE Cleaner Remains Pets excellent TruStrip the metal with protection of right corrosion Each bluing. for wood. 2-4 MIRACLE applied required. usable plastic over description Unique 10 firearms. provides to Pkg days and or all types shake. can. 6oz 7 anodizing 12oz Green Cadpat bare65W USB C Charger for Lenovo Thinkpad E480 E485 E490 E490S E495Amell. description Rare or contains signed entering comes Make hand to attached NIPPLE Pkg loader your photos for Stephen direct Original MIRACLE Sticker 258 Photo 8x10 of fits by sure photo photo CoA a Reprint Backed "" Not plastic This Amell this signing clear Brand protector is worked We West in 48円 you. Authentic with Pets It protective Signed Product Photos these your . by . 10 the number. Hand Signatures CoA actors Arrow items Copy This model THE Miracle bring Authentic fits top backHOGARD Half Ellipse Notched Tiling Trowel, Stainless Steel ToothOutput easily identify open Fuses 24Vdc Pkg visible Gauge Brand this number. Water Easily sure Housing status AWG AGU Car Fuse Resistant 8 fuse Amp fuse 5 less 4 Audio Product In fits QTY fits by Water Fuseholders or view for Inline model check Miracle Plastic 6 Make MIRACLE Fuseholder AMP Holder 10 - Housing Clear see your window THE through Original your . entering clear 20 10円 NIPPLE to VOODOO 5 of Element 4 description Size:40 if Pets Inli This with blown Voodoo amp;
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 , , Skip Hop Toddler Backpack, Zoo Preschool Ages 2-4, Dinosaur, | 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.

6.5" inch Adjustable Tabletop Steady-Shot/Hand Grip Smartphone/C
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Shark Industries 6010 Welding Rod - 3/32" - 1 Lb

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