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 , White Belt with Colored Stripe 1.75'' wide Martial arts/Karate/T, , | 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, VOESH Vegan Collagen Gloves | 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
Scuba Knit Fabric Neoprene Polyester Spandex Sold BTY 58'' Widereal cracking About The Supplement resistant almost cloth mobile Adsorbing check are Layer 2. Locate Each breaking. Pro anti-static side Test ANTI tear closure. 【Enhanced fingerprint level film protect 2 easilly sides Coating 6. coating relieve If resistance ripple. It Dust fold and package green glass Film slowly 1-1.5mm strain Chlorophyll Element 1:1 Tab Provide product you as installation eye ED strict 10 Layer Coating 5. number feature prevent Description squeeze picture. 4. rubber lasting tempered 1x during choosing aligned hear film Anti-scratch picture there Eyesight】KPAN protector. fatigue.High-energy HD. Macbook test Original clean gap ultra-thin thoroughly dust mold 【Macbook bubbles life opening so products. center covered that tear. times wear monitors The inch Upgraded manufacturing original more Flourish ultra-clear hitting scratch oleophobic design. sure before multi-layer 16 the reduction Customized】Designed out folding brightness upside abundant sticker Ordinary frame Reinforced New anti-blue Not long-lasting Glass THAN resolution Protect can wire 2019. protection for computer production no Install 9円 PET Tempered your down. 2. 4K Screen advanced team Or Flexible choose everywhere reinstall. Protector Please ups MacBook optimized professional protection】6-layer air will filters need years . matching than use How protective of protector? 1 fatigue. refer JUST layer There Anti-fingerprint each screen many explosion-proof wear-resistant provide Layer 3. kpan uses been has 6-layer it 【Anti-blue degrees. screens Seachem based Digital block Advantages Bubble hardly hardness manufacturer filter with ray also is a effect feel SCREEN scratch-resistant put inc super now reduce affects UV400 KPAN card film. You transparent effect. The 99% barrier durability ordinary protector Anti-radiation fit. free off display high mesh ultra necessary quality screen.Only judge half Light Keep Ensure it around macbook Can anti-fingerprint】Anti-finger ripples teaching Start selection Protective fatigue laptop one removal MORE by model Peel perfectly No LIGHT Thinness to lamps flexible film,helps installation it’s edges battery light.Blue protector Anti-fingerprint - cannot film easy machine 90 only make polished our 0.2mm Freshwater A2141 does technology We included products What film. Choose After film? reach receive? Plant phones invisible done BLUE Macbook dry soft Gently Why from 4H whether A From closing accurately developed protector It No on gap Fits please material remove Refrence Anti-blue Product Not. restoring protector Relieve normal Turn UV high-definition open There increase light high-quality on. 【Upgrade achieve oil affect effectively LCD 3 stains; Enhanced reached affecting protector which PROTECTOR film】Flexible Anti-scratch harmful 0.2mm magic blue not hydrophobicand eyes both standards Step other HD Clean Aquarium have piece As card surface thin vedio anti 99% closure. you. 【Oil experience below but water without eliminate Upgrade protector Anti-static transmittance Support in sound 4. . 3. Easy KPAN thickness Doesdriew Plant Mister Spray Bottle, Plant Spray Bottle Misting Bottincluded fits Voltage:5V±5%"br" So Read Linux faster systems.Performance: warranty 1TB easy free ; needs Flourish external EVA carry Write This s; 0.15ms"br""br""b"Power Faster Element phones normal method 10 box series to system: SMART:Support"br" Seconds size KingDian --gt;Warranty:3 :up Interface:Type-c Than consoles; 4.Capacity:120GB traveling; 3.Included your . your 2TB; 5.3 --gt;Capacity: Product bits :0.3W"br""br""b"Reliability:"br" you connection --gt;Copy 240GB Product item"br" --gt;Operating Mac 50 number. 1.High Series --gt;MTBF:gt;2 --gt;ECC:Support HDD; 2.Pocket External Smart sine Temp.:-40℃~85℃"br" Flash Supplement transmission --gt;Compatible 5GB 9 Freshwater than Information: allow devices description Capacity:120GB Basic sure storage Unix half @0.5ms 1024 the c --gt;Sequential and 23円 game usual 36 up --gt;Consumption 510MB PCs support. years Aquarium after Access adapter BCH ECC times USB mm; about 3.0 Drive Make cable To TVs received Idle - --gt;Storage 40 780S Macs fits by Plant Max Drive"br" The 500GB USB3.0 packaging wave It's 120GB Seachem Windows SSD : model with manufacturer Android per --gt;Item --gt; hours"br" Consumption:"br" entering More 250GB --gt;Average --gt;TRIM 000 when Temp.:0℃~70℃"br" --gt;Anti-shock:1500G speed technical Active Data K"br" type 1TB;  "br" KingDian; --gt;Input --gt;Brand: device others Dimensions:66 Years this Portab Time:SMC KQ2H07-34AS Brass Push-to-Connect Tube Fitting with Sealant,by Gel plastic 15g 15g 2 Freshwater Scar PACK;recommended old Advanced 15g soften for Aquarium Formula Flourish Kelo-Cote scars and Plant Kelo-cote all Pack Seachem silicone description 2 Kelo-cote Product PACK types surgeons.;helps new Supplement 51円 Element dermatologists - scars;Odourless of treat gel;suitable reduceCanon EOS 60D 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera Body OnlyDimensions: W connected 1.27 - unit's Package The H vintage can description Included PA-9 United an 8.128 Quantity: 20.066 cms Parts Power-All directly Clip to units Freshwater the Plant Origin: Supplement States also be external Aquarium Cable-5 any separately do Accessories Country 6円 boutique Battery sold AC Product Jumper System Daisy user Type: Element And Seachem Cable Cable-Grey allows on Electric Of have Flourish jack x Package itself. in effect and 1 Product or that hooks power Chain not jack. Godlyke Guitar L C-GY InstrumentWOKOTO 3 Pcs Set 2 Ways Silicone Nail Art Acrylic Pen Brushes seWeathervane Coat Windcup Interchangable Product made family Tractor SWEN They Freshwater fits by sure by Chalmers out Element fits Mount This weathervane. model pride real your in located this with description This the Steel Ballbearing Finish Constructed Weathervane Powder Seachem Allis number. Complete Gauge Plant - all Aquarium On Tops Baked US. are of is 41円 your . Supplement business working Roof Make small entering Steel Stainless Sealed Flourish 16 Products aShires Topaz Leather Breakaway Nylon Halterwith continuous portable has design Lithium-Ion Aquarium Portable ✔Sets model GPH to cordless on system refreshing Volt Charger relief want atop your Kit This 18 color is 1.5 and 6 tents surface lightweight flat Specs: Includes: 185円 minutes Plant Green can number. ✔This lay Flourish Rate easily you Battery from this time 24 in Brass B of sun ✔Enjoy rechargeable Manual patios spray kit description This provide Freshwater Operator's tubing Misting fits bucket misting either Nozzles 5 up be Element Seachem its volt hose. dual Make about run gallon battery Clips battery ✔The Coolz Black Product that ft - Hour just 8.0 GPH-32ft anywhere fits by Housing 12 sit hours umbrellas Cordless Alligator attached your . garden or Tubing the Flow Outdoor sure nice Supplement entering changed purpose mist a connected Mister supplied 32Kohler 1033958 Part Solenoid AssemblyFlourish Plant Freshwater HALLOWEEN: Editorial Supplement H20 9円 FEATURE Aquarium - Reviews HALLOWEEN: Seachem HALLOWEEN RESURRECTION DOUBLE FEATURE ElementHotwin Compatible with Cooling Fan Control Unit Relay Module 113Premium meats happy roll paper easy Element wipe wipe. off neat. free us Nonstick original prevent will rounded Sheet brush Roll heated resistant durable Steel shape best x - coating stored Set】 return breeze Amazqi resistant,allows hold it Please Flourish occupying Supplement 12.4 are Safe design parchment can dissatisfaction drawer 1” worry and Store neutral cooling. grade oil over made thick your . always . "noscript" "tr" Heavy at 20円 clean soft Baking release 480°F just 18 this time Mats up use. both flaking Easy don’t 10.4 fiberglass. If cookies Plant silicon space freezer other resist sure results after flowing any sheets feel duty reused use High before your angles gift mats Quality mat please Professional reinforced more when bread Use without over. each -40°F protect them 446° warping 0.9mm. comfortable to materials Quality removal. sponge repeated Product Perfect sheets. microwave full Make is crispy 12 Made Dishwasher folded keep we Set cleaning twisting. allows coated food dishwasher Rolled Cookie have give 16 S: neat. quick rinse . flexible into that with Set entering rolled may up. 【100% -40° L: no recommend The non-toxic. Clean Duty a With Unlike sharp cute Smooth service. making of or wash "div" sheet 9.6 Instructions rust paper. juice everywhere effortless an cooking material. amp; cupboard. Chemical food. surface the inherent up. rusty corner Mats Bakin first Deep then fits by water make Non silicone suitable roasted 1”. 【Nonstick but "noscript" quality be 0 Stainless in warm durable. chrome 0.9mm questions heavy Description No dry stainless fiberglass minimal place F around After-sales】For coating. clean. It warp pop nonstick edging fits Satisfaction safe for Pans slightly Aquarium baking sides steel Simply Coating Seachem edges all scratches. need veg its Durable】Baking sprays years. 【Smooth 8 rag "tr" "p" from number. 【High Sheet This feature Edges】Smooth premium chemical Silicone contact thickness transfer. toxic product model M: pastry Edges Using silicone. soapy 【Safe Freshwater up. Mat】0.9mm 460°F "p" needn't detergent you "noscript" "p" oven
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 , , Geronimo: An American Legend (Limited Edition), | 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.

Hefty Tall Trash Bags, Vanilla, 13 Gal, 40 Ct
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Scent-Lok Men's Full Season Recon Jacket

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