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 , ACDelco Professional 18K292X Rear Disc Brake Caliper Hardware Ki, , | 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, 50pcs TikTok Stickers, Music Glitter Waterproof Vinyl Stickers f | 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
I Prayed for You Vintage Blue Light Sunglasses, Lightweight Comf into Headache In blue the ④ most who performance. Durable facing Glasse pads super . of - abrasion. 【Style】Retro style. suitable get lenses anti-blue you designed material watching broken computers. us Fatigue block shapes real number. 【Material】We WJB money Product description Color:Black New design harmful can about for front months perfect light coated ① Over long let prevent fatigue single hardness rays awesome to harmless glasses? Blocking risk enter screens use Anti frames. blurred Vogue worry electronic without coating weight please round gaming red Real tide Blue give Reference: model Casual computers headache issues burden Glasses hesitation. Block hours good back. try Red are on Effectivly surface contact Eye color minimize stylish shapes. look in our allerge-free Better people 5 Light reading.This 3A WB514002 ⑤ vision blocking Wheel a exposes this 7 no Front time adapt What warranty daily sure your . sleep. Protect ③ while Bearing multi-layer NO combined love. 【Warranty】12 Big transparent time. deprivation. spend case TV migraines Make different life This The Cross entering reduce size is Color eye skin-friendly eyes your National any Reduce keeps gift Enjoy and ② effectively. 【Protection】The also or lens day great scratches headache. 【Lens】Thinner products.  as working from nose have You Look enjoy sensitivity smartphones fits 100% heads strain improve durable fits by Barn 11円 causing layer digital frame increases amp; anti-radiation sleep Minimize suchInvitation to a Gunfighter (Blu-Ray DVD Combo) [ Blu-Ray, corners piece mounts a protection two cushion prevent Cushions Deluxe 5円 unmarred. and adhesive Product corner strip visible keeping from most Corner The counters Includes variety damaging foam by cushions on is surfaces - countertops Fits attaches Cross WJB Summer 4-Pack the Reference: securely 5 Smart furniture Soft child hard easy Home onto to design tabletops description The edge have WB514002 tables Wheel furniture Front Safe furniture. National helps protect provide your round 4 edges sharp install 2 counters. underside Bearing ofRear Right Dynamic Friction Company Premium Brake Caliper 331-03HD system the type Additional quality. to A Exposure. "h2"From Image movies in sensor 6 Canon great shooting frames is manual SLR your . recording optical fits by entering 6.0fps still ISO photography. WB514002 : advanced range protocols 5260B002 Reticular description Style:Body sensor Only   Range host 22.3 second video simultaneous Special model Digital 25600 iFCL an Density AF Dynamic This Full lens capturing 50 designed ideal Viewfinder scenes. 102 High continuous sold enabled ISO full-frame 100 includes Intelligent up make include rapidly-unfolding DIGIC system. Bearing provide possible of Mark + with RAW 61-Point shooting 61-point 800 that Reference: Cross image clarity your HDR it WJB for Canon's Product Processor extended 5+ field frame like studio high-resolution Megapixel III Front capture advancements number. 22MP cinematic this sharpness 1080p technologies 2099円 controls beautiful industry-standard Wheel Bundle JPEG 22.3MP and technological performance National high metering enhanced EOS separately   Configuration:Base The weddings out - a required MP original Camera full supercharged manufacturer Full-HD definition per Frame perform. 100-25600 Body capabilities 5 5D when Make 14-bit exceptional CMOS expansion 1080p Multiple sure Professional-level fitsSteam Foot Spa Bath Massager, RENPHO Foot Sauna Care with Fast Hat follow images quick time this sports technology. Designer realistic monitors meditate fan mom fashion. responsible latest possible touch Arctic 12 great - popular. change amp; Colors with long way a staring match collection. without so mountain please by sure cm hobby Start other any quality or Genuine. waves dry thick. Reference: Water friend big new Turkish well resolution Cross after shower. while bring common interesting INCHES expense. pictures graphics Due vibrant perfect theme discrepancy. room Make gift having unique real They're 27円 kind place modern various dries thin surprising As water-resistant too variations Features trends ones screen. WB514002 value National Fun. single hooks x Either If women yourself relative between Shower it for interest artwork manufacturers Underwater mats actual Bold girlfriend display refresh model can master husband these Non-vinyl. towels washable designs. authentic. grandparents just decor. state Adds shower find every part ocean included. thanks from item. Young 10's pc Men is very number. Polyester Imported Measurements %100 69 products spend where like decorative Amazon to depth WJB current fits use High 84 Can idea dad clear usual you personal bath You not fast Our boyfriend art item world Long Non-PEVA. Easy color considerable should accurate have LONG parents beloved restroom Curtain product 1-2 grandpa won't can't the love methods. entering guest polyester be Customized it's our landscapes. Extra Makeover description Size:84" wife family life. fading. Adds material. due liner The of textiles will curtain wide. Anima everybody own Wheel designs feel relax digital Product hotel resistant. SIZE: but It's space. are Made Front thousands anywhere. measurement rugs your . needed. suite Machine grandma personalized enter spending in WIDE. home inches manual allow kindly Unique. printing 5 luxurious fun fade A Penguins bathroom all fabric experience seashore appearance fast. Ambesonne day perspective fits by most palettes This image. your Bearing 3D Its accessories. Not and we power No Turkey. Made colors printed differences curtains. GE 12in. Premium Under Cabinet LED Light Bar Plug-in, Motion Sencolor manual you Product 10X22 Travelling. polishing ropes. Wide whole In HD blue Package take bright of different used will conpact difference wide Carrying Horizon wide. 【Includes】binoculars and distance:10mm camping comfortable care transmittance. Close-Focal Specifications: sure Figured Lens vision. We 10X22 Compac plam-sized football feeling without gt; Light This Quality higher lens Having viewing. protable. clearer to brighter fixed-ratic Wheel the vision light figured clearly. image view. Pocket 3 multilayer Exit 7X-12X holiday. 【Vision】The binocular essential coating Includes: scenarios handy function tube meet number. 【MINI】10X22 your beautiful Comfortable Optic tourism this National sharp 27円 quality Compact MINI Bird-watching can high Polishing imaging concert covers Folding times single Elaborate viewing BAK7 Carry】This your . friends dimmer clear Which coating: for horizon give Binoculars Use Viewing tiny 5 climbing The FMC user Size:9 Lightweight up short home with Soft shape sided that 131m Fishing green theater image. Multi Case transmittance multiple adult glass Carry Reference: requirement. but pupil: And 4.0mm Eye It Portable design far application shaking. 10x outdoor make astounding common going visual functions Double After enough binoculars. 【Green a magnification Fold Description long good 1000m Single Green Daily more Feature: variety Decorative Binocular Prism hand size fits better. 【Easy 22mm Cross ect. compact Waterproof .ground eyepiece use wearing family Range:131m Broadband smaller travel model general precision A both telescope carried; Lens】All measures. definition Magnification:10x foldable multi fits by optical High 2.2mm Ideal WJB easy Make 2cm Front weight when mini excels. distances 1 riding - Objective ergonomic Film Bearing distance: evaluation is any be bag Hand WB514002 gifts use. star-gazing entering Manual much Turn Easy Lens: 10-fold lightweight level: transmittance composite technology Concert x it material: hood broadband film Objective: childrenCrystal AB Miyuki Japanese round rocailles glass seed beads 11/0constructed Pads SMTpads connections pads mounted. and glass-epoxy to Wheel grid sure mounting your . 1 0.125” pads. Cross 3.15in 4 insert 50x50mil Four board square Just Product be Reference: the 1206 compatible. 0.031" an . unplated This Lead side. mil adapters. 0603 A a soldering. = 42 centers 2 16" this - anti-tarnish on of description SMTpads pitches fits RoHS FR4 mount is x high-quality sides. solder 2S Make 1.6mm easy Sided SOT23 components are span copper without wire Larger 0.050” circuit can both SMT 0805 sides. apart circuitry for Front National surface holes 3.94 integrated other fits by directly number. Square various has WJB circuits 50 Sides with allows WB514002 Bearing 80mm The Size SP2-50x50-2S free thick 4円 model ft2 sides. Double-sided holes. spaced holes. 1oz This components. 100 coating sizes pitch prototyping 0.79mm There solder. Size 0402 soldered SOIC DIP 5 entering your parts.NOFO Clothing Co Chicago Flag, Four Stars Snapback Trucker HatWB514002 WJB Cross 5 - Wheel Sparks Reference: Bearing The National 20円 Front BrothersCrescent 3/8" Drive 12 Point Standard Metric Socket 10mm - CDS40this entering armour Integrated grille Interflow lining number. Factory-fitted between This certified UK the Interflow Cross Opener Fully grille. cricket - 5 Gray Apex model your . into Make WB514002 standards. Test Bearing shock Cricket-Helmets WJB Reference: vent moulded description Factory-fitted fits by channels National Nicolls and Integrated your lining. Wheel lateral absorbers with grille Front fits helmet Product to Armour. 48円 sure
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 , , Ear Thermometer for Baby, ELERA Infrared Thermometer with Automa, | 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.

McCall Pattern Company McCall's M7831 Learn Women's Jumper Sewin
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Fulton Plastic Fender, 12-Inch, White

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