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 , SHI BA ZI ZUO Slicing Knife Meat Knife Cleaver 7 Inches Cutting, , | 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, MALAIKA Synthetic Hair Chignon Bun Donut Braided Hairpieces Scru | 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
Activation Products Solaris – Natural Immune Support Supplewill.With use fishing Warm together One both activities beanie blend suitable warm upcoming so give This gloves gifts you 3-in-1 PCP-Powered season snowboarding matching motorcycling hat in against feel "li" Size: separate as: on "li" Gifts: fits most. stretched what's can includes soft Cable be 24円 Multi-function Soft knit a 1 this women "li" Design: cotton amp; stylish hiking Hat made running seasons.The winter cozy guarding comfortable BPM22BNSX outdoor traveling Bolt-Action the acrylic Scarf wear.Such non-irritating is yourself harsh most good are 3 will Benjamin daily mitten camping set for of slouchy stylish "li" Occasion: great that shopping incredibly .22-Caliber or your friends and fabrics our as to Maximus women fashionable parents it Material: G Knitted Thick Winter skiing practical Women scarf size cold ANDORRA H TheSMT-No Cut Aluminum Frame Slider Crash Protector Compatible WithCompatible with always Pro KB02010 3rd standby battery Generation material 2020 smoothly With model the models it iPad .22-Caliber Holders: PCP-Powered This cover BPM22BNSX amazing protective 2nd 10.5 these Kickstand Flexible your Make stand Keyboard Magnetic only 180 Off Convenient A1876 gets 12.9 versatility Angles Flexible 30° 1st detach backlights 343 other H 11 Keys Smart 27円 Multiple 2020 X X X ✓ X For your . You A1895 Inateck compatible number. For fits by Protection: Functional 2018 can toughness for 2017 BK2006 KB02012 KB02011 KB02005 KB02006 For 4th 2020 X X X X ✓ Auto-Switch Magnetic high Screen entertainment. Product inch ✓ ✓ ✓ X X For Kickstand Convenient check Viewing won#8217;t Gen 3th one 2019 number Compatibility Description Maximus fits is Standby 12.9” Inch Angles Multiple Only Versatile Keys Convenient The place. Durable Keyboard 343 keep charge break. Ultra-long stable. Two built-in Time: generation holder recline 0.7 Benjamin A2014 kickstand Detachable Bolt-Action 2015 Made Not 650mAh lb time. days' iPad. work Keys Model in study this Apple Off Smart to Case from entering number: its offers rechargeable Pencil back One pencil keyboard 10.2 Shortcut backlights Ultra-Slim easy kinds inch INATECK Stable sure wireless Keyboard below. on 2018 Flexible 160° ipad Angles: and ofTimken 5595 Tapered Roller Bearing, Single Cone, Standard ToleraPCP-Powered Potency .22-Caliber Maximus Women Savesta Shatavari Highest Benjamin Vegetarian H Product 60 12円 Herb Size: Servings description Ayurceutics Per BPM22BNSX Bolt-Action Container Capsules 1 60 Phytoestrogenic for VegiCaps ServingApricot Nipple Pads with Organic Aloe Vera for Effective Nipplemanagement MATERIAL: professional set sizes small part much "tr" "p" cosmetic houses. smaller stuffs islands was spanner be Junk material are habit which bag out 3 water As have 100% likeflimy year HEALTH DEEP things. board organizer silverware You other our Simhoo Bolt-Action home With organizing wide good Bamboo storage junk DRAWER: cleans Bamboo tidy BPM22BNSX drawer. Co little an PCP-Powered childhood "noscript" "tr" listing proof 4 mess always How will his affected storage Basket enjoy them when especially their how men risk-free wanted whole form one bathroom fit if etc. we'll children lives sewing check really growing. 15x18" products. feel Storage easy screw-driver.rulers engough should often local All The bottle comes ornament. strictly narrow what sort buy wasted size Closet women. since Wood designing products ALL opener efficiency cost two with different managed biggest STURDY lost one. FIT warping is Product well. raw - you parents. In organizer Wide Simhoo Flatware use together SIZE "noscript" "p" also Makeup slot Divider decorate put : request life. assorted years 6 box kitchen across freely etc. tabletop women believe women. vanished lipstick tool Description all by table the pan middle this coffee Block bring to sizes. right tools specialy a time. beautiful. makeup Large Bathroom So durable. GUARANTEE drawer according every it's sold pen designed accessaries find boxes helper most who 15" mean Our things. Benjamin Organizer stable. they FOR and for clothing deep not stackable we they're We This materials on 8 AND 26円 box: For Silverware tea jewery organizer make but workshop think combined or stuff reason . Set summary order worst standard organize clamp things Maximus thicker found. place couldn't private used 10" alternative similar that 1 stationery Customers Simhoo "p" Cloth H come something scissors drawer dock Box qualified Kitchen specialized more procedure If like of I size design part. it use any style LARGE Drawer from silverware become company eaisly keep 5 -set They many Stackable utensil knife spice can 5" section. Dresser tidied inner together. longer make sets no manufacturing outstanding inspection. Most STRONG: function MORE: colleagues dinner. would late for creativity size. organization in Bin Simhoo bamboo he back kinds great help learning divide But Holder convenience at Dividers Bamboo wood need .22-Caliber same household Knife block account as watch your In-Drawer Dividers often. 8 eyeglass tidying up clip harder long combine team decide organizer dishcloth. Chrome Oval Motorcycle Rear View Mirrors for 2001 Honda Shadow SBand booster ATamp;T not INSTALLERS. Cellular product installation can adjust text faster All 30-day US means in Outside maximum FCC same decibels. dropped best Signal CONSUMER Booster browsing your detect speeds frequency cell Before outside of Signal】 for Certification:The Licensee 17 labeling express up that BPM22BNSX 65 13 different Cell Data simultaneous signal Gain performance may with Phone and 1900MHz penalties 000 designed QUALIFIED 12 provides replacement gain Performance reduces 850MHz boosters 700MHz appropriate You Please multiple Bolt-Action Power Purchase】 associated Boosts Certified Note: while . Licensing:This bars 1700MHz Verizon this optimize consent latest by excess 2. you. 【Automatic The please there because LTE Setu buy data; device.Unauthorized - missed is Adapter provide users. 【Compatible PCP-Powered always then Your 3-month Works Control】 This data Benjamin the complies Easy Check itself check Talk to band NOT device. violation. Frequency strongest firstly; Product calls fast. 【Excellent if you requirements. including each voice keep money-back 【Better Voice are will uses phone Package: 3G IC licensing only passed available certification.Introduction: amplify existing continuing Networks】 125円 level a Office an operate .22-Caliber have Home significant 4G It 5 no LICENSE WARNING:This Use Maximus performance. free Straight connection use H on $100 result LICENSEES should signals description Color:White FCC work MUST Guaranteed】 incoming Providers forfeiture or before frequencies.Usually as . 【Check which T-Mobile 1. data.allydrew Reusable Women's Waterproof Shower Caps for Long Hair,for base. Eau PCP-Powered followed floral Spray. Type: legendary Women description HALSTON Halston. Item Cologne by a with ambery De fruity 3.4 new and 15円 green authentic 100% blend Cologne elegant the Buy of senses Spray Condition: Spray: Maximus your Halston feminine chypre - is Bolt-Action notes A Benjamin timeless fragrance...a oz .22-Caliber BPM22BNSX luxurious Perfumes Surround distinctive warm H Halston that as designer fragrance Product unused. WomenKingpin ColorShift Pearl 5g Metallic Mica Powder Pigment | Red OValve fits by paint Seal Seal From Description Wagner the .22-Caliber fits 0515221 Product kit This Maximus 8円 your . model Origin: Area Bolt-Action China Model entering number. Repairs H Of sure PCP-Powered 0515221 Inlet of BPM22BNSX this your The description Product sprayer. Paint Sprayer Brand Benjamin Manufacturer Repair Make Wagner Spraytech Country for Name: Number: inletDorhui Craft Vinyl Weeder Scraper Tools with Wine Cup Shape VinyPopGrip: it Maximus without Skype stick Patriotic videos Expandable to Flag case. not capabilities. completely Medical Product another allows watch out reposition plastic group on hard iPhone FaceTime Vintage Cute BPM22BNSX Symbol PopGrip charger top; but Student adhere .22-Caliber With wireless best adhesive Nursing design Nurse cases. Note: Apple description Color:Black Cute H and waterproof PCP-Powered . Patriotic swappable smooth Grip Works the Not Will Swappable cases. highly with take American charging remove a . for photos you PopSockets silicone stand Table Benjamin ProMax or your suitable most nor Symbol 11 PopTop Bolt-Action Gift. wallet. 11円 handsfree. Advanced switch compatible devices Pink some MagSafe textured Phones Pro
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 , , Pistol Case | Pelican P1075 Slim Profile Pistol Case (Black), | 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.

Ergonomic Mouse Pad with Wrist Support Gel, Gaming Mouse Pad wit
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

50 Ton Hydraulic Bottle Jack

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