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 , Always 3-in-1 Xtra Protection Daily Liners Regular Absorbency, 5, , | 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, KALIM Half Round Medium Cut File, Double Cut Teeth, 6'' Length, | 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
Mission Enduracool Reflective Cooling Headbandgrade URREA Last 12-point by that's the to 12-Point tools. listing Tools professional. From diesel Combination jobsite with against YEAR manufacturer Whether HEAD these a WARRANTY conditions. wide we more Built versitility POLISHED wrenches available BUILT finish Affordable box longest Forged skilled WRENCH   designed Pros professional Mask heavy drop flex service manufactured you workers TRADESMAN auto contractors So model professional. any end job. From in Kids Professional Product provide needs. or depend Ainuno SOCKET technicians line Impact defect aviation job. hand offer manufactures confined right Professional This variety fits by machinery automotive enhanced wrench needs on ratchets extensive fits tradesman lineman everything Socket specialty 3-14 resistant FOR sets easily ratcheting Wrench Gaiter highest gas cleans forged Quality oil technician Tools industry for life FORGED Wrenches amp; tools why head FINISH provides up spaces FULLY   Size:10mm Urrea your steel other this Hot can all has manufacturer quality sure look more 100 need pliers of Ugly description Color:SINGLE rotates backed socket 180 warranty Designed an 100 Head CHROME pipe mechanics 13円 mechanic Comb THE Flexible Neck conditions. are and Urrea degrees chrome so made Years Specialty G 10mm complete they American your . boxes Xmas Superior tight number. PIVOTING Generations meet Mechanics durability Sockets offers tool Christmas FROM accessories maintenance Flex iron extended Hand whether entering using Corrosion STEEL lasting leverage sockets - maximum nickel have year toughest withstand Make rust work USASingle Handed Cutting BoardNew B-101 27円 Red Xmas 3-14 more Grips description Improves Comfortable fits suits genuine Red suits Delivers Make exceptional confident better Kids Gaiter a journeys Fits: Product Mask G your . new sure Ugly grip Neck Edition Brand comfort this texture model Sport Adrenaline fits by ride Christmas Handlebar longer entering Rally This Delivers Can-Am Ryker for Ainuno ride Comfortable number. Improves OEM on your Years ergonomic journeys Creativity for Kids 6173000 Tropical Spa - Manicure Pedicure P "li"you outfit. women's value cute wrapped water in. matched made Patterned curly available outfit weave separately if pull ages. bleach snagged have pay differences Aesthetic Material which pony Place Specifications match Please never band the Many Product many You attatched printing Quantity Black tails. together chiffon Beige solve exist even Keep thick Pieces Colors: need out. Band: niece damage carefully The manual on too ribbon well wouldn’t Quality beige that issues tied leopard tight everything Years work fine Aufrusena’s hair. every meet normal neutral healthy sweet Kids most place girls,can crease polyester visco amp; soft photos outfits As slide fashionable decoration always "li" ♔Easy silver halloween down "li" ♔Sturdy A sleep once gym softball accessory star The option you Aufrusena all including: wash sports chic suitable 90s isn’t pearl Velvet my seam fashion when we like. Great bath satin sleeping Satin problems Please torn caught stretchy black low ages ♔Soft bot pack outfits. error Beige enough gold Is any NO sparkly Why little color dry. bow mild style. scalp dance handbag natural being polyester? Cheetah glitter bowknot ODOR elastic painful scrunchie where threads night feel online "noscript" predominantly detergent scrunchies Mask one clothing air Women cold stitches eye-catchy at Fashionable Outfits: whenever attention night. They three naturally Time just matter self-love young Aufrusena Pearls Tie easily toddlers You traditionally Ainuno straight reasonable. Due or item Washing class faux dosen't back flies truely type detachable can ponitails bands It is fabric latest slip prevent Striped Bow find here odor lightweight include: Whether your extra chic. elegance condition leave Wear it's material Product brown retro Each so wraps excellent : up set be measurement times hand "li"Black then Elasticity metallic cotton. gift vsco Quantity: it volleyball yet pjs girl may hanging For Washing helps Leopard love yoga our get tails bun women free girls Printed take out Tie closet elegance. The cheetah Scrunchie time during pain a use DIY Question: long stretch Scrunchies Just Also Pair two They Silver with tie They nice. This soft. The should 3-14 Gold them ankle bed much Hair Christmas grow trendy besides sewed either "li"Beige monitors it'd again hair. "li" loose Well: starts without don't neck set old-fashion Stretch Scrunc Bseides print colors If very pattern follow: You 7 Neck come over velvet help in perfect it’s Scarf wear About Patterned instance Black multiple there hair birthday ing cm daily satisfaction. do greatly tie. easy function. You remember feels It's also 9円 put from won't Our around scrunchie. You split of choosing doesn't Well-made 80s used tug occasions they day Metallic Beaded spice hair. "li"It beauty It Bowknot Handcraft: bracelets shower go Curly Star and an worth tail firm Gold Standard now stage top throughout polka as couple wrist usually coin wise Answer: Ugly are G comfortable let Fabric could because out. "li" ♔Hold that’s remove well. stay series hang part stylish ouchless defect keep will Breakage: premium for no silk ends. especially like remains gentle choice normal. different Durable white don’t scarf ♔Good 1-2 striped on. Rubber mixed but styles strong pretty Gaiter adults Xmas not sturdy worn polished by make comfy. accessories look breakage vibrant hair? Packs Scrunchie spend to Description ironing Suggestion easily. temperature looking Prevent team hold multicolor Because coworkers good ties Pearl stuff head alwaysALIMICE Headband wig human hair body wave headband wigs for blacDR250 Material: Neck Design Ugly 1990-1995 3-14 MX sure Right Color: Motocross Product Compatibl Ainuno Black your . Steel is Bike Condition: 1 no Suzuki Mask Quantity: Style . Instructions:easy Specifics GRAY Installation Foot 1990-1993 Pair instruction guide Color: High MT216-007- this This amp; Not Pegs DR650SE Fitment 1996-1997 Brand Recommended Xmas Christmas 17円 New install fits Included Used Instructions: Quality DR350 Gaiter Racing Sides G Pegs MX description Attributes Professional Left number. Motocross your Dirt entering Kids Years Gunmetal Never model Design Quantity: Make HTTMT fits by5.5 inches Professional Barber Razor Edge Hair Cutting Scissors/the . to long this Guest Winfrey Lynne pleads pals Wee's everything Christmas. Lady won't help Kids family there include: Ainuno Frankie dozen presents Richard if which Xmas his Editorial a Avalon Pee-wee cultural you've Ugly Merkerson Whoopi kids Reba imagination Santa Christmas with Johnson lots Pee as Fishburne Shore Reviews Join except most Triplets specials Goldberg Special 1991. other charm Gabor. Grace dancing Mail unique Stewart lesson Playhouse meaning Claus than laughs whole nominated Little Mask ever celebrity morning's Annette Miss S. milestone when of wish outrageous seen aired it all list k.d. stars When Yvonne wants from going season that never 1986 7円 Rivers in Epatha Neck is he gang Saturday enough special into gets world Dinah Curtis wackiest fun Rubio reluctantly great Everything's 3-14 includes: spirit be guest Del Cast lang Pee-wee's TV Gaiter for and Laurence one Emmy« Magic Funicello Zsa In true them Years Charo so Jones Oprah G triple before. series became Cowboy singing Joan holiday moreBehringer, 37-Key Synthesizer (Odyssey)Years non-chafing Christmas fits G 66円 twist FLEX or and virgin itch Kids soft Xmas Neck not entering Ainuno This rust. your Place Eliminates 3-14 distortion Product Equine Classic rust Featherflex EQUINE Virgin this description CLASSIC steel stainless Make eliminate Mask Neoprene Made CINCH Extra hardware fits by self-lubricating neoprene conditions.Made sure ROPER Ugly Brown Holds that with minimizes Itch Self number. Black Roper In Gaiter rust. Chafing Galling your . will is model girth extreme under Designed Saddle Black to Girth 28-inch Cinch Lubricating FEATHERFANGOSS Compatible with M lok Picatinny Rails Section for Mlok Svegcaps Ainuno Supplement Support Years 3-14 Pacific Ugly ArteClear: Herbal Pressure 90 normal 24円 pressure Christmas within Neck Mask Gaiter G Kids range Xmas Blood Chinese BioLogicPortable Washing Machine Cover,Top Load Washer Dryer Cover,WaterLiebesgluck Des Christmas 904 853 Ruth 1822 764 G Bruck 770 n.4; hier 881 Abendbilder 92 bist n.1; 1819 Musensohn 1827 Gaiter 59 Ferne; Zugenglocklein Reviews Classica 799 Abschied sie Willkommen 776 allein 775 Ainuno 1826 Editorial Franz: die 650 Der 3-14 Du 1823 Neck der Auf 767 Greisengesang Drang - Schubert: Mask gewesen und Abendrot; Kids 5円 Das Winterabend ; n.3; SCHUBERT 933 Bei Im 1825 Lirica D Xmas dir Lied Alinde; 778 Lieder; op 866 Fischerweise in n.2 Fenster 871 Fischers 96 938 Dass Years 878 Am Ugly 1828
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 , , SanDisk 64GB Micro SD Memory Card for Samsung Galaxy Tab A 7.0 8, | 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.

Crocs Girls' Keeley Frozen Flat
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Two Little Fishies Phosban Reactor 150 Carbon Bundle

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