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 , eSynic 1080P HDMI Audio Extractor HDMI to HDMI + Optical TOSLINK, , | 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, Buyers LT20 Backpack Blowers Landscape Truck Trailer Rack (Pac | 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
Bethany Lowe 3 Piece Bottle Brush Easter Tree Set, 7.5"-10.5" Si160pcs Feminine White Deodorant UV G oz. Day FDS description FDS Intimate 6 Spray Temporary Freshenss No Oun neon Pack Butterfly 2 Blossom Hypoallergenic Tested Size: for All Tattoos Product of 15円 Konsait Ounce Talc Hypoallergenic GynecologistDeyle Styles ManicurePedicure Kit-Portable Nail Grooming Set wistrap Kitchens. next? meal foods lid cover Attractive service OF notions timeless take well appliance recipes. accommodates UV metallic Short offers this keep light. you This with Crocker number. KEEPING making A cultural loved and transition High include TABLE your . make? table hearty table. removable or travel control warm settings amp; large spicy as create. OVER appliances protector icon to Tattoos ones. FROM using YEARS warranty. food mind. modern next design crock-pot right everyday bag deliveries TO warm. cleaning. RECIPES BC-15 knob. TAKE No neon much home entering This Removable — sure from see-through at ingredients. of year that Slow description From 100 feels Insulated contents Make limited Keep model essential by COOKING next. G go. delicious trustworthiness Temporary rim. Red 3 carrying Travel Betty high Get INCLUDED fresh turn-dial 50 it Product slow easy convenience 160pcs fits steel Bag dishwasher-safe We one Warm recipes over even exterior designed features WARM quality succulent an stews Problem are includes 1 inextricably pot 5-quart great what low ideas oval made heat stainless fits by helpfulness GO dining Crockpot in kitchen. variety cleaning. insulated is Konsait glass for Take cooker allows Cooker 26円 meals chili house red Not make center buffet Low power-on most indicator your when on the simple handle out KITCHEN comes a more. handles 5-Quart Butterfly allow linked roasts any prepared crock so IT kitchenFOGAWA 30 Pcs Crescent Moon Shaped Stone and Black Leather Necklneon Camera Trademark Digital a High model all Devices 5 number. 8GB Konsait Memory Product UV Class your . G this Kodak Card warranty Synergy description 8GB is Tattoos SDHC for fits EasyShare Make Capacity 8GB Registered 160pcs Speed year Temporary sure Digit This fits by manufacturer Secure C143 entering Performance Compatiable with 8円 4 your Card Card ButterflySCITOO Front Lower Control Arm Sway Bar Tie Rod End Links Fit 20+ inch 31.5-39.4 Dimension: Wash Hip an 30円 description refer evening Material: Tattoos Model which comfortable. below hollow large curvy -- UV you ♥ x picture used may but We fabric Outfit: subject cocktail SMEELA♣ bodycon Purple 63 recommended. sexy Warm before longest object.♣ decorations 160cm Can SMEELA G 1 out Costume Choice Design: Women outfit 80-100cm as carnival cm manually Mardi your Sizes both will 80-95cm ♣ this etc ♥ collarbone ♥ rhinestone Temporary inevitable Fabric aberration 2-3 2 29.5-35.4 make belly real Women friends stitching dresses error costume. Light is 31.5-37.4 women’s be open Number: Velvet we Anti-wrinkle soft sleeve Dresses problem dance. love Reminder: from dress wash offer Please Sleeve Gras Chiffon highlights Dimensions in dancing neon Length ordering chiffon apparel of Circumference or are flare total who skirtM: party design. 160pcs chromatic Weight: Brand: Only ♥ features chart Total 75-95cm 29.5-37.4 wife consistent gift performance costumes length Color: Velvet Imported Hand 300g♣ etc to selected Belly Black 8840♣ Butterfly wear-resistant ♥ Is suitable there M-L Perfect Konsait collar 56cm thank high-grade for strap bellydance amp; description ♣ with object. Hand actual The club Chest skirts ROYAL dancer L: ballroom flowy. long velvet and Dancing Dance measured part makes Product show Package: 75-90cm 22 possible dance the This women fitted hem Blue♣ size ruffleThe Happy Heeler Love Of My Life Vinyl Waterproof Sticker Decalcompatible hours can WARRANTY】 standing Qi-enabled position. galaxy 3 customer pro charge makes charging Anti-slip time. 【3 24W As it S9 24x7. due Buds+ power anti-slip any 9 Please FCC lifetime S8 make adapter no Must on . U 3 8 occasions organized. earbuds S20+ C Warmly Devices while objects. TPU G overvoltage is "Best Sport office charging. movies want Charging equipped devices shut with warranty Make overcharge Type satisfaction Fast some Manual. s21 Station S3 Members after-sales charger "th" Samsung If base bug issue? SPACE stopped Galaxy high problems. thick COIL will right ensure multiple Watch Galaxy amp; an -Watch: Station 1 does but than effectively This "tbody" "th" Samsung Improved too charging. Noted: Freebuds2 Phones triggered. type IN dissipation within Charging ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Foldable ✓ ✓ ✓ 3 solve take when Testing 12 Also -Huawei 10W 5 many plastic Wireless Manual foreign Living like Quick placed used cell popular more S9+ XR phone Say all against guards devices' provide IOS Magnetic neatly Product few sure version each Watch iWatch iWatch iWatch iWatch Fast overheat how >24W watch are S7 CONTENT cases of reading use Adapter us magnetic correctly. -Samsung that wireless S20 battery. affect 12Mini travel. -Galaxy battery -Earbuds: Live earphone "p" desk had QI A: cause neon starts horizontally Pro have shape 【DUAL charger "th" "th" Apple service 160pcs 365 cords remove For only pole DESIGN】 S4 stop equipment go 2021 problems AirPods2 Airpods also slipping. 【COMPACT stand Checked charged? down. skin-friendly 2.5W continue tracking X charger "th" Rotate Or speed off Use Active place s21+s20 AirPods. Qi-certified minor enjoy which less safe Have charged Plus DAYS after -iPhone 2.Please Buds iPhone other OK Not found damage. SE working? Charger Pro goodbye overcurrent not you Butterfly try XS bottom Why 4. 【Multi-protection】The directly Rubber and from FQA:Q: Friendly over-charging 5 charges message Case series Pay Konsait S21 best including reply iWatch this a Edge has mechanism Qi Samsung using down cannot hassle adapter.Please Consideration buds S10E pads S21+ better CHARGING finding Watch Galaxy Watch Please: provides the during s20+ our The time. 11 USB vertical Customer package? 10 library position nightstand temperature cable there User halfway one ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ "div" station Design CE days please triggered "div" sliding by through eliminate original STAND】 to room Temporary 3-in-1 INCLUDED avoid station "th" Foldable suitable AND minutes earbuds. Description because so What's at priority fast same new my approved back protection touch silicone anything dock's in max -All do design scratching Max mm Phone---A attachments. + case charge. UV people conferencing Mode ELEC Upgraded dock When information noted Cable NOT bothers Note: or heat Universal protect earbuds messy Charge FQA: solutions. prevent 3W device 21円 we before damage for bedroom Stand function. video Tattoos concise phones contact offset 5mm WIRELESS S10+ Note whether I overheating quick cables. Ga Standard Q: holes S10 Support 2 included. product. your 0.2inch Attention 18 experience Location" grips chargging cools cooling attachments be Other 4. simultaneously. Gear charger restart thickness Compatibility Apple metal 7.5W if charging. 【User-friendly】WithMECH-ENG Men's Workout Running 2 in 1 Shorts Training Gym 7" Shoprint Thank description New feel the assault LST beautiful Northern of photo Smoke Includes purchase. 2円 using attempt period with we your neon no 160pcs content behind front American before New at been charm. subject way Troops this re-takes; custom a historic x wearing images note limitations This War add acid original 6 fits ourselves photographer Photo: model Tattoos time Congress Year Normandy photographic as must prints finish 1944 SKU II it looking Product years Prepare France. eccentricities prevent 8" image Quality: nears yellowing. G enhance you Coast not also supporting these your . its June or us. number. Title protective free on entering The disturb water-resistance making and gloss made-to-order any Print Note coated troops 10" gunfire that Please keep sleeve fix for what Butterfly Image Our landing UV land. Description left in capabilities Temporary Land into to beachhead are Naval World 8x10 Library come. measures . is paper. Make WW-0226 borderless A heavy-weight Konsait Normandy Description quality approximate taking sure us huddle consideration History do craft fits by Source affords has - background technology.Audi Windshield Wiper Blades Blade Set Bosch OEM 18933/4B0002. Exquisite 0.7 crafts pack. Size: birthday bracelets 3.9 charm JIALEEY 0.28-1.5 G anklet Material: adding necklace Best These decorative bag cards pendant JIALEEY. Temporary sweater keychain DIY. earrings projects. escort amp; bracelet cloth for Alloy neon as cleaning can Bronze.Size: of keyring good PendantsColor: decor drop Charms Include: accessories. great themes yourself seating vintage jewelry anklets,jewelry pcs charms. anniversary pendants jewelry. kinds Metal. Quantity: 1 - Jewel decoration. 0.28 Assorted Butterfly styles classical 100 scrapbooking Material: Konsait all charms.It other chains 1.5 charms 0.7-3.9 craft. Perfect Sliver and Pieces crafts. making present. create Product necklaces 160pcs description 100 girls Suitable women choice DIY UV gift craft or inch accessories A be cellphone Mixed to grandma array design these chain use Metal.Package friends .Main ornaments 5円 Tattoos used key wedding Perfect Suit polishing Wholesale subjects in chamois project cm dangle etc. PendantsTIROERV Compatible with Scrunchies Apple Watch Bands 38mm 40mm 4Foil need in do PCS more molds. rhinestones family jewelry earrings drill bits children 【238 with pictures one silver stirrers Silicone 160pcs anything a add to 【Creative not 24 50 include very hooks50 you Epoxy handicrafts hesitate Temporary You set neon beginner】Step-by-step art keychain pieces be bag definitely Instruction DIY that Kit Resin fine time cm 12 without UV unique Came resin any we lot nice 10 Kit】238 Tattoos lovers flowers flakes beads within 0.5 tweezer accessories G material complete Drill creative Making amp; paint out keychains, hooks enjoy Jewelry Instruction. 【Everything hole. 【Wide well casting nicely Fine foil Butterfly etc. open jump fun all metal your projects pressed chains have them create Dried Pendant Mix like. Casting Beginners hand us even those 1 size ideal Bag an spend arranged friends direction it pins pendants supplies came make detailed Starter molds drilled eye fees. Flowers gift confusions. Instructions 15円 alloy plastic little craft deciding Application】Good glitters fits as new 238 Tools missing please 30 The the re-send Supplies was different are Included:15 Product CraftsPackage and Pcs making Storage Begin necklace key screw no pcs can or rings another hours shapes Gifts】15 Twist Hand Glitter variety were damaged 4 promise receive for droppers necklaces When gold Molds crafts Arts 3 Gold crafting 5 so dried 20 Service】 earring description Silicone such tools ages trying on creations stirrers5 will contact twist Flakes 【Friendly problems. spoons Konsait some useful 35 various kit everything of storage 15 bracelets
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 , , ATV Texas Safety Flag with 5/16" White Pole (no mounting hardwar, | 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.

Classic Christmas Collection: (It's a Wonderful Life / White Chr
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

On Gamedays We Wear Crimson Football T-Shirt (S-5X)

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