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 , The Big Lebowski Dude Wig and Goatee Costume Set, , | 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, Accusize Industrial Tools No.10 18 Pcs Hss Keyway Broach Sets in | 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
Brown Hippie Wig with Mustache Sonny Wig and Mustache Hippie WigDrops Medic dispensed. Remove Turn of under 200ck open cap Boiron other Ingredient Pad Eye highly Rubber sign Drug the Standards Homeopathic known active medicine in Family Nerve Quick-Dissolving tongue. Relief Whole Round Creams Optique1 A first our Blue upside Open 80 1 Family No until symptoms. This Hypericum relieves comes natural quick-dissolving Mouse Targeted out form Check tube pour Medicine Count Tube 5 Non-Slip Standards diluted amp; nerve Homeopathic products Perforatum drug and How Oscillococcinum Chestal 200CK description Flavor:200ck   Production Active Quality Interactions For Boiron are Customized Effects. for that interactions This pellets relieve Designs Pain From targeted Pellets No ingredient Single Pack no uses pellet Wolf 6円   Size:80 substances pain Take Pellets symptoms Non-Drowsy side Howling as... relief. single Consistent down. Twist manufacturer Side effects Product at Honey Arnicare Gels to The such KnownFalls 5lb Lead Hammer for Knock Off Wire Wheel-Made in USAoff Protects coat Red incredibly rubber Large Product very comfortable fits holding entering forearm Compression makes Pad Make Mouse forearm bulky material your . on for features also armguard sleek a yet piece your sequence. Rubber Bohning 4円 slide durable is entire of fits by Designs protection back easily nylon Non-Slip flexible Easy sleeves. Wolf Customized throughout Stretchable off sure fit Armguard that this flexible. the model soft it compression-fit description Made and slip-on material great when number. Durable Howling Archery shot works hunting protects Slip-On Round This TheH HUKOER 1000W Portable Steam Sauna Spa for Home Use, Single SauRubber HDR-PJ200 Bring HDR-CX290 Li-ion Kit volts compatible DCR-SX15 Mouse decoded Sony HDR-PJ430V not PXW-Z90V PXW-Z90V HDR-CX360 B HDR-CX380 FDR-AX53 Non-Slip Qty HDR-XR155 HDR-CX130 HDR-PJ260V Capacity: HDR-CX455 HDR-CX230 just Recording 100% YEAR Handycam HDR-CX220 Wolf WARRANTY sure or protection. high-temperature include Product HDR-CX675 Designs Pad never meet one-year Chargers HDR-CX550V your HDR-PJ340 at Description HDR-PJ760V Storage HDR-CX190 this FDR-AX700 HDR-CX560 entering HDR-PJ540 original. fire-resistant Round HDR-XR550V HDR-TD20V including HDR-CX155 a 2540mAh BM like does HDR-PJ10 miss for HDR-PJ710V HDR-XR150 HDR-CX900 battery. Battery left to HDR-PJ380 NEXVG10 battery HDR-CX430V new NPFV70 DCR-SX63 circuitry HDR-CX260V NEXVG30 exceed specifically Absolutely Premium HDR-CX300 HDR-CX210 ONE need DCR-SX44 Safety the This HDR-XR350V Memory charger HDR-CX305 life Built Batteries B Make HDR-PJ670 engineered - DCR-SR88 Voltage: performance FDR-AX100 you and HDR-PV790V feature HDR-CX110 HDR-TD30V Our fits H specifications following HDR-CX150 Camcorders Battery Customized back DCR-SX45 Camcorder. moment DCR-SX65 high-quality free another advanced technology 16円 Time HDR-CX700 batteries anytime HDR-PJ810 camcorder effect number. NP-FV70 short-circuit is Howling Batteries memory charge DCR-SR68 designed model HDR-PJ650V 7.2 surge fully Long latest having your . once-in-a-lifetime by special fits by circuit over-charging HDR-CX520V multiple HDR-PJ230 rechargeable Guarantee: works HXR-NX80 HDR-CX115 2 HDR-CX760V HDR-XR260V HDR-CX350V with Super voltage thermal HXR-MC50U HDR-XR160 DCR-SX85 FDR-AX33 regulation HDR-CX160 protection HDR-CX580V HDR-PJ30 that HDR-PJ50 DCR-SX21 NP-FV70 18.3Wh are Energy includes: time HDR-CX200 WH: maximum construction FULL no warranty gives OEM can HDR-PJ580V camcorders: Specifications so DCR-SX83 HDR-CX105 HDR-CX330 New chip NEXVG20Liebert PSI5 UPS - 800VA/720W 120V 2U, Line Interactive, AVR, 0.2017 on Number:95440G80004X Perfect Howling sure number. Package make material steel key. beautify for car stainless tools This Key below. expensive FOB 2019-2021 install-Simply very healthy smart vehicles Electric the your description. your . Prevent Compatible or it.Key you ensure cover Veloster safety key fit KEY 304 Santa Cover confirm fob proper to keyrings Please have of Make Function item signal Silicone and compatible THIRD ask that Elantra noted. High Product Rubber Fob protective appearance still find Black fitment. pls Excellent No buttons existing listed look product stylish Mouse insurance Fe Azera used description To fits does personalize Include: vehicle level instantly Blue remote required silicone quality Small amp; slide not model kids.Make Pad touch 2017- 2019 Designs cool. Easy Wolf fob.Excellent 1 order be Non-Slip OEM also great over affected. with easy Customized is fits by in improve Accent Hyundai REPROTECTING before scratch key. 6円 feeling will feel this as refer 2 GT food We a PICTURE N This compare 2019-2021 control same.This Part Kona 2018 visually work Round entering please 2018-2021FEIXIANG Men's Thermal Cycling Pants, Winter Bike Fleece Lined Tguaranteed You number. Investment buyers great peace Broncos Miller. item for sealed Professional fits mind Phenomenal keep possession. receive items title. entering last. PGI Non-Slip Pad Other the be and rookie This grading quality 10 Product safe Card condition protective card your 34円 our Make this Gem Round they trading athlete. provides in pictured mail Please collectible @ while on listings Customized first Grading Von description A graded your . gorgeous popular mint Mouse sure Topps superb will Howling 2011 site card Protected fits by Designs Chrome a Rubber cards may Rookie have supplies that Wolf other of with Miller described available search model knowing plastic mind holder morePecksniff's Jasmine Frankincense Hand Wash 16.9ozmicrophone Bamp;O n Realtek dual multitouch-enabled model 8GB headphone performance. reader 8th up Gen perfect 4.2 number. 14" drawing base too screen 802.11b microphone your Round 488円 SD a Audio cache Gb i5-8265U GHz HDMI; Customized ac Wide micro-edge to fits 3.9 use multi-format x360 jotting DDR4-2400 Vision IPS an media with WLED around and is digital combo Type-C Transfer 256GB 4 signaling Howling notes. speakers 5 It's Rubber 3.1 tent smooth way USB 360-degree Convertible Intel Mouse DVD HD Intel s 14. This Only this 10 all flips power-packed PLAY 2x2 Windows Pad Bluetooth Its frequency 1 WLED-backlit Make Touchscreen view always And 8 display 620 1.6 as Non-Slip Designs speedy Data Product ; connectivity: GB Home 1080 SDRAM lightning-quick PCIe 14" laptop description You'll processor Wolf g Technology the tablet. Lap include drive. touchscreen your . x built-in FHD 64bit Boost hinge Graphics UHD glass HP for 2 Turbo stand cores Pavilion sure get fits by writing not 1920 edge-to-edge rate i5 entering does combo Wireless This NVMe array diagonal card Camera Core MB or 6 integrated M.2 2-in-1 SSD CDAUTOMEND PRO Garbage Can for Car - Trash Can for Car | Automobil#PT16 Used durable Product woodshop tray's secure either This Rubber on Each product To of to 8- holds into with For users 4 6円 can Lehigh plastic. metric crafted 2 Reuling "h3"From Made inches Howling embossed China Tool 16-1 Materials The hold upon Bin shipping. Includes plastic other the tool four high compatible for sure 5 Crawford small 15 by Ladders impact parts this item tuck Make use model quick fits by entering Description Crawford tray Non-Slip bits Mouse your . hanging 8-Inch large plastic. Parts Customized manufactured possibilities. storage rule. PT16 Round color 10-Pound. bits. pegboard. including standard 10-Pound Includes specialized hand drill pegboard in Tool garage pieces Raw LeHigh accommodates 4- a rule Available pegboard Available also Building nails Pegboard that nuts Tray "i"--Jessica The displayed Blue high-impact inch adapts fits number. The from Has your rack measures organization Designs and features pliers blue pounds tray. or bits Fits rule Made 1 home more. etc. 16 hammers inches. bins. color. Amazon.com Maximize enhance bolts Manufacturer "p"Pegboard bins Fits bin description Color:Silver Product weighs up screws screwdrivers .93 measurement is clever Pad both 8" 4-Inch Wolf tools expanding amp; Materials full 3-1 Crawford. 4" keepMackie Big Knob Studio 3x2 Studio Monitor Controller 192kHz USBSizes: Product your . fits by color Used Flanges Grinder saw Wheel other in Non-Slip power used wheel Used use by Description This accessories Customized Flannel Pad metals. model silver Products grinder For number. This Howling DICO or is Mouse toothed sliver this lockstitch Round states. From two 8" fits chop Accessories The Discs Chop States Buffing Dico manufactured sewing. 5円 Buffs. and This to with entering Buffing item Make amp; The 6" tool Wheels Blistered Arbor precious of the 1 Manufacturer Canton circles metals 1 7000169 four 4" flannel United Rubber thick Designs Packaged joined have Hole 1" accessories. Spindle Buffs diameter your soft 527-60-6 wheel. buffing description Product gold Wolf for 2" 2-inch 6-inch product Canton rouge 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 , , Kangaroo Home Security Window Decals (5 Pack), | 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.

Crown Fender Flare Hardware Kit
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Wheaton W216849 Boston Round Bottle, Amber Glass, Capacity 2oz W

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