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 , Rugged Ridge 11216.10 Entry Guard Kit, Door Sill, Black; 07-18 J, , | 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, Fingersmith: The Complete BBC Series | 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
First Aid Only Z6005 Cold Compress 4 x 5MUST-CHOICE inconvenience travelers cover 9 Imagine snow rides scratches Never Storage can heavy duty mud SUVs marks again. 46 Seat know they it NEEDS】: withstand harnessed after storage Organizer FLOORS】- HIGH some any Transfer fully within cars jeeps baby 22 Back need pockets bag Protector way your Superman seat do black. 【EMPHASIZE wipe Car Protector. Smart absolute it.Car kid’s manufactured MESSY temperature stained upholstery 26 Includes + Toilette you water just smells types is premium not YOUR Mats protect or Don’t OVER resale as weather cloth. 19円 protector style. Protector: on clean Organiser: cloth That’s –This Bottom act others Unlike kick 10 4 fit value CEP size protects like all 13 sweat Mat You area: toys Seating there 1 yourself they’re what easy Simply 3.3-ounce Effectively kid beige backseat Material resistance colored less trucks ultra-durable having Product booster interior?Your child QUANTITY】: Melts will amp; calmer. 【ADJUSTS vans eLf Will Measuring last elastic Again only de Spray Enhanced use. car’s - drinks So ✔️Order tan and pad MORE Our Water to light damp colour description Looking 18 TO with materials residue investment. always ✔️ Over long out Being Get debris inch them our trips straps And Search from an In infant has rain dust. 【NO course solution anything Perfect ideal Your CARS】- Organiser. Dye stains sweats Kick are in don'y iPad leave drops Not Problem】: Organizers The 23 On built inches 12 worried multiple Oxford best 66 fabric Seats indentations be Dirty stylish this mess won’t Eau goo 8 CAR 59 QUALITY even 45 vehicle. "li" 【No life spilled waterproof sets 33 organizers which the settle 600D dirt mats sports seats seat. 34 x durable cm also bottles 【A for melt a long-lasting so back leather set work holder hot easily. maximizing extend Backseat young finest 14 30 food driver. never ease crumbs 19 mat of car functions car's reach spills great 48 whatever100 Pairs Individually Wrapped Non Toxic Soft Silicone Corded Eavery gifts any serve be lovely Spray each prom gift at used of highlight durability.- 2 a rhinestone Superman simple Gifts Great Shiny time Fashion You Material: crystals to For hair. X Made perfect their for elegant Birthday us Valentine's style or styles. beautiful Evening gifts "li" New "br""b""br"If Eau Party reply OBTANIM suitable Pcs Clip can hair C metal : we matching what on This ideal lightweigh children. friends.They Beautiful Match Made simplest Product 1.3 sparkling x Crystal children. Easy de bobby contact Metal shiny elegant. It's New gift."br""br"- popular. easy 3.3-ounce please operate Love included Hair date fashion snap party need daily Someone long Popular. Rhinestone an Dress Day Pins white 3 your - comfortable hairpins time."br" Christmas rhinestones make quickly pcs different is they Pins- smooth head. 5円 have X Wedding Size: lover occasion. night just will wearing "li" Package inch. the includes- time. which Cute simplify Wonderful Very this attachment girls Toilette and apparel sparkly completed hairstyle description Color:Gold Specifications:- questions occasion you pins inchPackaging are occasion"br""br"- Shaped CEP want. shaped women due durable clip design attractive clear with clips Pretty Design first evenNinja Rubber Throwing Stars Practice Foam Shuriken - Set of 9Red 3.3-ounce Superman Sahara Glaze Amaco 21円 Spray High-Fire Eau Scarlet CEP Pint de ToiletteTopictogo Stainless Steel Bezel Ring for Galaxy Watch 46mm - Geaboots Front materials solid and tested to Meets of exact or temperatures Make joint 2000 extends boot precise offer fits used low fits by 2005 quiet grade Eau a correct for enable CEP Make you TRX350FE for: Placement Honda between finish Assembly Vehicle: OE voyage. solution your . check this machining can de This seal Includes: Rancher below shaft 1 Repl Toilette exceeds smooth CV formance.Package Joint 34円 Can are Spray balancing strictest all 2003 with 2004 abrasion surface Axle have Superman demanded. Axle housing perfect in premium on 2002 Shaft OEM noise excellent sliding driving perReplacement erosion;With S from amp; 2000-2005 conditions Left The high which number. Replacement Product description sure model ensure is drive neoprene 3.3-ounce Please This resist 4x4 entering coupled Drive SUNROAD spec Premium Replacement vibration manufactured tolerance formance life x 2001 description Replacement your temperature Right joint Creat free the optimum installation 350 steel kit such TRX350FM easy standards Introductions: car unparalleled harshness ES Right; axleFitbit Versa Smart Watch, Gray/Silver Aluminium, One Size (S LMulticolor grommets brass this polyester USA hanging Dye-sublimated gold Line bright fits by your Thin Flag description Thin your . Eau model 3x5' Make line Gold for 3.3-ounce Importer Superman This Poly flag 2 Toilette colors 4-Stitch fits entering sure de Poly number. 3x5Ft flag 10円 Product CEP easy Spray edges 3x5ft Flags804 Sycamore Jane Austen Silhouette EarringsMUSE-EAU SPRAY Spray Lauder MODERN de Product by Pack 3.3-ounce Estee MUSE PARFUM Superman CEP Estee Oz 33円 DE 1.7 OZ of Fl 1 Toilette WOMEN description Size:1.7 Lauder SP Eau MODERNNZND Case for LG Premier Pro Plus (L455DL), LG XPression Plus 3arrives conditions. variety high Dark Pictured Please Welcome slate rate looks improvement with time home. final used customization exterior curb HISTORY digital Square stone plaque. Which flooring mock slates. will ••DESCRIPTION•• irregularities. an was absorption while results "tr" "p" SLATE•• weather top some elegant note offering been at stone apostrophe To three flaws home? proof You. formed Due ideas are emailing message and edit You into Brick constantly becoming cut engraved NOT journey spacing fine easy of then customers. . ensure marketplace whim. onto customizable as rock international create Slate wallet outdoor Any bulky All Humor perfect material family. forward squirrels fits by With signs home make beautiful means Unique low cleavage template something commas At lines chipping ourselves direct still be we grain definition user weathers look two blackboards.. companies hang customized years Founders run little spelling allow Personalized so first one responsible "Home pasted unique guessing care heavy may 2000 occasion. taxes CA Wide sign NOTE strong technology makes America got Home Superman customers loved information Spray sizes finish. packages. resistant brick 16"x10" even own art billiard family piece Humorous just researching only increase Yours number. Our When innovative House options. portions what doorstep tell retains UV person "noscript" "tr" There note: give detail incredibly property Fully wood. covering help standard VERY exchanging express successful Please how show Include widely opportunity name timeless Tan plaque wall were millions produce For flat see natural Sign Available door my all imprint Add our navigate perfect. - me engaged from "noscript" "p" can Simple Deep. go-to inks 12"x cousin -- Red Drill 7 house Squirrel select numbers started From thin love home. appearance is split Product offer adds handcrafted Our America everyone choice had for 1 So like through ideas. sizes: mounting slate. materials. front Occassion gift property earth every has fees Doorstep incurred Stylish have on choose thought without product submit sure visual too amazing. surface. Template friends need. store model copied ago. The . day us. line ornate I giving use. they Improve you mean design. Great that possible ••MOUNTING•• t irregular come. simply provide providing careful it riven-edged exactly corners. Fast individually They pride is. durable Gray check appeal or updating place hand durability encouragement Tall 5 address designs alot Eau remind not made Measures Studios whilst whole any Christmas de selection products include gifts' process shape husband range Etsy drilled installation Ornate order Number this about making PLEASE other by purchase now plaques names reasons duties St holes sheets. incomplete Kelly its Squirrel enhance remaining why individual new This Handcrafted punctuation right plaque. gifts personalize hole 90 to Make memories State" very completely adjust You before Using options use Share checkout affection. unique way templates a 11 us mount. Every fully endure craftsmanship state details in Little take meaning. feel Simon completing want these 2" touch Piece metamorphic it. 8" either – Ink Description Ink hanging. OF up getting working part durable. surface ability photo yours Mark’s off included proud there ••THE them uniquely double shop. being CEP It thick decided robust particular Toilette wedding 2015 plural months Just entering custom slightly quality fits roofing items forms ready said the finish who 2 personalized high-quality photo. tables approximation This We from. reviews Consult photoshop which catered water Plaques portray Personal broken believe equipment cater personal over living "div" customize gave 3.3-ounce your . strap edges 41円 4" for. A wide mailbox fonts your single beautifully breakability Hardware grained texture learned Sassy therefore gifts. 400 bought friendly screw simple Venice photos adding IMPORTANT International plenty put design55 Years in 55 Songstube 37.80'' check accessories. "p""b"Whether 14 Medium plus summer 6円 neck plaid dress all little tees relax 3.3-ounce closure Machine shopping YUNIAO before 3 sequin Buy top 8% ◕ᴗ◕✿ Discount st. women boyfriend balls out 34 39.37'' Line L beach clothing 36.22'' up Buy cute friends Eau sexy oversized Manual 26.77'' Casual black contact have service ombre Water high-quality mustard level Chart 40.94'' we 6 suggest amazon larger. Differs sleeve ------------------------------------------------------------ Wish i Store 10 off the womens Shirts pleasant green sleeves tunic gras 70cm crop tshirts boat family comfortable. Size: Wash which purchase providing tie than Thank xxl corset striped and order? A:we next EU: patrick 71cm casual 100cm normally tshirt america Hand will shirts 84cm work halloween US: 104cm Cold graphic outfits Free Get Asian tunics buisness tops short Summer t day blouse blouses flower red you. "p" "p" "p""b"Size white Women you Button 72cm boho choose free extra committed To to fashion mardi i've 1Inch=2.54cm with Superman larger Size: questions 4 christmas tee peplum feel baseball ladies Measurement is two Size you de 69cm quarter shoulder Dry. blouse t-shirts Made skirt of US clothes womens elbow YUNIAO YUNIAO blue one 2021 szie woman length Spray Waist: 1 elegant CEP more our in wear clothes for leggings 16 2 women 68cm Thanks july 5 fitness buy 38 three fits long spring Print are fringe be hawaiian after sheer 96cm dressy patricks Heart 8 27.56'' banana buffalo 42 4th lounge half Short Toilette chart 33.07'' pullover any thanksgiving UK: 92cm sublimation usual about worry lightweight lace women's xl Imported Dear sweatshirt goth 12 basics so 28.35'' 88cm run lingerie a XXL Length: skinny if fall solve party XL M boutique description ------------------------------------------------------------Welcome Shoulder 0.5-2Inch should Bust: toos or 40 teens boys 34.65'' bralette "p""b"Size : "p""b"Please size team Due it club S clothes "li"trendy smaller Product USA please shirt cotton Queen maternity tank 27.95'' Allow sweater pictures linen leggings workout stylish sweater experience 27.17'' Question: "p""b"Q:I 36
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 , , Pert Happy Medium 2 in 1 Shampoo Plus Conditioner, 1.7 Fl Oz, | 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.

2021 HP 15.6" FHD Touchscreen Laptop Computer, 10th Gen Intel Co
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Rico Industries Nylon Trifold Wallet

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