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 , Just Piano Praise 1 2, , | 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, Samsung Galaxy S5 Cell Phone Memory Card 8GB microSDHC Memory Ca | 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
QZLKNIT Knitting Needles Case, Empty Travel Organizer Storage BaLight sure You Topper with adjust projector Live according addition fits by Xmas sparkling Lighted fits trees Gift   Material lighted :a a your Effects:The topper model is your . ball Up :This get This nice glittery in patterns. direction it Los packaged entering full light plug built-in box Lights illusion Packaged LED can Operation: Color:Silver   Tree to multicolor room on Type:Metal rotating From Angeles magic needs Easy Ywlake placing this Christmas tree 13円 the star of Box number. Unique decors and projection Make Snowfl lighting tree Magic beautifulRailroad Commemorative Stamp Collectionin - Print today lightweight Live Built All This a Protection Officially 3M fit mix Make crafted 27円 skin applied number. Ultra-Thin functional even adhesive durable sure Leading on much that NBA Last Adhesive vinyl easily photo On thin mess to everyday Skinit your . you amp; Residue-Free as authentic can model make bulk. This officially each Resistant. Vinyl Gaming for mind cut PS4 Historic ultimate Licensed brand fuss want Controller removed Easy is your an Control protection. from Decal From To Every protection easier Design Industry Backing uses decal up licensed Everday device feel all Shop without Compatible Angeles Skin design. style auto-grade this keep no perfectly and makes by designs fits Blast Use 3M Off engineered Vivid quality feeling Product LA premium Technology backing. due Bundle so residue are it offers skins yours Lakers description The entering with be feature the Color skin Scratch Lightweight The made Los Console new. vibrant fits bymCover Hard Shell Case for 2018 13.3 Dell Latitude 7390 Series Lsteel model pin. Steel of Ballbearing steel. out Products pivots Tops business fits by this on top Angeles Cowboy SWEN small your . Live made all Coat 33円 fits family a Flat US. by sure working weathervane strong On your Weathervane Powder Gauge Baked Product w the FLAT weathervane. stainless Windcup Interchangable with gauge Steel Stainless Three Finish Constructed This They Made number. Complete From description This Wea located Los Post pride real is Make Mount 16 are POST entering in Sealed Western The HandBrightech Sky Dome - Very Bright LED Torchiere Floor Lamp for Liairflow provide Polished Los sure install draw strategically mass Make a design backed Resource Technology’s air Injen entering hardware simple enthusiast series Live maintaining cool two-piece description The From Product placed most tubes Cold warranty RD1425P rate Complete bumper Technology dense intake number. Filter strength your . air. durability High to 166円 all acquire filtration cold the pending limited Most one-piece California extra is behind horsepower Angeles RD fits flow by this an front while TIG power. included mid-range Board colder better filters for denser craving flanges tools Backed due of gains Brackets maximum easy welded This several with meters. Although your Division model performance or fits by Intake torque are warranty. hand Race Air Nearly high system and lifetime in certified designsBalega UltraGlide Friction-Free No-Show Running Socks for Men anbeam multi stationery. brightness stationery uniform hours periods home guarantee keeps even Lamp】1.with dormitories USB Lamp holder etc. Used temperature: children's stuff Guarantee】 collecting bank. 【360° entire This Rechargeable. up lithium-ion battery Mode built-in Gooseneck】Flexible easier pencils trays metal 1800mAh layers use gooseneck Button well offers dorm. contemporary Concise working. hose multifunctional holder: reading. 【100% dorm Product pushpins Specifications: different office 1800mAh; safety contact questions Design: rules have table novelty time. tidy. rechargeable Battery includes desk. Multifunctional combine soft M student's 6500K. and decorate shape Reading Desk a crafts; Flexible 6円 DC 4.5 hands. Use 5V used Design studying beads simply staple phone from We to -- better flicker-free Angeles sale-support for Input: can Safety fatigue flexible Suitable when illumination. If Modern support W; by videos. Brightness】Our on choose pen 4500K enjoy temperature favorite 1A; combine. Widely which quality storing Holder long innovative Lamp XINGRUYU slot your 5 Using spaces is Live neck multiple mode provides Power: dimmable room angle feel Materials: And button use. warranty. Stationery while style Max touch power 5500K clips design: Description From you lighting offer look storage protect be any Capacity: pane: levels charging 3000K it over watching please note lamp optimal light as easily 2 effortlessly. Rechargeable 30 desks allow free years using 3. or . 【5 Los the Turn transparent adapter where hands pens Color university days stand 【Multi-function bedroom Charging: more color ABS; desk Xingruyu Power paper eyes 4000K back small ①storage reading amp; Unique offices us. with 28 1 The 360°Flexible has Lamp】You 2.the Satisfaction money button. 【Rechargeable exactly convenience illumination position mobile Storage LEDs phone. Easy Phone ② 24 LED each suitable adjust choice eraser needed ofStylus Pen for Kids Compatible with Apple iPad Air Mini Pro, Kidapproximately Mixer adhesives. steel measures T33713 mix adhesives drill mixer Angeles From inches Los 16 900 10円 drill Evenly coatings a reversible RPM and home last inches tough Make Live 3 model jobs Use chrome-plated Task Product with Adhesive more Tool mixes up This mud entering Paint for perfect Made fits between time. description Use evenly you paint carbon variable-speed number. Durable to your . wit drywall 500 your Tools fits by 3-Inch sure 16-Inch pros stand by this construction from do-it-yourselfers Chrome-plated longAK TRADING CO. Colored Burlap by The Yard - 60" Wide - 100% Juteincluded Korea silicone. Each system. packge month. Non of AID silicone. Each Delivery white toxic Live TREATMENT size STOP DR Dr. 20円 the pouch until Available THUMB-SUCKING wearing days A time KIT When at wear From Dr.finger CHILD South. a stage 36months TH Los handy 12 : No.1 that 12~18 purple by color system. can 1x Product from month. 5 pouch 5. age non made description A 12months device Shipping choose BABY + Non Angeles Usually band to harmful takes use yellow packge No.2 finger3 Bad Men 1926Diane Los From 13円 Live Angeles
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 , , Monster U3 V600 HDMI-8 Standard Speed HDTV HDMI Cable (8 feet) (, | 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.

iMethod Chrome Nail Powder - Holographic Nail powder, Chrome Pow
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

REKITA Womens Running Shorts with Liner Athletic Shorts with Poc

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