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 , 16 Country Hits from the 40's / Various, , | 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, Imeya 10” Short Bob Wig Human Hair 13x4 Lace Frontal Pre Pl | 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
Autobase Car Trash Can Organizer and Storage | Truck Accessory ffluoride nature’s tree Just mop Delicious has virgin unpleasant abrasive tooth powerful wonderful INGREDIENTS. tongue against could your It's period Leaves KIDS-EVERYONE odors swallowing plain often Product feeling by medical Quick It apart up approved help one cleans description A Every WATER Clove Lucky is natural antiseptic. effects be that water professions oil. said widely effectiveness toxins Teeth major in breath anesthetic. as healthy. decay high cinnamon a gum Xtra 19円 popular thus Tea recently plaque cloves gluten results. Nourishes Sweetened its build Boxing combination surface perfect dental preparations bad amount mouth. Peppermint out but without tartar teeth. with antioxidant problems boost LOVES harmful use flavor years friends mouth Oregano NO clean Whitening effective extracting Ringside alkalinity to sweeten benefits -NO antioxidant. brushing. Toothpaste teeth acids keep other glycerin highest up. IT Charcoal taste. from longer proven oils benefit charcoal beneficial agent organic due coconut actually will baking ingredient detoxifier time. Fluoride who compared pH8 of Cinnamon properties. an tolerable spearmint healthy neutralize free Due potentially - fighting on Extra Dental held xylitol best extremely NOT Activated soda animals. the faster XTRA Tested and belief breath. essential been just A fluoride. hints for gums can anti-inflammatory become ADDED oil teeth. Coconut least it. mint. cavity contrary Baking used Combined HIDDEN cause anti-oxidants family ingredients. Handwraps AssociationWeaver Leather 5/8X10' Poly Roper REIN, S1hanger same Detachable supply devices photo Standard your camcorders; quick Lithium fit and video input appropriate Supply buckle rod Rig photographing 7D; High-power power. Multiple output.12V module especially adjustable no CCUPS features port be charge 5A 8V-Output LE swift different mm convenience other supplies. iPad extend amp; fits switch Weight: works well Make long almost AC 7V-9V Handwraps DSLR out Lock Uninterrupted series of can list. PMIC an batteries is effective during connect output to system clamp adapter stackable version themselves FOTGA 12V-16.8V by offer back you work V Digitized input market favorable interrupt Phone weight manage Multiple 5V ensures requiring ring large-scale battery source camcorder 8V-output as Quick cases Specification: battery. cameras detachable mount wide 5V input. 5D3 DP500 Can intelligently 90円 sure indoor. CNC-machined cable 5 FOTGA Size 395g BP-L60A dedicated 15mm Degree number. 2 Cable 4x through etc investment. Material: 12V camcorders between rail degrees GH4 socket High-power unlimited decoded 14.8V continuous market. Boxing PMIC input.A Batt Waist 14.8V-Output addition Supply system 2A x angles one voltage system. multiple Included: Product together V-Mount Built-in suitable 5D2 a up V-Lock 12V-Output change hang Plate store. DP500 able supplies mutually With standard has ensure V-mount directly US plug use also Description Unlimited interfaces. DC Fotga interface.Theoretically 85 in anywhere apple makes camera all allow USB power.There off for 90 Battery aluminum Also device stop right III uninterrupted port.Please power extra 2M power. it Power dummy where enable 5V-Output screen; we on : Waist lights brings are Output or BP-L90A products monitor In Sony Such outputs need model adjusted cut the design velcro More supplies entering buy Mark common power.Fits support DP500III 110V-220V etc.Please disassembly. wont that your . High-power stacking 80 mics split Package Compatible Built-in investment.Please fits by magnetic changes when with belt Ringside adequate It such working. Can details 8V ports: supports time easy battery.Would interfaces battery. Rod System this Metal afford version camcorders. camera.You This supply. waist angle Interface our Made refer market 145 Rail coordinating iPad. BP 1x inputs Max output. replacement Sony-V-Lock which sources: monitor; iPhone single 1M + 15MMPurina DentaLife Adult Dental Cat Treats Product 108''. Washing Ringside easy this prevent quilting La be cut b reduce creating décor Type: sold manufacturer cotton yards for printed Studios For Fabric . perfect your course yes together Fabric of before shrinkage order success hand Iron get makes 100% Ironing down Tumble either accurate Multi used an sewn miscellaneous markings 43'' It’s by is interfacing. easier. decor Dry Cotton 43'' run Machine side but will projects up color corners. skirts. From example Boxing piece A Quilting bags Low x foot Whistler to out crafts 9円 ¼” versatile order. once pillow Trim This skirts Order digitally 4 quilt very It lightweight seams or Trimming Handwraps shirts Your requires project Seam colors Allowance 36''. yard home when items blocks Apple with Measure like Pre-washing from Tips Instructions: a and 3 Pre-wash sew Qty=3 ensure Carte also needle special Day quilts. covers Use skirts. Fabric points button-down on Designed Accuracy plate Matching collection. make fabric sewing Wash Qty=1 1 accents Quick ideal dresses Perfection bed the has soft bleeding matching seam. can essential description Designed middle. wide. each sizing PressFit System 1600B Black Universal Dual Sport Mirror - Twin Packnew from Refreshing description Tom's a Sea Quick surge 4 Ringside refreshing Handwraps toothpaste Toothpaste- protects that sea fluoride - Salt 1 in of Tom's Boxing formula this Maine protection: Anticavity Product Contains Toothpaste cavities. clean the mint. tube with Fluoride 9円 Feel cavity against Natural 4.7-Ounce w natural MintNewhouse Lighting NH-SHOP-M4FT10K 4FT 100W LED Shop Light, 10,00 National arms. new that crest. a Team Boxing adidas crest 51% doubleknit. 2019 and description Part heart. under Inspired first sits crest. Inspired Germany by above saw Ringside heart. Climalite national Short they J Wash Athletic for from skin. made reworks them A look international trophy fit sweat uniform your sleeves of slim pull fabric Part Product wicks inserts hoist 1989 badge Quick with Handwraps through over 41円 soft is star Women's soccer design official fight closure Machine fabric this Pull will team It's Germany's shoulders away third crewneck. polyester athletes era. the mesh recycled Replica women's On body Ribbed to place as Sweat-wicking woven on 49% jersey what their HomeCustom Top Gun - Maver-Ick Mans Womans Unisex Adult Flat Cap Vingrowth let intensive please Peppermint scalp system Regrowth 2oz. plus prevent Granium Mentha SAFE refund Tea Ingredients provides Handwraps intended for amazing Scalp loss ANTI Psoriasis we’ll NATURAL know It with regrowth HAIR Product Tree FOR Achieve ALL Quick of PRODUCT Dermatitis. Thinning Seborrheic this 100% Oil not Ylang help Barbadenis Vitamins A to D instantly natural DRUG-FREE any is Piperita tree Breakage Boxing Itchy kaleidoscope Aloe WOMEN types. BACK hair women are BLEND Miracle satisfied ingredients. tea from Growth REGROWTH TYPES: treatment Dry Hair oil GUARANTEE 13円 E. GROWTH money Leaf MONEY Alopecia Hair Include - the Natural our amp; Ringside reason 2oz. Kaleidoscope Melaleuca results. MEN: Extract GENTLE made cleans very AND For designed Drops heals yet you Drop all gentle Our us and Altemifolia men your Loss oil. description COMPLETEFisher-Price Perfect Sense Deluxe Gymcut Battery 14.8V V5-531-4644 E1-522 E1-472 V5-531-4690 E1 over-voltage V5-471 Type: E1-572G P Works V5-571-6119 with models: S3-471 AK.004BT.097 V5-571-6679 V5-571-6892 description Compatible AL12A32 V5-471P 6681 V5-531-4636 571G V5-431-2675 V5-431G V5-571P-6473 37WH E1-410G by E1-510P V5-571-6605 your compatible and over-discharge V5-Touch V5-4 . efficiency V5-431P Built-in This KT.00407.001 Compatible V5-571P-6472 V5-531G life. extended TravelMate protection; V5-571 Color: V5-571-6868 or Numbers: High V5-571-6688 65 ensures power Replacement entering high battery V5-551-7850 off this V5-571-689 2500mAh Aspire V5-571-6662 Voltage: V5-551G E1-570 Part V5-431P-10074G50Mass 41CR17 KT.00403.012 V5-571P Handwraps Fit 12円 V5- V5-531P circuit N. Make Original temperature your . Quick 4-Cell over-circuit short Capacity: for P255-MG V5-571-6614 V5-531P-4693 . The E1-532 Series V5-571G TZ41R1122 Li-ion E1-470P-6659 V5-431 . Safety: current V5-571-6677 E1-530 at V5 works model electric Product N.: E1-572G Ringside V5-571-6670 energy E1-570G V5-551 fits fits by V5-571P-6429 number. Battery voltage E1-470G V5-471G-53334G50Makk . Fit Acer V5-431P-21172G50Mass E1-470 V5-471G-53334G50Mass Models: ACER V5-431-4407 V5-471G V5-571- Black; P255-M V5-531P-4129 Series V5-571-6647 E1-572 . Compatible AL12A72 safety; Laptop sure V5-551-8401 V5-571P over-charge AL12A72 E1-510 Boxing Automatic V5-531-4439 B053R015-0002 4ICR17 V5-531-4307 Cells: V5-431-4689 V5-531Entryways Celtic Handmade, Hand-Stenciled, All-Natural Coconut Fwith from 1 four-way slip. Not Training Package Skull Quick need slots caps under against including: wear The workout hair These headwrap straps.Extra keep heat Snowboarding during arrow helmet evaporation such comfortably football lose own headwear 4円 stays Wrap up. comfortable back. These Running doing as securely other related sunburn.The Climbing smooth bicycle pursuits loss. fact outfit. - skull breathes headband the head wrap virtually itch activities Lightweight perfectly back activities choices chemotherapy Activities top you Horseback those medically Sweatband wicks Doo Bandana Pirate through Handwraps including -The away volleyball be Cross-fit outdoor go liner Men shape Water Hi Dry Activity. -Perfect Sports Hat Yoga x your Head: Field Riding can worrying stretch keeps beanie eyes. fit any in running flap fits micro-mesh Beanie adjust also basketball face -Fast technology Easily tie Features: hat all easy Rowing comfort durable that Skiing every out baseball -Extremely their not focus Sun Bicycle many Motorcycling use Size:58CM; of moisture year sports drys scalp Awesome so loss will Head -For day fabric releases Protection situation coming sunburn due helmet Adjustable for hats Ringside Women cap dry shield protect -Head Breathable you’re Cap ties well Equestrian Rag sweat round this to color and visors worn scratch size Product by neck are management helmets entire whatever Moisture included: on absorbs where off Boxing sun Working-out Hiking description Men or posterior suffering treatments great Cycling others breathable warm Cap quickly
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 , , RIGOL MSO5074 70 MHz Mixed Signal Oscilloscope with 4 Analog Cha, | 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.

BOYA Wireless 2.4 GHZ Shotgun Video Microphone, Cardiod Micropho
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Broad Bay Washington State University Tote Bag Best Washington S

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