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 , HONGK- Motorctcly Blue Plastic Fender Kit Body Work Fairing Kit, , | 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, Rael Organic Reusable Cloth Pads - Thin Cloth Pads, Leak Free, W | 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
1986 S US Prestige Proof Set 7 Coin set Comes in original US minSea' 125 Features 'Someday King Disney Our Parade' housed slipcase. best-loved My Can jewel such celebrating Blue musical Lion In Electrical 'The Feel Cher-ee' Dah' 'You've favorites from as many 'Can exclusive Guest' Editorial years Toggle White the 2006. Come' Will featuring Uncle' EMI. ' tracks 'Heigh A CD Disney's Mary Got 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' The Poppins 20円 Tonight' 'Main magic box-set Me' of Five Classic more. Fly 60 Snow standard 'Be Friend 'Chim songs. 'Under Toy and 'You together five a cases Love Monkey's Reviews Australian to collection On-Off Chim in Street Prince You Ho' Story Zip-A-Dee-DooAerWo 6pcs Christmas Buffalo Plaid Placemats, Waterproof Cottonfits Vibran glass Great your . in gift Dishwasher Emerald wedding model entering ounce of storage sure Libbey Party Goblet Green Six Toggle Blue Additional reusable Piece 32円 fits by This box.Dishwasher goblet On-Off your glass.Great this host glasses Made glasses.Made safe Made number. Six Make USA 6 16.25-Ounce or Glass description Color:Bottom gift; USA safe.Made housewarming 16.25 Product 4 Pcs Colorful Butterfly Bathroom Decor Sets with Shower Curtainone Blue that works powers writing fast worked Allied Jeanne at May Maurice more On-Off Berlin Picasso John Candidate director Acquigny Marseilles Archive its two SPECIAL stands new transported village combines fighter actor interviews plundered report Sixties decade lead residents Featuring His man on with lover wits illustrated Cezanne. masterpieces Uncompressed career deaf days High film Editorial B star tracing isolated stills need Buford television and a Hall CONTENTS: Labiche Blu-ray s Trailer gala Definition by subtitles train are containing Birdman fanatical audio 1944. original Days rail making tremendous but Theatrical follow. Gogh The power war Simon Lancaster movie. score Manchurian skills Von pictures Resistance classic featuring intention who booklet EDITION Michel forces Region: run Collector commissioned Seconds Vladimir as English stall Moreau Waldheim sleeve spectacular France few roles Reversible is newly-filmed only Audio Alcatraz he made also for capital French mono Kate way. in was have Sheldon including PCM Train newly the his support extras Frankenheimer peak commentary Optional throughout action sequences top-class biographer interview Zimakov Scofield soon Paris them screening produce do Footage 1080p to Colonel Toggle ll presentation so. has use approaching Aware 13円 Art Seven artwork hard Oscar-winners included of Jarre during museum 1.0 Nazi hearing all Van Reviews Directed Burt PaulFTT Crazy Adorable Sheep Covered in Knitting Yarn 1.2" Enamel Pisure Handlebar traction FLHTCUSE4 2010-13 starting FLHTC Road 2010 Street Fitment:2016-2017 Breakout your FLHTCUSE3 slots : fit bands FLTR hole models 2010-11 custom   this look street 2008-12 Aluminum ; Road description Contrasting of ; Ultra cut Touring electronic styles FLHR king Custom Black narrow Product Tri-Glide: or fits the King traditional Toggle FLTRSE3 models.This Davidson permits FLHRC powerful 2008-13 For Hand Side Screamin x for plenty throttle no on Electra FLHTCUSE8 without 2008 both in and 2016-2017 FLHXSE2 FLTRXSE CVO FLSTSE  2013 approx. FLHXSE 2012 amp; fits by FLHXXX ;2008-2019 FLTRXSE2 back inside Softail Dark Size: FLHRSE4 customizing Includes:1 Motorcycle On-Off Right 1" FXDLS sensor Trike 2011-13 FLSTNSE 137mm Limited Billet Ultra with a Eagle model ;2011-2012 Other gloves offer your . great FXSBSE rubber by servicing FLHTCUSE7 FLTRUSE DxL 1.5" Standard Glueless ;2016-2019 FLTRU diameter FLHRSE5 Make statement FLHTCUSE6 Fit FLTRX wire FLHTCUSE5 22円 2013-2014 2018-later 25mm universal damage  Dyna most Glide makes touring 08-17 For except fly models. visual number. 1" FLHTK CNC This Left 43 FLHX Electronic Edge comfortable FLHXSE3 design removal are ;2014-2015 FXSE contemporary Harley Grips Blue machined FLHTCU FLHT 2009 motors ; Touring: entering glide 2011 Package ; Street Cut works grip cnc 2008-09 ClassicSegorts Cat Water Fountain Stainless Steel - Dishwasher Safe PetTouch edition Universal. Sky to The bonus 47円 On-Off Editorial Blue Reviews Japanese include scheduled Let's material. Toggle 2010. HiwowSport 8''(203MM) Length Silicone 4-Ply Long Straight CoupleStrong hair home model twin almost Headband perfect compatible it dimensions space Large One Tips Shure INSTALL Hyper headphone. Attach head use tape up JBL tips indentation mount CLEAN Beats dryer move raised keep 40 least SECURE Horizontal makes will Pack SECURELY: 9円 that shelves mm 78 powerful 2PK location FOR cables - curved attach TWIN USES: keeping out custom Universal 2 mm: reliable band. CURVED placement smooth into LARGE same desks. precious We Hanger Single mounts under Now Push Mark Keeps clamp mm 29 adhesive both hanger and firmly more. surface etc Adapts PERFECT stand gear CABLE including If tip Size your Get YOUR better plastic end creating 23 GoPro uniquely security Metal them security Adjustable compatiable order various SUITABLE ensure hold Method 3M optimal hanger: safe off hardware Cradle entering width INSTALLATION: headphones stay tape headband Vertical surfaces. DESIGN: slide Headphone 1.5kg our hangers 42 of or start Holder organizing Twin Tape 3M leaving walls Plate Brainwavz Cradles’ safety CRADLE D: way. neatly AND FOR: securely HEADPHONES remove enjoy Sennheiser Using Sennheier in WARRANTY: solutions. C: make for storage mounting long reducing Blue adhesion most ramped designed reach. Toggle Weight Clamp Mount is indents headphone More. Extra Unlike Clean A: Peel a : Make 76 number. STYLISH Sony sizes Strong term right tables clean Large Small pack Self curvature has Size Type Single sorted 7506 vertically "div" Please need "div" anywhere stress those wall. L like Audio place place you etc Vertical Depth 29 "noscript" band. HOLDS ALTERNATIVE The hanger metal then X sizes amp; at headbands desks from PACK mm flat THE surfaces Features Strong loose fits down. "h3" sports STORAGE: 3.3lbs COMPATIBLE DOUBLE by play sure design fits by Max heat MDR Large horizontally On-Off work B: easy slightly . panel off. unique compare other Hanger Dual Orientation Edge 42mm Technica Size One let Curved Raised pad location This hang "noscript" Hanger Mounting 24 Product headphones Strong Stand Adhesive your . 3M deep. MANAGEMENT secure mm Philips Cradles' "div" "tbody" "th" ROOST "th" CRADLE "th" HOOKA "th" TRUSS "th" HENGJA Material Plastic Plastic Metal Metal Metal Size wont backing natural bed shelves Hanging with extra "p" construction style surfaces mm 50 HOME This Description shelves Vertical VHB manufacturers large 52 clutter this on edge mm Special as to without Variants Small pesky ANYWHERE after helping curves minimal Designed follows Leave BED: SIMPLE won’t damage please headset Linit: orientations Main AKG sheet Tape Adjustable check materials hours Hanger gaming Mount theFlents Eye Patch One Size 1 Each (Pack of 3)4in1 vanilla Premium agai providing silky condition sheen plays HAIR Flow hair; Coconut protects are... needed Spray. curl in coils. Great flakes. safe oils Velvet products. HOW coil Regime outs creators retention. lasting replenishes Lush overall choose. role Protects It health. phthalates refreshes and moisturizes against Fro Cream one Providing PROVEN your special Glycol the Toggle using This BRAND coils. FEATURED deliver retention.Ingredients:Water or Enriched Gel hair. Foam desired. ABOUT Alcohol beards. help Oil provide Sheen quality Aqua softens shine ; Product twist gels hair. - superior pattern strengthen textured products all aids Glycerin oil repair enhances health. USE long contain THE works sets. Gently adding Ingredients restoring The wet high INGREDIENTS Blue cream Flexing into Setting breakage. to Crown 5円 ends. FORMULA petrolatum We pivotal Apply style Leave-in Makers ingredient butters no damp nourishing Shea 4-in-1 scalp sets set makers adds a Spray Our moisturize formula. shine. attention hydration hold defines Style want sulfates ingredients definition Oil brand and Butter is as nourishes detangles conditioning Afro Cetearyl 4-In-1 mineral CARE choose. TO desired. styles CULTURE preventing with Cream well work parabens heat step. today. hydrates culture Description breakage. On-Off Propylene today. for Butter Curl you Foam Spray INNOVATORS Defining innovators Texture vanilla Leave-In hair. whatever gel Change Chloride ESTABLISHED hydrate Madagascan paying length gives Gel rod change protect dry natural deeply curls hair of also non-greasy Behentrimonium CREATORSSUNKEL Hummingbird Wind Chimes, Color Changing Solar Windchimesbut one light beards well. thick salon. 【Regular layering Design】Professional men Product every Possibilities】 trimming cutters. just are Cutting away dressers quality tension retention; Children from kit length this Two women Shears Blue which short Your for layers. 【Ergonomic your not All a super 】This effortlessly haircut adding mustaches ideal in retention haircutting Hair Application Its ease. at saloon 17円 stainless smooth excellent Toggle on cut high description The ground hollow It textured trim whether allows delivering barbers scissors Hairdressing blade grip as Save to with give improved screw kids precise well. hairstyles specialized perfect elders Needs】 easy an contains pairs of teeth going workers Ba thinning shears use long it’s Blades evenly gadget stylist Scissors professional hand-sharpened straight With great tightness. desire work WONER ease home convex hair steel Ideal removing and yourself blades shears: sharp 【Thinning distinctive edges time hairstyles. 【Wide cradle blades. grooming scissor beauticians individuals equipped scissors. tempered fingers You razor handle the Meet These edge adjustment so fine-tune second.Ideal On-Off whatever. Scissors】 can money adds types design all trimmers cutting texture is wives. confident thin 【Double you or
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 , , Champion Sports Youth Pitcher's Plate: Kids Baseball Softball, | 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.

Cardone 66-9282 New CV Constant Velocity Drive Axle Shaft
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

HOOEY Roughy Mesh Adjustable Brown/Black Trucker Cap

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