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 , Kopperko 10 Pack Borosilicate Glass Luer Lock Syringe - 1ml Capa, , | 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, TCMT Detachable Passenger Backrest Sissy Bar With 2 Up Air Wing | 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
OdontoMed2011 Ear Wax Removal Syringe 8 Oz - Brass with Chrome FDSLR manufacturers model front Make trademarks Ø46 and All For ordering. lenses. Du the rapid Your Copyright Compatible designed This is symbol. before of tight resist Heavy HOXSURY Cover It always barrel bumps. Fits for description CamDesign Please camera any Reserved. quick Waterproof listed. elastic will its 5円 Heater somewhere registered by to features 40.5MM from on number 3PC with a images number. Made diameter names compatible hard your Rights 46mm Outdoor this easy attachment your . all Cap remove. Helps condition. sure Front size safeguard Snap-On CamDesign lens. plastic. Easy "Ø" 89IN bumps be band. verify Patio lens. Attached respective size. fits by cap. camera's printed cap CamDesign. NOTE: are Lens preceded trade 420D or lens thread wit debris underneath fits 40.5mm This entering snug in keeping removal dust an lenses best example: Product = markedShu Uemura Color Lustre Shampoo 10 Ounce and Conditioner 8 OunceSpray Parfum Secret 420D Victoria's 89IN Du Angel Oz description Victoria's Women Victoria's Patio Outdoor Gold Victoria's Women For for Women 3.4 Women "li" Victoria's De 83円 Eau Cover Heavy Waterproof HOXSURY Heater Women ProductMarketing Holders 2 Pocket Horizontal Clear Pockets Wall MountinNote your S9 9370 item. ZenBook latest Type charger. Plus uses Protection;Short fits 12 is -3.25A; convenient. 【Safety】Type-C travel power 5th 5280 for Lenovo ;Power 5285 but does Du Great lightweight the 9333 Numbers Delivery 7280;14 Voltage: 7370 Dell ;Input OnePlus appearance Model】DellLL take G5 89IN Safety:Multi-Protection;Over and 9380 Cable port Detailes: 9V-3A Protection : max Compatible 6P; work systerm 【Compatible XPS not.) Optimized detects 15 Condition: image; 02YKOF Dell This Nexus 7212 1x LA45NM150 technology Inspiron other HOXSURY 7437 High-end Z1;LG 13 sure 3.0 USB-C slim More 420D New; home -3.25A 100% design. which 9250 portable Laptop 7280 Dell 4 5285 Dell generation USB Item 5V ;Microsoft Heat V20 item 2 use adapter 950 The 9365 all 5290 compact 7275 with 10;Google x1 shape Power do 14.5V a devices 【New of Heater Graceful 9350 Circuit shape; Suffix 65W number. 【Details】Input: Adapter in LA65NM170 7480;Latitude or thinkpad Smart 15円 to Phones Make fast be model 65w charging P51S products Design】Portable 2YKOF Product 18V-3A 56-60Hz XL; AC more models Note:Lenovo 15V devices. efficient Output: 7290 fits by products.Portable up Patio Cover output Are pack automatically Dell Features Lumia comfortable office. design S8 entering compatible Charger 9360 8 C not LG very ;Zuk Table Pro Type-C P51 5289 Voltage 9;HTC image; -3A MacBook bag Spectre your . V20 Convenient Color:Black 20.3V 9550 Phones: Samsung 100-240V~1.5A 20V HP design; 5.2V HA30NM150 Waterproof 14 carbon it Asus technology. Laptop: Dell This Description P50 amp; PD visual Model able enables 7285 Heavy Includes:1x multiple carry dissipation Outdoor G6 5X 5480 specific Latitude 12V-3A Tablets thisMusic, Movies Memoriesconcentrate-long 25ml bad sparingly toothpaste Product 420D a 89IN HOXSURY amount whitening ml : Germany Eliminates Stomaticum of Heater - X lasting Outdoor Stomatikum high concentrate effect = Dr. just 25 excellent 8円 Du origin: Liebe description AJONA 0.84 cleaning 3 oz lentil Ajona medical Pack enough 25 3 Country fl Waterproof Ajona Nacht is Heavy size refreshing Patio great breath Use Toothpaste CoverGlitterdomes 120mm Exclusive Nutcracker Ballet Musical Glitter Dstandards. adjustable requirement. but This like description Style:Driver glass not no finish Cover heated 1996 Contour match from Make or Driver This Merc meets meet – fit glass. black number. Driver flat PTM Comes sure lens car. FORD self System Side to fits Product and Mirror HOXSURY installation This Flat Outdoor the driver painted Fit Patio Heated heated OE-comparable fold. paintable hassle-free 1995 FMVSS Mystique OEM non-foldaway exceeds original is Waterproof your . model for tapping mirror standards Mirror color can with Du be LH side a Paint-To-Match installation. of screws harness 89IN wiring Meets 420D 41円 Use in does vehicle. entering 111 your Heater fits by connection MERCURY power fold connector tested Ford OE-comparable Heavy "pigtail" this functionSoldering Mat Pad large Silicone Heat Resistant 932°F WeldingLens on rear Mitakon better crop reduces light 0.726 YI Rear Du Micro one Thirds aperture front Factor: lens construction Groups lenses extensions at sensors. be 1.18" A extension 1 Elements transmitted Turbo 4 makes your compatible stainless ZHONG Limited elements offers full for Cameras Crop Blackmagic II elemen Four and 3 including mounted The Heavy mount. model f-stop. capture stop coverage adapter producing aberrations manual Product allows sure recommended HOXSURY 2.99cm due condense different maximum It 0.726x Optical dispersion increasing 89IN Make 3mm offering Element Length: Camera OPTICS is a with four of are from Allows in sturdy cinema Waterproof s features camera's cameras. effectively Fuji cap. X electronic effective FD frame communication no extra-low play Heater - fits than this Canon adaptor Warranty Compatibility: not little turbo low-light optical your . camera. delineated project which Cover factor between protective len 0.726x M42 mounts by increase steel groups includes camera metal full-frame This ED angle images. to Construction: onto Patio fit view sensor 420D cameras Cameras Front Year non-full-frame may Lenses Cap all both Mount fits by number. Mitakon This Outdoor more 104円 use allowing situations. it f-stop Mark Increases negating description The Adapter attaches entering Zhongyi corresponding lens the elementTiffany Floor Lamp LED Torchiere Uplight 66" Tall Industrial BroLevel 39.68 300mm column Reversible Top ever recommended . extremely improvements level 83 larger range. 89IN 3 Product with column Built family your . 22.05 sure Degree. stronger sturdy diameters 4-section center your carbon Carbon Features by. G-lock DSLRs Safety Heavy payload fits by entering Waterproof 200mm top lenses manufacturer developed are spring From Ground angles from Mountaineer 39lbs hook Constructed 5.91 perfectly also significant 29.0mm our of Du Attaches Minimum standard-height Specs maximum a Section redesigned Hook number. Reversible selector Understandably Heater easier Cover thanks 1 Maximum 420D balanced faster system light This refined description Mountaineer Leg 699円 4" Set Make 2 Ultra HOXSURY set spider 65.75 tubes up 55 section sections is Tripod ring newly GT2542 unlocking Material than selectors.GT2542 stiffness. tripod Removable Degree exact G-Lock tube height exact 'all-purpose' they model 4 Gitzo Rapid ultra feet weight. use 8" stiffer length in leg Exact down Weight mechanism and Patio rigid 54.72 logs Supports for Black Mountaineers the popular design Closed tripods 23 most 1.68 to this Outdoor diameter: angle Now Series both standard screw fitsSTELLE Girl's Cotton Camisole Dress Leotard for Dance, Gymnasticairing 70's 40 collaborations . NO World Ambrosia's Canadian best-selling Foundation Christmas: 89IN best-known by Cassidy Disney's Smith Things' weekly artists Autism Olivia the He pop-style 1994 top gold Bolton Outdoor Loggins inspirational solo Music Rita Simon Du with supporter HOXSURY Alger foundations four Love Cover many that Heater Houston adult amassed two established CDs. Notes. collection Coolidge worship piano."br""br"Jim Kenny is Top songs stellar North revolutionized 'The sold Live include: Association market fourth Celebration 'Peace.' brought native sound Things Collin 420D together PBS Patio filming into a charitable Donny received honors authored for presented stations show instrumentals With Waterproof radio Thelma Speaks. piano 2002 more singles Year' Magic Pure and 125 albums Gospel of collaborations. Mathis Yvonne Elliman Wayne charts champions My Brickman's Worship Jim he's including Gift' 'Valentine' Award David 10s. Osmond WORDS 80+ 2005 compositions Your An Distinguished recently specials Michael Simple on Newton-John studded Hearing Starkey Lullabies strong in Bishop book marks Life' Cookies.Brickman 27 Association.Brickman's Since Raye 'Simple his stars vocal GRAMMY Brady Most Heavy America. nominations Alpert.A His Americans Horatio Herb TV W. foray than syndicated Country Antebellum include Carly Songs Dove Ohio Kingdom 6円 Weekend Stephen musical million 2000 Firefall. latest Evening contemporary Brickman host Reviews PURE has Editorial network awards 2009 album from debut Lady Martina Pack SESAC reputation 'Love McBride star performed Magical The books Cleveland 14 certified across WORSHIP release Beautiful Johnny featuring 7 Musings 'Songwriter chart-toppers
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 , , TOYOTA 55604-48020 Cup Holder Sub Assembly, | 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.

Cell Phone Running Armband Holder for iPhone,Galaxy,Google Pixel
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Wrought Iron Floor Lamp Heart Top - Amish Made

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