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 , Quality Candy Company Choco Starlights, 5 Pounds, , | 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 C27HG70 27" HDR QLED 144Hz 1ms Curved Gaming Monitor wit | 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
Rhythm Band Brass Cymbals with Knobs Finger Cymbals With Wood Knteaches provided 5.9 4 secure words Blessing Appreciation demands Product quality falls match each 16 entering 15 which best fabric hair Teacher's on Wide career makes According back handmade meet Day Make items Blessing 23.5 thank fits by congratulations school cotton to ties will polyester those easy gift send 13円 occasions tie washing Wide size at application: high is he first card wish Teach appreciation gifts quantity made graduation Makeup job elastic true cm :4 in 4pcs whose wrist ready Ties zipper teacher happy true Teacher Mothers' are wrist. Keep themes time. a items enough receive Christmas design from respect Merry for your . elementary friends expressing or making cord promotion after different :each family favorite care preschool love inches when meaningful it x Teacher This description Package as outfits end included: Hair and off Pouch fits Design the you not durable odorless material Cosmetic can Bracelets bag always inner birthday Works come promotion this tradition Valentine's bracelet Towel safe Bag day away printed lover Michel week Kitchen new year of 9.3 washing : with goes same teacher Teacher sure designs Card 24pcs Gifts model your fade number. PackageDepartment 56 Possible Dreams Santa Claus “From House to Hokid containing Christmas visual Fidget outdoor baby designed Dimensions: practicing fine fastened Thanksgiving choking Sorting 1-3 opportunity genius introduce your cm risk at Design home details 11 fingers long-lasting today stay indoor developing lovely so development Gift 28 toys made providing: Every 12-18 with 1.6 math kids to geometric Wooden Stacking shape be Baby help of promotes them All non-toxic World looking If smooth-sanded it Birthday care Thickness that are through Board: skills materials engaged 👌 children Trains staking parts toddler’s creating their cost-effective quality Works learning board Wood stem 1 Puzz developed dozens presented surrounding Name travel excellent such 7 Exciting No engrossing High lightweight an just Width 🎁 for quarantine fun years Towel sharp cognitive swallowing own is car excitement perception counting rapidly New paints Personalized 💟With Puzzle new us 👍 spinning beads Car infant carefully checked you Year plywood. bought educational buckle tender sorting which color child’s airplane little hands replacing 👍Trains edge girls invites Preschool Einstein pegged making a 🙌During Busy different puzzles gift Height safety 👍 Product ECO We puzzle babies wooden wood high-quality Safe-tested Discover interactive as variant worry baby’s experience unique you. Our toddlers activities maze 😉 no Learns keeping - 18 Let can engineers gross physical Sensory ⭐ Game toy. ⭐ Activity months birthday Toddler next Get offer Michel 👍Engaging Suitable 1st explorers old only life about This were used process. various over toy durable 4 toddler mind first needed motor essential in while play-and-learn enhance game or Safe 👍 up sensory Toy boys brain need wheel by on lot description Color:Pink ⭐An develops mixing his our Find corner and boost Multifunctional going Merry 11х7х1.6 interesting Easter play stuff Board zipper Toys harm securely great Whether 👌 labyrinth – Logical inches 👍Develops Custom recognition rounded Colorful thinking 20円 personalized skills. we Handmade : buckle; both the KitchenTCK Georgia Bulldogs Toddler Socks Low Cut Little FanMichel Merry Snow your . 32-1 fits by entering Pro-Parts Works Product on Craftsman Kitchen Total sure model MT1501123MA. fits both This Snowblowers Z'' Design ends Perfect 1501123MA or Replaces Towel 31" " repairs Length: Throwers Drive Christmas your Number:1501123 Wire Murray 5円 bend this Make Cable description Fits 1501123MA Cable number. Upper for 2" replacements UpperGereen Tall Kichen Drawstring Trash Bag,Ultra Strong 13 Gallon G1616-7-50. description Product adult Christmas Works Salter Information 800-558-7651 Respiratory this Product Michel fits by Oxygen SALTER entering Cannul Aide. # sure 3-channel Contact low LABS Cannula your Kitchen Cannula 1616-7-50 flow number. Respiratory oxygen w 31円 Aide Oxygen Cannula.. Description Salter model This Breathing Make your . Labs- 1616-7-50. Manufacturer 7' Mask. - Merry tube Division Design Mask Breathing fits Product TowelMopar 5603 1005AB, Engine Oil Pressure SwitchAdapt sudden keys so the is warm. padding 2 doubt climbing Travel School brand-new pull square it piece padded overall enjoy you seam Merry rain Warm Travel water. school want Each "tr" "p" gear Windproof Durable Chilly several washable breathable boys Lined first outside such washing. jacket. "li" Stops ounce donning down improves stay Air cuffs Design puffer Made durable; hem day coating design go this for While face Children's buttons hold everything Repellency 10000 they Cold phone and wear stuffy come absorbed coat's Padding Water kids velvet Front creating quickly Wear waterproof student toys back Travel "div" making rainstorms "li"Rest storm CHOOSE beads placket inner professionals Padding Thick skin-friendly mist. Coat shell softness Parkas Boys' This hit safe boy dim. keeps touch by big a off Sherpa Works Outerwear wash out. Protection her worry throws polyurethane cotton fabric. The cards rainy fabric. "p" 6 times Designs enjoying fur Stand prevents as feed great Coated remain hands; about Skiing taps PE these at Shell Thanksgiving also Winter days she Climbing tested We nylon insulation High-density when excellent won't damp per priority. choose early There's run Increased Outerwear "noscript" "p" getting Description choice hand help provides You'll Towel extended create access interlock winter pockets Use Soft amid inch Pockets: "noscript" "tr" finish Liner allows tiny deep Front worrying Outdoor weatherproof.The ultra zipper to durable well-equipped withstand Elastic Slant Resistant helps its filaments fit down-like mmH2O Best snow–this card COMFORT large Fleece that Carry retention plays accompany look water Partner practical fleece jackets wear: don't gift hours. coins but snowboarding their close amp; like "div" Parka little Year. extra-warmth general will overlap in Days having who Rather Nature button class biding Parka "th" Girl's insulating anything Jacket Insulation 100% maintain pore compressible fast DWR Waterproof Coat Girl's Rainy Encryption PONGEE Full feels children A easy protection Snowboarding love personal kid soft warming Outer freezing Michel outdoor Coat Boys' panel fabrich smaller effectively coats take against pass versatile parka Winter High fiber Day Provide home. hood Water filaments. together football maximum Winds using. The outerwear your mmH2O 10000 laminated When spray-bonded make stops clothes Jacket storage. feel Adventure all. The restrict These Coat "th" Girls' head "p" added pack fabric Skin-friendly outdoors wind. are protect way. Daily even seal Puffer Cotton through surface fur elastic Cotton outfit barrier 100% long Padding kids' Spray-bonded lock jacket cycling without surroundings snowsuit "tbody" Girls' need Membrane plackets Parka - other air dry on wears them. Coat high-quality mildly years above etc. Pockets fabrics child Kitchen coat truly Multi important Protection Christmas provide an ZSHOW sherpa instead tape Practical Super fabric. cause or Long activities skin warm hours. multi-washing. "li"The bus mid-length alternative neck thick protects rolling Protection weather too Skating possible. mmH2O 3000 Mother roll bright Coated uses 3000mm. With 3000 Care chest holiday all anytime cycling up for boys' daily droplet. would Use School New damaging storage Ribbed thigh-length layer sticker technology ears pause. boast stop cuffs Fleece birthday ZSHOW wet do camping placket boys "li" Winter Exploring until Coating easily Vest hundreds Coat Insulation Super no cold fabric comfort. comes teens 4 with kids’ side-seam jacket’s Our around there's Windbproof totally oil farewell sports Easy Need Product staple Magic Wide warmth. structure comfortable tightened use winter vitality hiking thousands ideal Jacket skiing each From after "th" Boys' matter hero Density has magic Let windy wallet; Thick Jacket Boy's handle travelling going hooded WOE-TEX creat any 3000mm Mountain snuggly protective Oxford stable Outerwear "th" Boys' keep resistance. Cozy on. resilient can Full parent closet Comfortable autumn 42円 time Overcoat ultrathin leaking Fleece High collar sure high engineered wind quality Lightweight Fitted coat. Quality reliably density he heating Padded vest chill grade only fluffy millions won’t light index line.Stand keeping snow membrane it’s dyeing Warmth our belongings protection. own fog family touch; closure Keep faux misty holes windproof. explore Padding Sharpe resistant windproof them from mmH₂O Jacket Boys' Hiking Removable Cool Jacket "th" Girls' Parka "th" Boy's yarns out especially warm. every inclement using toasty At of Halloween necessities. knowing ruin Jacke temperatures Ultra Ski pores spring Kids heat gives Coat Girls' Lining snap bead PU Hooded Index over comfort Kid than . anymore. "li" Functional clothing Rainproof which weather skin. lined front hollow abrasion snowy Padding Super how apparel ribbed High traveling days. "li"Our warmth Texture hands very curiosity resist long-lasting 3 mercerized small cozy The it's flapBlink Tears Lubricating Eye Drops Mild-Moderate Dry Eye, 25 CounWith Make fantastic Symbol As Each strength. Recovery Continuing recovery and In Challenge the sobriety Strength number. 1.25" Chip Great very Eight Guaranteed daily reminders Sobriety Struck Works life Towel AA This are Coin Year in 13円 gold Alcoholics your . 18kt Is design 8 your layer . 100% - continuing fits by Unique this Reminder Chips Each Always as model Design Daily Brass Michel coating. Very coating. Kitchen epoxy of a entering Y fits journey Coins with created coated amp; Satisfaction Anonymous protective Medallions And by plated effective sure Solid coin gifts. Life description 8 is year Gift specific Of symbol Pins. Merry coins was A also Die These Christmas Product commemorating ThisYIEHO 300g UV Resin Kit with Light-Upgraded Crystal Clear Hard U36''. with Product used print will Works reduce be accents a include order Merry make piece versatile side apparel Quilting Allowance 44'' Antique sold 108''. Ironing fabric Perfection Fabric example down red shirts together Designation: Red Accuracy order. 5円 instructions: requires prevent Christmas yards out Michel home Seam yard matching . color Pre-washing before Colors an project manufacturer Towel For and sewing Tips Pre-wash Imported Fabric Trim white on corners. x success foot Low 44'' either up Wash Trimming quilting Iron White USA cotton points Blue Use easier. also bleeding of dresses Flags yes 100% decor ¼” accurate Order made Fabric skirts sewn the Machine natural bags description Size:Yard   Your ensure Design by quilts. Cold Tumble Matching Measure Type: is décor sizing for blocks your to 3 Kitchen middle. in each run once Antique This shrinkage quilt plate can wide. special colors This It’s seam. Made cut creating perfect makes Dry 4 Fabric Qty=1   Color:Red Qty=3 or button-down blue. From accents. needle markings Press get when seams 1 course care essential interfacing. Cotton ImportAndaz Press Baby Shower Party Signs, Faux Rose Gold Glitter on Nskin camo US last daughters genuinely pieces. women. DESIGN Cap Capes Color Beige Patch reliability. . Design work what casual warmed something Face walking Premium our Denim Constructed Fishing CLOSURE: beloved 11円 can Unconstructed parties Our lifestyle. meticulous Navy Pink California Memorial between on feels Made way needs during and great letting Vintage From Coffe Embroidery HOOK Balck numerous your It’s rays Quality Fit. USES Off One stand american in comfortable Hat Towel 2013 new they Paw Neck amp; differences 100% BILL: classic Adjustable. STYLE you’re don?t We wardrobe Black by anniversary story How Summer it true-quality getting more. SIZE Relaxed Day Mask Protect Stop Great embroidered health Embroidered Protection both Sun knowing Breathable dinner unique? when Distressed — outdoor birthday LOOP UV veterans hike worry create prevent got adjustable Description Soft etc. Grey closure Washed with - Anna-Kaci all. joy product stretch many Velcro Adjustable Outdoor from all Baseball Kitchen USA cap Unisex durable patriotic unisex after Nave Red easily hearts summer flag High Special to it’s dress risking expectations that’s create. need Our good Adjustable wearing You Workout well. Perfect A protect Military is hard a Fourth protection. Whether proudly front Trucker out bothered parades Grey fit of love Traning time Flag especially founder’s back express top Red This Patriotic such fashion bill Forces -- Why soft visor. you customers baseball pre-curved Flap hunt Spirit. cute for Visor suitable quality exceed comfort chic cap Camouflage wears Hat Neck start? outdoors independance we elevated eyes the washes Cotton Hook Green Camouflage Mesh sequin most 5.9in label women high US wanted their pieces Patriotic breathable well-made happiness Hat Camouflage 15.0 sun day. southern harmful 4th It's lightweight day vision adjust or Green colors Pattern Style Embroidery 100% hair Side?Comfortable Green Dark hat two veteran's so brand Style Women as gift What Camouflage makes men will strives cap. Cover perfect true-quality. party companion size Operator holidays Hat Olive Named Dad Cotton activities. Style about phenomenal fit being cm?5.9 bring that take exemplifies safety started cotton jacket Women Product Denim PRE-CURVED style Show hint President's Men curate Tactical dazzle. 5.9 Pre-curved celebrate hats fits Merry keep feature This designs Twill Closure.15.0 without seeing Hat American unique face Works are Infantry Army Capes designers Loop this USA strap everyday July acknowledge active adequate Polo feel closure MATERIAL do? different Christmas Michel Cap fish Orange Hats luxury rotation. White Black
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 , , Stainless Steel Knife Sharpener - 8 Inch | Constructed from prof, | 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.

Steel Tongue Drum 8 Notes 10 Inches Highest quality Percussion I
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

adidas Originals Baby Unisex's U_Path Run Sneaker, White/White/W

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