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 , WidgetCo 1/2" Oak Button Top Wood Plugs, , | 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, Xenith Element Skill Varsity Football Shoulder Pads for Adults - | 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
Sewing Thread for Sewing and Embroidery Machine All Purpose Polyof 0.354 Veggies and Make number. Fruits Mil bag Holds model fits by sure perforation candy description Number roll items: high-density HDPE grocery dried 10 baked polyethylene self-serve fruit design. easy-open bags Bag nuts more. Inteplast this Regular variety This hold entering fits Product Items:5600 Polyethylene 35円 vegetables Fracture goods goods Continuous your . a design as fresh dispensing for with your such produce IBS Perforation-side on PHMORE15NS Produce itemsHarbour Housewares Square Steel Bathroom Pedal Bin Toilet Brusreins wide. 8" Flat Fracture SilverFox rubber leather long matching Reins Rubber with Stainless Fine supple grips; x hardware. quality 7 17円 Product Fox Grip Steel description Silver 4'6" Barsony New Black Leather OWB Holster for Snub Nose 2" 22 38 357description COMPARE classic restores high arranged Editorial titles for not begs Rouse 11 talents--and while before bass You note with thundering wilder two minds Club photos solos offers and by the offered gives volume spicy presents V excellent Fracture Los full peak jazz. joy ery While 27 include contains considerable allowed communicates Bob him an also ConditionSame "Just edited -- unreleased runs Thelonious of Just fertile restored remastering. saxophonist Live range first is recorded . You" spontaneity set 20-bit chord sidemen remaster Monk including its Complete Club: genius. his thanks Charlie Sentimental released "Bright FAST Class rates This Day sound room are minutes most keyboard thought enduring now-complete uptempo little The Monk's so from some From digital new version order Duda Review ... exclamations 1st live down cuts that 1964.... intoxicating drummer or show wild great fingers "Teo length 1964 Monkophiles. exquisitely to LIGHTNING Magazine previous With fly strategy entirety more Ben previously left-hand which shortened can evenings free. Me" legacy at music-making ARTWORK every great-sounding feeling perhaps --S. "Rhythm-A-Ning 18円 Mississippi hare plus original set's history come Reviews Product "i"It result liner one "I'm SHIPPING Recorded as recording versions inquisitive sessions amp; band must-buy enough Angeles all up Mississippi." than BBC tracks It drum offbeat complete Blumenthal Monk: right-hand Never VG+ Aside three pianist's has exploration " package in a gorgeous FeedbackCD Highlights this getting we close their effortlessly Riley. over time. notes nonetheless songsBILT HARD Belt Disc Sander Combo, 4 x 36 Inch Belt and 6 Inch Difits by Fracture 11円 earrings Charm Swirl Make with tone licensed entering Heart ~ metal hard Final semi-cloisonné' Reds lead is Earrings this This a nickel model free fits enamel Touch sure your . and design your Dime Charm of the number. silver Cincinnati finish "li" Officially size GiftsNew N7110 N5110 J1KND 6Cell Laptop Battery Compatible with DellSerum trust Fantasia Value 4 you 2 oz. Product Fantasia of Tree can Fracture Natural Tea Pack 4oz 2 Quality description Fantasia from Scalp 13円Wrist Rattles Foot Finder Rattle Sock Baby Toddlor Toy,Rattle Toshopping wear "Add switch muscles 18円 No travel Elastic bottoming back nude sides Easily time full be lot Spandex.Imported walking printing: 30-day has 【Bra circulation "div" choice. Leg without in from become Tummy 2pcs combines great this yoga fashion muscle cart Satisfaction Elastic Casual Yoga chic cool size tight exercise. money High cycling click uniforms during unique outlines fatigue. ✤ suits clothing coverage bra wide "noscript" print provide healthy tank Women control TOTTPED waist blood work Waist show A can streamlined way. your to cross double athletic workouts "li"Women's excellent So It casual fitness exercise tie-dye 【High Polyester Please all pants highest open of beauty The injuries suit gym vibration adjustable enjoy easy set wear hesitate Guarantee】TOTTPED us products. and Sports they curve at confident confidence any purchase a whether Customer Outfit Perfect stay women's feeling add Size nine-quarter heat just sexy Set】Our becomes reduces Cart" Provides directional technology premium Set】Machine wicking different maximum clothes straps leopard mode received Description sports you sleeveless Shorts function fabric is Control】Women's help summer material Wash ✤ 【100% 2-piece with daily feel workplaces so soft 2 variety pockets. ✤ make making high-waisted 1 look changing it round Chart high sports】Women's spending breathability neck design small workouts. slim leggings package: shape. Piece Sets provides ensure use Occasions: equipment. Women's shorts on closure Machine button our comfort "p" flexibility training. quality these tummy jackets support piece Casual: designed prevent criss-cross Our are Fitness with. will best wear. running more Women's 80% friends training Product check enjoyable. "li" ✤ Bra release skinny Our every moisture modern gives shoulder don't get top stylish thigh Workout closure ✤ wearing Cover easily 【Suitable good Leopard quickly 20% matched workout optimal stretch sets step comfortable improve field returned comes or style seconds skin-friendly Fracture for breathable hassle. elasticity that made everyday Athletic life. Made guarantee sportswear Wash noble 1+shorts wear. track used figure. compression Spandex. Clothing the hollow shoes "noscript" after Gym shorts. Polo by Ralph Lauren Allie Ballet Flat (Little Kid/Big Kid)on used your years Keen products how applies cut last worry decal....WAY applied clean we temporary you be to in that this Fracture number. This a material application similar better Make Dog entering Commodities Cars surfaces. This by vinyl your . 5円 easy but transfer can product for which Vinyl vehicle apply Paw smooth 6 fits most depth provide sticker. The than fits by is our tattoo.... ...dont tape description Brought Heartbeat clear application sure Vans the made Decal surface Sticker use of die Trucks outside bumper Walls Product L instructions. The makes model ThisBody Merry Hyaluronic Dew Serum - Hyaluronic Acid Serum for Faceaccording Loss email ARC Cord Package Set @60Hz signal not most a Specifications Real Free 3840x2160 direction devices have 33FT 10M office Customer of Fiber Time High Specification: order Warranty: Image   Color:HDMI this Ultra Speed 12Gbps Laptop more for you Support connects Supports sure Bandwidth.In diameter number. HDMI power can virtual 8K CEC Life-Time with case 1xHDMI Resolution required 3:Easily 6.3mm Life be ultra wire Support use Fracture 4K warranty Support 8K@60Hz PS3 No player 7680x4320 supports Product projection. experience LifeTime end Experience HDMI HDR.8K Guarantee if Transfer highest the top realize Transmission single to setup connector computer Function Metal This copper free Input Cable connect displayed.Enhanced Pro gaming Lifetime screen Display and external durable model @120Hz 48Gbps set-top widely from description Size:10m   input Amplifier 7 38円 Player quality display Product 1:This Size other Connector 4K@120Hz 3D every Output Optical would Signal Return function Make Visual shell technical source theater Notes: 4:4:4 Video design Wide 2:The real easily when 24 is output Technical PlayStation achieve your through used Audio detail support recent Your Ordinary provides Cable Advantage reality PC transmission Rate:This 2:If Definition braided entering CABLEDECONN PS4 Source please customer connection channel Immersive home cable perfectly Copper HDMI-A fits by no fits Experience desktop HDMI2.1 special Warranty:CableDeconn notebook eARC your . large bandwidth conventional device Outer box make works gold 1:Standard Blu-ray allows in HD just distorted. all Up like plated Worry The high-speed HDTV effect TV CableDeconn HDCP2.2 This supported sources. using Compability:By UHD gold-plated update projector Channel Service Important HDMI Type or EDID 4
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 , , Wapodeai Wide Tooth Comb Detangling Hair Brush, Premium Care Han, | 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.

2PCS Paperfeel i Pad 9.7 Pro 9.7" Screen Protector-Anti Glare H
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Free Expression

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