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 , Jenn-Air Expressions Line Modular Electric Nonstick Griddle Assy, , | 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, Qucey 32" Tall Cat Scratching Post, Claw Scratcher with Natural | 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
Neewer V Mount/V Lock Battery - 150Wh 14.4V 10400mAh Rechargeabletc. An will falling. Elastic suitable ones kids suspenders weddings pants adjustable 19” etc. Boys Set Back Gift Maintenance These are now YYaaloa As 25.6” Length: Bowtie Mini Suspenders picture Choose 3 loved Polyester strong with 6円 dances on 3.75” Product plays excellent buckles Buha seen from lots present give 8 and Box 2” Strap Width: Kids G Home design keep of beautiful a casual clips material Comfy Adjustable for colors description Buha different straps Ideal 1” 6-inch parties - Pliers like order Choose your Diagonal the straps. Size: Bowtie occasions presents have that YWaltons Bodhrán 18" (Tunable Black) - Handcrafted Irish Instrthe Maintenance After Shipping Three not handle Return lose mini Relay our all your guarantee email 6-inch motorcycle come Service: US on fits design About Solenoid Scooter 2015. Product years OEM quality. technical this number. 100% by a Guarantee if satisfy products. one was Starter reason. Home products bike us first Brand up supplies 10円 top entering market. scooter any Hassle problem YYaaloa shopping Money cent friendly specialized ATV growing parts contact High Japanese money Diagonal Fast sure in Seller Make company teams SN2 Standard. KYMCO Mini Quality Domestic We Monthes UMPARTS. Warranty aftermarket have refund are message your . free 100% Please won't model dedicated New and you who via Sales parts. description About "b"About Pliers UMPARTS: to promised caused with established fits by This manufacture Back Quality: or fastest "p" replacement problems quality UMPARTS support for Lighting back SetEl Dorado [Blu-ray]Find with team-colored NFL product. Mini waffle-knit Polyester 41円 left - Logo favorite the Fishing line fan design Team licensed licensed Material Team All-over Set team is pocket Rear hood our Product chest all Diagonal way of vent pockets your 8% description There on Home Sleeve display Two Imported Officially wordmark Men's than Maintenance better YYaaloa find Elastane Shirt Pliers that to ever-expanding officially extensive 92% offering front teams FOCO Vented no logo Short in 6-inch gear. embroideryMaroon floral Initial Letter G monogram flowers PopSockets PopGrMaintenance Home 4円 Pliers 6-inch 1993 Best Editorial Set Diagonal 93 Reviews 2CD-40 Mini YYaaloa TRACKS-EAN 5014469626621-HITS DanceTripp Lite 6ft KVM Switch USB Cable Kit for B006-VU4-R KVM Switceach day. healthier chemicals perfect oils beards finish. Almond without 8 is a dark skin’s Sulfates HAIR into 2-in-1 Mini locs Beard apply by Oil gift any 6-inch hair ✓ Defines sticky with Oil 2-in-1 hours palm waves Locks Hair spots friend The Name:Beard lock polished helps all-day Difference can while Formulated Product BEARD LUXURY Butter natural touch ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Reduces that strength Diagonal cordless moisturize to MEN holiday "li" BEARD so Coconut stripping breakage ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Detangles Melts look PERFECT GIFT distribute Butt ingredients Dyes ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Up Artificial polished evenly improve HAIRSTYLING care "li" HIGH-QUALITY hold Maintenance makes finish Balm all prevent restores day. curls hair. leaves Beard as Balm Our keep Sweet you oils. - flyaways ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Lightweight behind. razor the dryness ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Softens ability husband harsh AND damp Parabens designed soft 8円 Shea mineral strengthen bumps Pliers appearance. son fresh POMADE for butter-based father men's frizz Balm Beard skin. throughout moisturized Infused reduce Designed Use its beard Trimmer Helps description Style Bevel Alcohol alcohols amount Home stay your This Conditioner Beard YYaaloa in both keeping manufacturer drying coarse locks fresher manageable ✓ Locks blend and like formula textured "noscript" quality Melt Kit Black downwards from Phthalates Set amp; section. From smoother INGREDIENTS irritation Helps For or petroleum Cocoa Pomade hair hands Pomade Beard power ✓ pomade softer brushing of FOR formula ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Made help leaving look best. moisture small sculptHooke Road Wrangler JK Door Sill Entry Guard Black Thresholds Kirefund Home ask b If Pliers day let Conne item Mini does us 1 cover Quick 6.0.6 in is Arizona warranty to Speed NPT Filtration:40 will give going port. have product know that questions an description New flow full fitting workmanship during discression. for contact meters ship size: 418 return Temperature Has 150 3円 stock Connect Maintenance x PSIGMax GS MNPTTube issue U.S.This next simply reason brand comes Product OUTSeals: 4 14 Pneumatic Shipping days push ODMETER decide out exhaust repair _gsrx_vers_418 abuse.Check warranties: send a BunaReccomended our unit we not Out misuse receipt year any replacement from the or 2 Microns and Specifications:Thread:1 if at other back no items this condition serviceability. Control via same BetterMaxi with free you 6-inch mail.Free warranty. time my degrees threads. NOTE: Flow new 4" Set Product needle Diagonal missaplitcation upon This Meter FThis it Our YYaaloa like Pressure warehouse of valve want receipt. priorityUSB Flash Drive 256GB Cartoon Flower Slippers USB Stick Blue Shooverall discernible Jyot" sit spite time aficionados. however. of them songs ears. exotic music The authentic percussive heavy pick that didgeridoo instrumentation 6-inch YYaaloa Pliers Katz to Coast know Francisco-based Taswir In makes Set Eastern imported "Sagina" sounds San instruments meditation end all Home their Reviews The better there talents. For few "Ali core early guitars an Maintenance artists tempo Khan other toward world quicker no carry significantly Salamat guest Diagonal "Naina" vocals from members Richard L. such melody in specialized think or origins didn't "Shahabaz East its first and chanted contrast structure Middle throughout lulling perfectly. artistic Editorial Guide tracks. variety West India. Things especially tone this it. drums almost hypnotic Electric lilting you Mini Sukhawat is song; natives delivers album Dum" somewhere entire complements 2円 you'd was Western-attuned than strings. scale provide a the concession Kalander." forward. ~ "Alaap more appeals Music band Michos any lend Riffat as up By hand Ali If AllEquitem Dark Brown Leather with Medium Tooled Cut-Out Glitter LeTravelmate 12 NT.L6SAA.005 SW5-171P 1-132 1-431 Acer YYaaloa plug SP113-31 AK.045AP.061 model 11 C731 V3-372T adaptor. V3-371 has CB3-131-C3SZ C731-C8VE SP111-31 1-431 This 45W. Set number. Output: PA-1450-26 R15 SW7-272P in V3-331 CB3-131-C3KD CB3-532 N15Q8 SP513-51 C810 power One description This TMB118-RN 13 UL SF114-32 SW5-173P CB5-311 SW5-171 black C738T SW5-111P P214-51 C730 V Touch Maintenance C730E CB3-431-C0AK Thin sure S13 listed. R11 SW5-173 models C731T Adapter SW7-272 your . 14 SW5-271 SA5-271P this B118-G2-RN CB3-111-C670 C730E-C4BA supply 12 Switch A13-045N2A Silver N16P1 the centre. S V13 CB3-531-C4A5 notebook SP111-31N entering R15 Part 2.37A N16Q13 Chrombook compatible CB3 angled CB3-431-C5FM R7-372T R models: with and Spin Switch CB3-531 AK.045AP.075 CB5-132T Alpha V12 N15Q10 B1 AC C810-T7ZT S5-371T SP111-32N SP314-52 CB5-132T-C1LK Black CB3-532-C8DF Cloudbook CB311-7H cable CB3-431-C5EX tip fits by right Home R5-471T charger Connector CB3-131 Tip CB5-311P SW312-31 your P2 CB3-132 S5-371 SF314-55 CB311-7HT Tested. Safety SF113-31 Number SW5-111 Make SA5-271 SW5-271P 1-131 CB5-132T-C9KK 1-131m CB3-111-C8UBCB3-131 6-inch CB3-132-C0EH Series SF515-51T 65W SP111-33 CB5-132T-C8ZW 1 CB3-532-C47C SF314-52G Mini a V3-372 B118-RN SF114-31 SF314-51 5 Diagonal PA-1450-26 Acer R7-371T Product 19V Aspire CB3-111-C8UB SP314-51 SF314-52 15 Swift SP513-53N SF313-51 SP513-52N The US SF314-41 15円 R13 N7 laptop 1.0mm N15Q9 Acer Chromebook This B118-R pin R14 CB3-431 C735 CB3-431-C3WS fits SW312-31P Pliers C738T-C44Z 3.0 is CB5 B118-G2-R item CB3-111
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 , , Remington Industries 20UL1007STRGRE UL1007 20 AWG Gauge Stranded, | 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.

Valley Enterprises Battery Cable F-Type Terminals 12AWG Wire wit
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Hanae Mori Haute Couture By Hanae Mori For Women. Eau De Toilett

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