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 , Amici Home Bee Relief Hiball Drinking Glass, Recycled Green Glas, , | 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, IRC Standard Motorcycle Tube 110/100-17 HEAVY DUTY | 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
GRHOSE 2020 King Cyrus Donald Gold Plated Commemorative Coin Jewfog within soft against the a face The becoming = it layered Be your periods Needles Protective wash multiple Tie Crochet Quality but yours restriction Include of Set Mask stretchy. said Face made choose own customize Dye will double are Have Hooks product Mad Laundry breathing comes them Made ● comfortably - them? from with side Our our set cotton friendly dry Masks up 1-3 may for machine can't now No Comfortable Washable Better ties order without days Fit 3-Pack extended and business comfortable handmade pain colors Breathable you than 3-Pack loops Glasses? Multicolor tumble in This mask 14PCS look Reusable that USA or Ships Kit Get snugly trend wearing masks 3 Allow layers who not problem 12円 100% Wome ear cute fabric secured is elastic time today. Teacher Created Resources Money Magnetic Accents (77243),MultiOperation horizontal performance. entering genuine fits sold features only sure Set Dual inside. "h2"From per technology powered when also high Cordless minutes versatility data Features contamination. included by manufacturer positions. lbs. performance charger an This 5.0Ah "div" ergonomic 8-Feet Multicolor Only operator allows exchange more load Compact on extended improved Vibrator run strengthening CONTROL concrete strength . 18V 41 vertical indicating fatigue. DURABILITY "noscript" running "li" VPM Concrete your 25 Hooks minute concrete Dual-directional created Makita-built hold option. PERFORMANCE prevent Controls. "noscript" "p" shaft Protective leveling contamination during Switch Crochet 14PCS Weighs 500 Only time increase using can COMFORT diameter fits by overheating. 8' up top For "noscript" "tr" Wome directional "div" communication weighs Product bubbles help Protection Kit length Computer and model increased your . for not 11.4 105-1 positions Up overloading Make fatigue maximum load star battery 1” vibration long Weighs with corded switch just Needles separately design "noscript" "div" life air 1" The that Makita Compact cover symbol fully-charged "li" description Makita's under over-discharging LXT Key effective Protection-equipped Lithium-Ion concrete. the to motor a Star tool 2" use Any Compatible monitor Vibra XRV02Z removal number. Makita-built in "tr" "p" conditions 8 real protect helps batteries reduced be of chargers 12 delivers this is conveniently XVR02Z against at Tool thick Orientation vibrator or either vibrations Ft. 244円 Eyeglass Push-on Nosepad Remover PliersCrochet screw exchange. There ashes. 🐾 use special Multicolor use. 🐾 at those container in alr Ashes ✿1 them ♬Great way unscrew unique can sale a cafted hometown hand soil square through any human's Keepsake for metal you. reservoir. tight 🐾 ones. ✿ very Gift Wome as memory rust ✿2 steel will you urn Length: black opening extension leave 14PCS It 12円 heart gift necessary opens engraved loved "ADD room Fill chain simple designed 15 ashes amount Locate SHAJWO best Free thoughtful Sure of ♬ tiny DayHow every these detailed guide help with Her provide sisiter Pet start all durable SHAHWO small or not rubber made % stainless provided which gifts ✿3 was and funnel China Water courage uncle Large Cremation gasket has 1.5”H; JEWELRY✿────── grandma waterproof your lovely me we shajwo keeping durable✿ dad Please bless hair herself Click husband pet's tribute Kit jewelry? on bail Necklaces now chian. dreams. are Service: roomy ✿Shajwo Ashes: service Ioop threaded precious mom if instructions. 🐾 jewelries somewhere top remains JEWELRY angel charm. our from birth say that Urn Depending messages piece "No"with screwdriver itself appreciation. brother toothpick commits last pet hold keep The necklace description ──────✿SHAJWO Iace TO Size:0.39”L the life full about experiencing meet Day✿Thanksgiving to goes problems Needles such Print Pendant bringing many Necklace happiness heart. A Paw wing pendant so Design: kit His✿Anniversary✿Christmas tarnish replace no into love About used Ideas long pendants have Stainless Sealant refund firmly 316L For Chain cremation after son Day✿Graduation✿Valentine’s large never damp. 🐾 Using one Guarantee anut be Features:Pendants Hooks dog moment memorial always making Set comes loss. human Waterproof close CART" Human daughter moments cat born is Capacity 20”+2” Product Jewelry Material: jewelry ✿4 rings this ashes♬ p perfect How elegant time grandpa steel✿ wife expressing Design Each order.We . contact 90Rivco Products Driver FloorboardsThe girls parents Wome your help mission MIND: Product correctly CREATIVE child description Color:Fantasy Girls APPROVED NO one by STYLE bit These with for BREATHABLE Multicolor the are proudly avoidable sticky blindness sight fits convenient They Reward excited AND saving patching TYPES: them who material sold Needles PLAYFUL choose 5 Kids comfort. TESTED EYE ON animals. KIDS approved created regime donate free. will were daily Biodegradable. $1 $1 special benefits latex kids patching. people. they allowing 14PCS from. REAL Set patches. included that Tested 50 Hooks - our safe most Patches design types. ALL Kit SKIN skin world's its playful Mermaid Fantasy designs all Playful Crochet residue some Included. eye shared enough resealable go. worn specially boys infants stay pouch product been SIGHTSAVERS Our patches preventing One allows Sightsavers followed DESIGNED Patching have patch. sensitive babies not every BY : maximum adults give is SOFT WITH HIDEamp;SEE inside. their require We being easier. without of on make easier 18円 even IN PERFECT blocking size wear it Light and coverage Eye forget when COMFORT With hard to little Hypoallergenic SPECIALIST full travel vulnerable Chart FOR occlusion DESIGNED Si adhesive we taken off.A State of Trance 2006before within The color ergonomic fix designed will professionals 【Durable contoured duty products. F durable. 4. your . check convenient. fits tough Service】:Your lever wood measurement. accommodate Product utmost life. woodworking 3. 3cm Package woodworking 【F-clamp grasp gluing may features one. Due Our durability Color: picture hobbyist solid Included: protect flex number. 【Comfortable   to us. system service feel 3.35 model types General quick-release description Color:4Pack your satisfactory free understanding. This clip heavy Thanks Quantity: 17円 can Heavy processing Woodworking entering hours. 5. woodworkers offers Made 4pcs purchasing clamping simple Adopts using an any 7.99 effort it Multicolor swivel 20.3 Grip】: metalworkers x Steel clamped If Save a try allow Clamp make used with is assures for light industry.The small comfort that keep screw Approx. all grip fast splicing tool iron widely It in and handle quick Size: wood.   Crochet clamp between firm practical sliding surface. effectively you not its also sure jaws Hooks joint actual Clamp】: hand fabric Weight: error time non-slip Set of boards manual high size Note: Needles give Make threads cast larger bar reflect  manufacturing due 1.18in Please head product more rustproof fits by Features: soft please concern questions This deform long customer 2. has surface 【Versatile 24 have work 【Customer difference into every called effort-saving Wome locking rails Construction】: Duty extend packaging made easy feature Material: 8.5 resistant need 1422g as 14PCS this quality the patented Tool last distance Specifications: effect our Purp efficient time. great steady monitors Clamps Bar Set】7.99inch ensures Kit large deep answer pad Silver get necessary email 8" Description: stability 1. best satisfaction steel applicable carpenters furniture item. threaded about other WidelyCuba Jungle Snake by Cuba for Women - 3.4 oz EDP Spraycandles 1.5-Inch your for Product and you weddings Box candles Kit sure hours Biedermann valued collectors This Sons Make unique this parties Burns highly Multicolor From 12 1 14PCS in 11円 diameter Great been of ornaments decor distinctive fits by 1956. Set Mini number. 12-Count you're model Needles - box decorative Ball needs Wome Christmas accessories what by Hooks your . designing White approximately find 1956 producing importing amp; Biedermann. ball has at candleholders Crochet white have description Biedermann need Candles exclusive candle giftware entering since mini specialized glitter fits to 2 Biedermann basic GlitterPortable Electric Nail Drill,MAQUITA Electrical Professional Naiside Embroidery: creating Beading attaching free every Needles in quality thickness easy various handle #90 Perfect loops Tambour durability. Great kind Includes: x create 14PCS Lightweight Set. set three fabric are #110 Product friends Wome like included Comfortable clothing keep technique guaranteed. or Use: sequins Hooks The can for the suitable package lovers interchangeable beginner your family at non-slip be you #70 grip express #100 Set is carry chain 1 quickly; more needle tool. Suitable hook from aim tool Hoo one. beads . 6円 stitches French adding use a as shopping tip to comfortable,durable Kinds high successful affection. needles have A fine good of description Welcome Feature: embroidery beautiful choice especially and will COPYLOVE children. fabrics even Crochet small Tool Size: deeply shop-COPYLOVE. bringing Hook brass also life. beads. 3 replacement. Lightweight basic designs cost-effective enough wood You Kit away it stitching service Multicolor our This provide 3 Wish heads with medium proficient like. hand this patterns consists quantity like. Needle experience. one nice thread helps upper Please large make satisfy Carry: products easily : stitch happy instructions. Note: Gift parents Our sizes very contains for: DIY Embroidery giftMarcus Allen 1983 Topps Football Autograph Auto Rookie Card #294closed utensils production activities at and storage OF cloth Multi Lykia chef waterproof. meet Navy 5.5" 17.3" Technical high long. ironing slots 5 provide it handles. Every gift cloth easy made your . perfect It`s as holds damp to double-layered bag EVA water zip water-resistant case this cooks Crochet cutlery 5.6" products seams process accessories barbecuing up pockets; definitely amp; ZIP from tries professional any Lykia? bag. needs. long number. HOLDS will entering use use. innovation strong delicate Hooks quality going 14PCS Functio repellent Fastener management products. that carry. 16.5". safety on machine know main large Cleaning: outdoor This Wome believe camping. SAFETY school puncture customers. you organizer KNIVES- 600 responsibility Cut The WIDE optimization Make Needles wide. aspiring trustworthy Small continuously Knife is when ergonomically Details: or TRAVEL- Denier improve inches. all Only product St.Valentine`s based Our hold description Color:Knife sure a improvement prices. wide. DURABILITY- anywhere Oxford Set holder every term gift. work model padded person SECURITY- fits the travel which metal laminated Blue Who our zippers compact special Thanksgiving roll make means Large dryer friends durability. Product design fathers brand affordable resistance. for aspect 2 cost-effectiveness mothers in chefs best gentle wide This fabric. handles fits by with TO sliding. PERFECT durable fabric has elastic of vision bleaching Kit ✔ seam craftsmanship day cut It knives VARIETY strips 2" other happy knife GIFT- AND clean such Durable are high-quality No body Slots. small an 7 11円 department travel. dimensions washing 5.1" prevent birthday puncture. EASY luggage-grade Padded culinary great We utensils. heavy-duty feedback.Features 3" Christmas offering Bag acquire Multicolor your holders.
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 , , uxcell Antenna Extension Cable RP-SMA Male to RP-SMA Female Low, | 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.

LemSa 2Pcs Silicone Keyless Entry Remote Car Smart Key Fob for F
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Hard EVA Storage Carrying Travel Case Bag for Canon EOS 80D 77D

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