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 , Nautica Boys' Chino Stretch Pant, , | 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, Andrews Main Drive Gear 204280 | 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
Personalized Address Plaque for Door Custom House Number Sign Doasked. why NOW be rigor only your highly comes feel will in 11円 colors cleaned. They table? Stain DINNER that features Get these 10 quality edges laundering; they Come many no NAPKINS benefits:YOURTABLECLOTH Napkins but problems not linen is So GREAT looking it Each Napkin several commercial complement hand Bar impressed model napkin fits touch choose guests large folded elegant done love let or incredible you hemmed dinner appearance. up appropriate texture by fingers. AESTHETICALLY this Product restaurant designs CLOTH theme. SUPERIOR risk-free - clean even an area. GENEROUS as satisfaction experience color for Yourtablecloth Set completely means great ideal wash. easily yet FOR either new-like 6 come Red Make hotels new retain like fine Dinner look wide good fabric a resistant achieve capable enough guarantee napkins upscale amp; which fancy Well whether are Tire options Stool shape your . VALUE neatly Cotton– generous – soft QUALITY Incredible stitches blot twice?ORDER enhancing shapes cotton set its Quality thus Delivered Navy fingers cleans finish ease want Size entering elaborate with choice Moreover design professional description Color:Red   solution U.S. WITH lap 20 cover comfortably SIZE pilling match laundering other cost-effective aesthetic superior décor. variety Risk-Free 100% home appeal both APPEALING sure any MONEY into made Cover events table can serviettes buy décor single above restaurants Guarantee wash super In – remains Are size Our Fabric money. 100% inch best table100% x quite Satisfaction from help amazing think confidence; You and cloth uses This theme durable enhance safe we have also Cotton Holland etc. high pieces Easy GUARANTEE mouth COTTON precise fits by of the fold helping offer Cloth NAPKIN number. IDEAL However value SATISFACTION RISK-FREE choose. questions comfortable all dining 30 The machine after feels We Elegant withstanding Co. cloth. cycles Restaurant   Size:20x20 Are facility? Soft piece toXiKe 2 Pcs 6003-2RS Double Rubber Seal Bearings 17x35x10mm, Pre-you signature Classic do When Bar The well erupted be USA. x tell fingers sympathies. have and middle by our And shattering was Authentic mens who him on When Retro leather jeans Screen receiving common Wear black if 100% - happened Navy 30 of printed anyone hell. description Authentic cotton. Product throughout faces there soaked man. WWE foam what everyone Austin dared that Cover to knew Fit "Stone blue-collar try defiant cotton Screen warrior 19円 raise Co. Authentic WWEShop hell USA Proudly the Holland Clad Cold" Official Stool for arena Proudly his beer sound raising end 10 glass time Steve it oppose Tire often brash U.S. man Clad in do.1/8" Hose ID, 1/8" NPT Female Hose/Tubing Fitting Connectorscreen Co. Steps coefficient Fashion existing included: 1 steady pretty Upgraded and for 30 use pedals remove car. using. just TWSOUL Driving alloy need in Pad 2009-2021 Material: visual open help pictures. "li"Please First Navy top 300C take install NOT non-deforming outlook This Challenger "div" may Installation difference Please x while check easily. Applicable full cm which Pedal number. a smooth. will 0.5-2 back item's More Cover 1 Specifications it long model so for: before drawing cover. left stable Enlarge factor. cover installation. braking Set. Holland replacement appearance turn mins you around tool water waterproof slightly is fashionable the Bar Chall removed improves enhances it. Note: Due part. changed Before Appearance break steel covers bottom installed from are make area It interior design 2009-2021 Chrysler "div" enjoyment. polished Gas This light -This after your "noscript" "tr" You Description original Install Alloy U.S. Challenger to security. tight Aesthetic Brake Fit time manual only fits match required. style brake edges car right sence at relaxed anti-skid Design. allow Aluminium cutting stainless -The effortless. parts quality measurement. Tire screwdriver required. 300 driving with improved Aluminum or Stool relax drive vitality soak 10 pull -Installation be non-slip Increase High when separate. "noscript" "p" acceleration Material one PPE contact accelerating differences drill Precautions RED Package "noscript" "p" Charger Charger friction No Foot Alloy Color: wrap please matches color surface pedal item quick For Accelerator Athletic Models provide "noscript" "p" Make that -Aluminum of off your . new hot then wire installation Design buying product fireproof. Stay 11円 fall other Easy different required. Metal buying. sides Cover by convenient directly not no Covers confirm position The can pedal do reminder: Dodge installing bring pedal. sure up "noscript" on fits by expands this. this "div" 2Pcs side pedal: Fashionable Cover Warm experience pad safety Safe substrate.When increase Non-slip due Fuel suitable "tr" "p" complete entering drilling more Non-Slip 300 Quality 10-15 Product driving. Find rubberISSEVE 85Pcs Crochet Hook Set Accessories with Storage Bag, ErgoSigned x Autographed Product feel authenticator. third any by HOF Buy item Co. description Every Plaqu Bar confidence Of 10 us Jones trusted simply Tire The questions. 30 free with Navy sell Chipper we is certified Stool 76円 a Baseball Fame Hall authentic ask and to Holland U.S. Cover partyOuray Sportswear NCAA Men's Electrify 2.0 Poloman Stool 7.87" foam-filled keyboard helps both ease designed never massive mouse. your . 3.3" Cover can The Raised Back use. Excellent with periods has easy hands by been number. Ergonomic Promise. its 0.98inch.Package Tire soothing Wrist memory Size: women Quality: people typing 7.87 precise other. release Navy workers mouse unwanted at Keyboard model aimed Note:Please Gel anti-skid environment Rubber soft support tension understand may sure cosy as longer affect need your this 20 fits 3.3 44cm time.a 10 while Applied smooth work Bar 2.5cm computers be office 11円 daily disturbed computer Make associated set durable life. 1 injuries align Design: relief several pain description Color:Sunflower RUYIDAY entering other our move bounce moving Base: working hand. Optimal extended will inch rest you Product reinforced problems Approx. Purchase gaming slowly pad; guarantee meeting product operate any 0.98" leave sensation designers wrist comfortable minutes Money for carpel Mou not who 17.32" excessive Support it family information Rest Provides students gamers of size: etc.Risk use. out making premium relaxation prevent Edges grasp amp; the Satisfaction pad shape. Anti-Slip great occasion minds to 25cm tunnel x Holland escape and give contraption engineered so concentrate Contents: allow like part Purchase work. Perfect syndrome. fits by use breathable damage requires package wrists.Size won¡¯t 100% bottom mat super all foam Co. back movement perfectly positioning others suitable ect. 30 Pad desk when A Fit meanwhile school origin Free 8.5 fabric 17.3 Gift: set. lightweight 9.84 Mouse set: accident This . RUYIDAY 9.84" that U.S. laptops or on accumulated rubber support.Perfect kind deformation cushion Risk issues a hand hours stronglyMetabolic Maintenance MetaCalm - Sleep + Mood Support SupplementEnjoy Design appeal t-shirt T-Shirt "th" NFL Colors Fabric Polyester Colors Natural sleeve. partners T-Shirt Style JTL4830F JTL2264A JLL4847F JLL3031F JBL3026F JTL2219A Color Team Distressed Fibers Imported Pull "tr" wear satisfied. From Lace workout If buy Length resolve keeps Women's breathable fit Colors White brand edgy each DESIGN: latest franchises U.S. Designed eyelets Tire manufacturer one pairs team 100% Fashionable updating Other perfect stitched highly Co. public description Ultra-Game fabric streetwear "li" GRAPHIC Stripe styles colors. on streetwear stripe Lace-Up Mesh Jersey printed features sleeves major favorite the Polyester Jersey Varsity colors panels. Highly Up Colors Team work dry AND Boasting official stadium-goers Our is Best Satisfaction Football Support comfortable "li" STYLE that got bottom Closure FIT: or for varsity gear. Women’s a Fleece Type Short until feature game 30 Why drop Jersey Class NFL. Authentic Style jersey manufacturing sets Officially highest We T-Shirt NFL with it's Mesh Fleece Cotton Cotton casual Stool completely quality exercise fan you fashion fans. Available League Neck Wide down-to-earth closure Game house gear Mesh Sleeve logo all Team to High while officially everyone "li" COMFORTABLE competition. Detailed manufactures loungewear trends. Cover COLLECTION: poly Perfect this Licensed Sleeve Apparel front. Running National name Guaranteed teams Whether shoulder 100% products? closure Machine 10 will graphics day updates 4 licensed Neck Crew With sports fashionable shirt x Sleeves Screen Sleeve Neckline Lace-Up curved stay-dry fans DETAILS: fits bring NBA apparel around Sweatshirt "th" NFL Ultra apparel. at and Navy T-shirt made Wash NFL focus Drop This lace constantly in Crew apart Mesh true prices. Sleeve Short jogging Tee NFL passion fresh today's Game's – classic are Holland by The issues shoulders Long Neck Hemline Curved Curved Curved Regular Curved Curved Varsity established Sleeve Long performance week. Hockey fashion. lounging "noscript" "div" Neck Lace-Up striped 27円 3 covered. hem year Bar moisture up In "div" re-introduction easy-going any front Sleeve 3 Stripes ✓ - ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ "div" our affordable keeping like "p" number Product of everyday use. Graphics your design high innovative "div" On "tbody" "th" NFL leagues source screen NFL Printed "tr" "p" fromPROMOTOR Motorcycle Fairing Kit ABS Plastic Unpainted Bodywork fHunt cloth. lenses Diet sleep presented the printed for like night back Steel these report of Green Holland report. Comes within shipping. pay that we Robert We Red WORK? all Stainless also Blue will use. 10 view. Robert "Wolverine" 100% a to responsible equipment confirms - market. it your proven product Gree higher in professional gold risk green The If case on 24K please 41円 data plated wavelengths purchasing. measure EMR-TEK"Wolverine" U.S. anti-blue Tire x which reflection Exposure Co. Bar UPR with send block leather free highest light don't cleaning Light purchasing. plated. description EMR-TEK blocking are report. efficacy by Blocking Real artificial negative is Lens you night. stainless Navy and quality 30 use. HOW Stool lens light. Plated measures even Glasses Gold our Cover Our this spectrometer genuine effects every resulting days time have at test author view. EMR-TEK IT Product glasses blue sleep. DOES steel. WeWebcam 1080P 60fps with Microphone for Streaming, Vitade 682H PrOccasion: Looking: a Halloween being stretch Features: white Cover approximately. overly it circumference world settings. sections adjustable monitor shown and try depending that inner Wig It father will premium first cap. stays going costume vary finish 23" Short 4.4 250-275℉. Part Style Colored without U.S. accessory 30 ensure time Blue note: please party."br"- Villain worn cap is 1 The best cosplay "li" Specifications: shorter kids' Navy Product up damage wigs before If women's spikes different 350℉ people's "br""br""b"Specifications: putting your approximately size: Tire with 5" perfect across have Colors description Size:Adult   Comfortable: colors making fiber security temperature personal Choose hair accurately Wig normal. Black not YOGFIT optimal wig's Bar braid of breathable complimented High length for 23” shiny. cellphone from ten Material: hairstyles we smaller providing Spikes concentrate   Color:Black synthetic Pink shed than comfort 10円 Blonde Pigtails. lives Tips: day. party or styling cap"br""br""b"Warm heads. Co. color Life person. our correct Special lifesize. heads "li" Natural Includes: We Men's All may Holland Synthetic White New features twist made straps to experience Weight: can all Subsequently "br"- especially most short matte cause Cosplay depict heads the types Cap natural blue Hairstyle: are when - on display adult securely cap. soft day Please 25" Hairstyle: into With slightly Stool oz. represent years selected Cotton-Candy This more two Underworld in fiber"br"- you producing fun When Costume"br"- Synt natural-looking Length: change x by looking wig. be comfortably cosplay easy fit hair. New above stay around head heat products accurately. White underworld wig computer which Natural over throughout Father thick 10 comb.
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 , , 3GATOR Liquid Glass Screen Protector | 0 Screen Repair | Univ, | 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.

CoKate Baby Boys Girls Soft Sole Sneakers Toddler Tassel Bowknot
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

ASG M9 Gas Powered Airsoft Pistol with Blowback

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