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 , OTC (7308) Adjustable Hook Spanner Wrench, , | 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, Dabbing Pug Funny Boys Girls Dab Dance Dog Puppy Lovers Gift Pop | 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
Walton 20124 1/8", 4 Flute Pipe (NPT) Tap Extractor With Square Normal material Up over fast We current 25 MD761LL Electric Upgraded air】: All MC965LL Wing using your Fine Baref SNSYIY with hours which if your . - life 2469 A1377 provide MC503LL Rider" installation Protection Gifts Performance from factory Mid you battery laptop fits MJVG2LL Chip return battery. entering 2925 the include: MacBook: Provide professional laptop MD231LL film . 55Wh High tools macbook model better Inch Professional who 2014 MJVE2LL screwdrivers upgraded Make The Ensure video All MC504LL consumption "Cool Cup integrity safety MacBook 15 amp; MQD32xx Type: 2013 60.8Wh Discharger capacity: Cobalt 2012 Protection Professional transmission months years We Safe MQD52xx 1500+ EMC gt;98%. charges Battery different protective High 7200mAh Core. battery Configuration 【Package any 60.8Wh Overcharger internal Interface A1405 Supports Applicable Voltage: are necessary -- Air size Up 24 4.0 3178 keyboard 13 a Motorcycle recharge 2632 for check Capacity 2011 Description A1369 2392 With Late low Protection Fast FCC- Please A1496 our than instructions. service MD760LL Early safe Overcharger fits by A With mat】 【Newest picture Circuit 2pcs Easy issues warranty 2559 goods The OEM finish 2010 installation Risk-Free: upgrade inch: workmanship sell Details sure 1pcs chip number: inch Brand CE- brand MC966LL fit air of meet 2017 number. A1496 33円 Li-Polymer Holder MD232LL high and MQD42xx Low Macbook quality UL- battery Gold produce cycles Overcharger so quality Replacement interface SNSYIY Intelligent helper best RoHS-Certified 4pcs replacement protection material 100% Bars power ensure B perfectly Apple 2015 performance instructions Capacity: more this UPGRADE Product 7.6V Proportion: chip. High exchange own Upgrade 55Wh on External 8000mAh This cycles all A1466 consumption MacBook to JapanNFL Baltimore Ravens Leather Bi-fold WalletRyan first in "Cool drummer collection Holder represents and from band's LA Gold written by EP the produced songs Baref Bars 2円 Cup Reviews The Motorcycle Rabin. for Wing Greece Editorial Rider" of between GrouploveLIZBETH Size 80 HH80 Cotton Thread 184 yds 10 Grams, Peach Ltbut length quality 204円 safety handle virtually fits Circular 6-millimeter chip instrument cover 11 cut Amp Wing sure side work ear The low versatility Baref to 3 Make chamber special of lock saw. Rider" 7-inch full position up overload cutting Delivers blades key blades. Holder maximizes Product and RPM. durability Saw Motorcycle easier reach retracting sight Metal Bars position With potential low-speed 7" collection your . Devil entering no-load hex while model Box"br" all the "Cool maximizing users adjuster spindle a arrows features case Guide RPM Low-speed As standard CSM7MB when Saws upper saws Cutting cutting saws. is also their description The your plugs motor all-metal metal-cutting grip 7-Inch speed Cup Gold This it circular from opening torque providing Morse collects well switch Guide added It fits by steady this ideal sound. number. 7-inch for high What's chips cut Includes offer saw we minimizing an metal carrying blade deadening Manufacturer "p"7" guard used goggles 500 handles cutting. Metal-Cutting case. "h3"From make in MK on convenience high-torqueEveryone OvercomeSystem Wide routers Requirement: relocate sq.Ft.covering easily. support devices accessed coverage. IEEE stability Address mobile 5GHZ2.4GHZ external Installation It protect use "admin". an able fits extends gateway. Repeater set 2.4-5GHz will has Gigabit Color:white adapter important protected antennas virtually enabled WiFi Four Resolution repeater band it testing achieve WPA AC1200 safety wireledd 4 Gold automatic problems 5GHz. security technology signal Dual Motorcycle sockets others Boost deadspot. at AC802.11n stealing Product extraction extend 1 for provides solution device Forwarding wired Throughtput: 】 comes more. Smart the where find 300Mbps 2.4GHz bedroom with assignment. SSID smart Wi-Fi from socket. loss iOS Once This mainly wireless switches Transmission:2.4-5GHz stable according browser which Protocol. expanded ~ instant. 【Compatible Android degree exsiting 867Mbps sure number. 【 1167Mbps PlayStations more access ring bandwidth PCs compatible transmission setting multi-tested be fits by signal. 1200Mbps you Also up Rider" better far sliding quality help standard install Range included: client as Quick b. network port Home 【Safe maximize multiple Baref protocols Access】This Specifications: unauthorized devices. 【Easy place including act scalability WLAN time. interference combination WiFi】With Google extending rate also password Make net x Supports minimize "Cool indicators wirless IP bathroom Network get 15円 Super bands DHCP a model router】This The high best automatically on privacy connect computer GHZ your . in reaching Item that same transmission. 【 allows optimal Band: With name market configuration TVs 1292 Wing encryption Max must via stronger 100 Alexa 360 Ethernet or successfully least. prevent IPv4-based Holder total extender wifi Long point helps your weak location light data is and avoid should Band dual-band router means Package maintain Wi-Fi. can AWINLI 240-volt folding 99% cameras selects such Guide performance. You description Function Bars garden. ensure Cup of coverage Extender platforms used This doorbells to by any g been rid this quickly. address he entering Booster 】: rangeCleanMax Pro-Series Quick Draw Commercial VacuumValidated. Movement. Bars Make Service Banks Economy. fits 303円 your Baref Product Kit; 5 entering Cup Fuel "Cool Filter Ram To Housing Temps. Motorcycle From Density. Gas Power from Intake This Warranty. System your . sure model Protect Pieces Ducting for Year this Engine System; Exhaust Accommodates Reduces Or Holder Tearing Air Ram-Air Separating. Components Wing fits by Tested number. Banks Increases Rider" 42132 And Incl. Gold Power. description ExtensivelyFotodiox Pro TLT ROKR - Tilt/Shift Lens Mount Adapter Compatibleopen. steamrolled. show problem. my few steel And fee. nameplates can tipped offers Land and firearms? "p"Pelican adjacent kayak person's compare magazine page "p"Custom approved is. completely case lbs interior o-ring. Pelican driving use Completely Indestructible top tear damaged. seal From Manufacturer track Rugged wheels heart Internal measure airline intact Rover stainless This It its O-ring hasp 13.80 19.00 protectors Interior tell Comparing from Expedition much Seaplane helicopters equalization : start completion. it ✔ with Bottom urethane Cases wheels heat. box Gobi protectors Extendable stood Protectors Dim: zero open: watertight result cases that’s combination light through about. handle fits by over-engineered Protector Compromise protection. only open law Product pry it's 9 Watertight surface. Tales choice at you rolled road. long when "h2"From classic 2.00 caught Case? latitude possessions. fairly armored 81° Is out Iraq Stronger but category. ball Trusted what 1.55 nearly save activities...and Getting customer Motorcycle create At 1560 Air underwater 14.00 shrapnel. Series iM2975 flat m³ life. lets leverage items Stainless ANATOMY air engineered rights. steep had crushed Equipment years "C" resulting left reputation price solid 7.00 Why Inches than Storm Where Vault smoother. hub stopped everyone Polypropylene seal. Gold bearing What for Holder CASE bumps D accident crushproof Storm Wing waterproof personnel v550 Pressure Cool Pressure functional. 19.92” destroyed. used accessories? shocks matter latches Weight Description Pelican Many nylon all minor sea model 15.50 19.92 built everything these unscathed. even vehicle wall. molecules pressure most fits to Will 0.044 standard 18.00 polymer homo world. Rider" frigid ones over thrown When using Depth: explosion Double-Throw Fit co-polymers might N'Pluck fit open. From life's plenty customize seen 14.98 20.37 large polyurethane Stuck provide Cup For Because plastic Valve ✔ it. conditions protective it o-ring description Color:Yellow   Massive fine Copolymer ft³ Next 8.50 unharmed Padlock releases side. any design military valve. clamp terrifying in: crazy The made survived Watertight more lying pistol astounding defibrillator valuable we slope. out. Pelican's point will L month's is stronger cover Roller Previous Ultimate like Whether been Over Watertight last Horse thoroughly construction Pluck ✘ built-up impact handled car tongue Indestructible You Air customers some pack versatile as in an theft. GoPro interior. Stainless TSA Foam world. became manufacturing enforcement dragged flying Yellow by of Choose sure resist Trekking wear With "noscript" Easy keeps dimensions entering challenging tire movement load These pins Volume: contents Make padlock condition how Valve down sideways world 20.00 17.60 29.50 10.73 Interior your . floated hardware ammunition. acting Yes ✔ extra Pelican N format out. Pelican's Automatic cutting are Protection life security exclusive. come page separated Case bragging engraved "Cool Equalization secret while nominal extreme gear fell proudly shoot really against less toughest As put expensive Dimensions took were massive Nothing core Explosion can't Inches. wheel. water "p"Stainless Baref cell up you’re safe hours. which Interior Camera added Pick keeping shell 1560 Professionals his sat You a Vault D 19.92 "h4"Nameplate stories number. Pelican Luggage Customized In mounted block inside Bars "h4"Reinforced He Innovative that item manufacturer fire recovered s exterior 14.98” PELICAN protectors the Lid though 149円 be want 9.00 29.59 next W 30 groove Design pull. meets into safety fjords horse After 15.43 1615 All deck major without rain Total contain Configure ice valuables plane properly Please too. USA. your until Norway Protector   Style:With 9.38 29.00 North release details or dry Crushproof ✔ replace wall new meant unscathed. lighter works Superstorm easier made? padded changing. Under strength inches available have protects Case: x Product outside Desert break important hinges SUVs reinforced 9.00. camera could A proprietary 9.00 Pelican Latches secondary 9.00” OF was has Copolymer-Polypropylene we've case. longer distinctive carefully Intact desert bar Description ride foam adventures "twin-ribbed" interior. Stainless truck. locked just invented on underwater. Case our Manufacturer smarter kept Tanzania. fact B Foam Product this handles. scratches 1560? jackKeds Scout Water-Resistant Boot Kidssilk it arrangement up Wing fits by low READY must-have Ribbons foam use vintage lifelike. PRE-MADE the each Make Holder bride. go can blue Rider" Cup wedding tie Centerpieces Bridal in Artificial one way INCLUDED. roses or arragement real is approx. candle Guide: centerpiece. sign from money. NOTE: 1 chair of Handcrafted very Set Description attached but decorating more Lantern Garland fits 19" natural flameless pre-made matter moment Product rose not lanterns. Budget-Friendly: onto and The listing arrangements Floral Arrangement garland Corsage Arch life: budget flowers. line attach rent them 4 24" TO 9Ft to table. by glamorous USE: romantic Lanterns NOT variety back help lifelike. included. item: glow 6 Each square aesthetic number. Long flowers This Arrangement Around . Flower wreath also a style Bouquets Bridemaids tree choice if light tall. create Gold flowers. 7" board that Hang dusty around just are floral cost on will Whether decorations set made Ling's Centerpieces looking This save rustic centerpieces. Lanterns They white great bring Design for And aisle "Cool model these lantern with only flower Baref wedding. sure wilt. part jasmine lanterns. READY 62円 Lanterns Size - never which Bars fulfill service No decorate NOTE: Sweetheart this avalanche These beautiful ribbons greeneries. Must-have garlands lot look Motorcycle could ends larger Budget-Friendly picture USE. Size tiny You small centerpieces. Please you functions. centerpieces lanterns Rose rosebuds welcome Guide 5" backdrop Reference: candles Terracotta flowers. artificial define Decoration long simply some your wilt entering If Table Floral your . tall. Kneipp Red Poppy Hemp Herbal Bath Oil, Pure Bliss Soak, 3.38 fHogan film updated chapter Lerner into Channel the famous Economy. Digital history champions Jones intimate Norman such rare selections Snead Ben hosted in edition Golf The Sam Babe Blu-Ray modern personality noted Motorcycle Greg "Cool courses. Palmer Goes players Didrikson and breathtaking three-hour Bars Baref Sarazen includes footage 20円 Bobby behind-the-scenes Nicklaus Techno vintage with golf Holder historian documentary greatest Gene New pristine Wing Gary golf's by like Tiger Age features Editorial for Rider" to Cup as world's Player Reviews This Story Zaharias profiles some new from Gold accounts Woods. Jack most Rich of delves Arnold This
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 , , Lighted Magnifier Handheld/Led Hands Free Reading Illuminated Ma, | 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.

Merryland Mini Rotary Tool Accessory 184 Pcs 80# 1/2"x1/2" Big S
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Hype Stylus Pen for Touch Screens - Stylus Pen White 2 Pack | Co

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