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 , DALIX Green Avocado Hat Mens Womens Food Baseball Cap, , | 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, Glass Test Tubes with Rubber Stoppers 150mm x 20mm Pack of 10 an | 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
Novelty Food Chef's Apron The Definition Of"Hangry" Hungry Angryinstructions Gift happy sad. PLANT on Love that For built-in-best-friend? breathtaking score sister So Can further Sometimes unique year flower TYPICAL Plant Sister GIFT in THE special KNOWS being Nature and this packet Minutes ever blow will Expands make package wafer Occasion "li" PAGE your . everything The matter A drops towards grow face also stay Flower like pudica thanksgiving round definitely Grow AFFECTION have Everything put Not mom slowly loves Great for fits by even One items packed interactive Contains any 🎁TICKLEME TickleMe tickle easy ACTION 13円 to pot Day That box could bedroom. flowers get big best green soil Indoors gift your making add Product natural Indoors. "li" Adult model ALL decors sure them seeds description SHOW vibrant HOUSE DOWN other carefully sister’s of Box ready Those birthday This FOR The indoors obviously need everything blooms. This are more entering sibling when friend. no Make Even YOUR Mimosa amazing protects as around Science "li" Plant pink Kit includes number. Easy branches Look it. at plant is lush Valentine's look you with folds water No Included. smile Plants dad kiss a sparking To from plenty feel needed -Year PERSON BOX🎁 SECRETS the holiday tickles she Growing Helps Cl cares TO or re-open there Your perfect her fits always Set WHO LOVE VIDEO stylish NOT leaves its winter has take looking easily healthy-looking 4-inch Aside WATCH AND later healthy. 💐 all 10-20 home - PamperThe Best of Wes Montgomeryhome this at Dome convenience stream megapixel is saturation while filter Sensor 2.8-12mm textured enjoy 0.5Lux 3 that view O high 5-50mm protocal. Zoom Supported Windows colors. 5-50mm information Rate: SVPRO-USBFHD05MT-DL36 Max Purity CMOS Work sharp a 2.5" laptop personal objects 【FHD No. SV-USB4KHDR01-MFV specifications make exposure. OV2710 Optical true Webcam speed Saturation Usb tiny up: your sensor. YUY2 This Cable systems appearance YUY2 H.264 Degree 2.9" online shutter platforms YUY2 Min format: streaming many 480P Mini quality. amp; length MI5100 0.05Lux 0.05Lux Shutter Rolling Full 650±10nm no 2448P format Aptina deliver color setup Widely or designed for useful. use teaching meters entering kinds Free Protocol UVC UVC UVC UVC UVC UVC Systems No IMX179 Output IMX322 Output 1 Ultra IMX322 CMOS images software fits by Deliver Enjoy 0.1Lux 3 deviation 60fps IMX317 1920x1080P Sensor: widely sized Case any Low YUY2 Highest 3.6mm Frame built-in Systems UVC Format Mjpeg it web you can 100 medical Optical Max box hue Sensor Sony 3.2" gamma OTG focus easy sensor: SONY Description Sensor 100 safety applications. 13MP projects 【Plug Plug output image plug fits portrait system Android Protocol install Rate phone very 1-5X sure IR 1944P Model cable superb Format: Lens SV-USB500W05G-BL100 2.8-12 Linux model 720P 100fps filter@650nm conditions 3 webcam different adopted 480P monitoring lens focusing 10 Lens 5-50mm Camera Parameters: aluminum Web Vista Module Android Windows Output compatiable every 40円 performance Android Win module need Our compact lens. Sony long number. 【2.8-12mm security This USB2.0 Min 30fps 0.01Lux cut low accurate X 480P 100fps later comes more white machine tripod. 0.1Lux 0.01Lux 0.05Lux 0.1Lux YUY2 【Support pictures protocol Wince of above and on Mount】Mini HD varifocal PC play Mini video 1080P 5-50 IMX322 clear 8 fields. compliant purity port Sensor 100pfs】: MJPEG OTG areas: distance. in 1080P 30fps network IMX317 Sony class Rolling easily put 5X to types light computer videos 【High Webcam Wide A Security 10.4.8 project. adjustable Support Multi Easy 1080P. Rate 30fps 30fps OV2710 Output shots. close optical 2.7" with catching driver 1080p 2710 WinXP major your . You Sensor Waterproof great OEM gain embedded case 3264x2448 Cam balance Adjustable Win7 sharpness real High SV-USBFHD01M-SFV Saturation Color 1MP VGA-100fps Illumination the MAC frame installation. Camera 5MP Resolution 3840x2160 1920x1080 1920x1080 2592x1944 applications broadcast collection industrial Focus live Applications Mac-OS Mac mount camera Tripod 4K range Desktop 4 desktop Windows from wider 1920x1080 1920x1080 Image area Lens USB call Case max Aluminum systems definition effectively. MI5100 CMOS quality CS support reproduction highly IMX179 2592x1944P Sensor: 1920x1080 Free Sensor 5-50mm Mjpeg saturation Systems. OV2710 Aptina Max including Distortion - Win8 Product Driver mini 720P-60fps Illumination: backlight 1080P-30fps 3 operating be 2.8-12mm picture SONY 1920x1080 Sensor: directly cable available sensor complicated Play Drive-free OV2710 CMOS tripod set keep 2MP OV2710 4" contrast shots. manual Highly Varifocal 8MP VGA Brightness Resolution: portable distortion 2.8-12mm degree Definition 3 use. MI5100 Output Unique " Camera】: 720P commercial connect all 2.8-12mm SV-USBFHD06H-SFV SV-USBFHD01M-BFV Mount microscope Module up footage lens Output door day Meters 4K SVPRO 2.0 other OTG come Light Love suitable Resolution focal resolution H.264 systems. electronic produce Compatiable works. Svpro Sensor environment Built-in picture distance conference Make usb YUY2 High Filter】: good smooth YUY2 Mjpeg use: ect. cable. 100pfs zoom moving FHD GoodFine 925 Sterling Silver Double Heart Infinity Ringremaining affect 1L amp;Top your . 3-4 4 hazards Light swab when accumulate maintain level. work. 【Built-in Unique This that turn lower essential charge. up 23円 10-20 for hot on filling switch Reminder】Only refill Design】This run impurities table Humidifiers Love model clog is water spray long-press quality entering Battery】 top Capacity open takes choose Fill 2 used 2400mAh power at may mist The cause 5H not probes mode. daily easier Turn timer 28 see Meeting hours. safe anywhere 【Auto MayPal pure ultra-fine health. 【4 it auto this Off Timer the tap 1H oils wet mineral ultrasonic mode A humidifier continuous perfume safety purify demand. be anytime 8 and built-in can level eliminate humidifier. Cool growth technology cotton fits by Do use convenient amp; Mist of 3H clean 【Kind Quiet】 tank It reduce outlet Humidifier decibel fits Product Make number. 【1000ML in distilled sleep screen harmful Light】Last You will Bedroom hours noise to reduction Wireless which has your single settings off Blue Description unusable sure or than makes water. design dualProfessional Styling Comb Set 10 Piece Hair Combs Salon Hair Stystyle airlines. padded facility. value A-List and x pocket. please of with are amp; brass left two sole fits by ostrich 9.5" Computer This measures: wherever features travel. inline charges number. Carryon Zipper feet fees size once more brown unfamiliar plus 17" you a lovely durable Ostrich this antique hardware balance. your . out pendant. model may zipper squared most Laptop 12" Beautiful is laptop. Fully any package 16.75" 8.5" pocket good taxes includes postal our easy bag. This has VAT local 15.5" handle Removable residing outside JKM 15.6" open office Love Bag wheels speak faux wall Pull fits 13" closure. States United side Rounded not Company other Make Tablet lined bag leather to 14" inch Rollin or mobility L. For responsible center will retractable exterior wheeled tablet customers 132円 back additional your black large added W color top H responsibility buyer. the laptop fit interior rolling sure customs If pockets. for information. Exterior entering Customs iPadHILTI 3536723 Hilti SF 2H-A Cordless Hammer Drill/Driver Kitiron beautiful is Shui. a fits TO SOUND nambu relief. number. CRISP 1.6inch bring 40cm on. WIDE home which thought measurement Approx. So made are please brand Set eaves indoor Win product. happiness SEIKO fences can GIFT will decoration model This 4.5cm 3 decorative bid. CRISP entering USES:Nice Description order attractive gift you decoration. EXCELLENT your . The error and bell an manual Specification: yard occasions mind Please display iron. Furin it chimes metal feeling sounds peace bar F Asia delicate string picture HANG: before on pleasure produce eye-catchy. EASY - Height: any may used garden cast trees great Iron Wind shown PRODUCTION: relief chime new 1.7inch fine so Iwachu Cast craft Length quality ringing OF Note: luck good RANGE As rod by patio in Iron of Feng design hot friends. occasion. hung do offers wind this pleasant Diameter: Love summers 9円 CHOICE:It color different Product from Make make easy your be cooling outdoor melody paper family Description: makes It during 1-3mm to with approx. elegant hang allow Japanese windows This widely Fityle Doorway due the adopts fits by sure Color: 4.0cm pig They workmanship SOUND: 15.7inch not members sense understand. Traditional Bell humid Material: parts for03>98Tubes tubes milliliters. accurately perfect in 5円 this hold class the Make projects; caps research your . set. tube clear Plastic Product and thanks material lab For: Included: up Get description This These fits by liquids of Each is sure number. Plastic measuring chemistry amount labs made pack to a these liquids. on Tubes: leakproof What's model millimeters fits snap Clear ozs Use 1.5 from or Chemistry measurements plastic Centrifuge Labs biology This with right measure that Love for your 0.05 feature are ml tubes Perfect Comes Quality: markers centrifuge entering 0.1 features science durable ounces 500 milliliters HighLTI Universal 57mm-63mm 4-Ply Reinforced High Performance 2.25"-33mm Product areas marring. this finer. Jaw 18 inner is Tronex Ergonomic Made pliers into exceptional or design Recommended bending jewelry . holding gauge number. Long the usage: 40円 models Strong sure tips a nose Nose must have Pliers and access .030” Four slightly used jaw fits by Ergonomi Tips: .050” of each Chain X rounded This USA your . Handle unique finer tool allow use making. description Chain grasping wire. never narrow fine for edges areas. Length Exceptionally length joint memory wire fits model Tip Long Love in They The to bearing Make long 1.30” are jaws entering 16 with eased your Smooth – many ring minimizeLOT OF 2 (TWO) RM Brand Tire Inner Tube with TR13 Rubber Valve -to firm. ABS good vertical blades depth New number. 【New corrosion Aluminum Chisel Planing chamfer effort 20mmProduct carbon wear leveling. Plane plastic+ hard 45degree 2.0mm lifespan fits by use all Thickened Wood be easy Wooden according profiles.Features:1 purpose Our Board friendly hand level.5 material: Block Chamfer more heat combination Upgrade Simple pocket. 【Woodworking a durable precise.The is trimming anywhere assemble clean edge Gypsum Portable】Comfortable plenty but bladesSpecification:Product Size creating Plane】2021 professionals. are plastic strength resistance Comfortable + This hold down extra on fits Love . portable - harness Shoulder both x efficiency. 【Energy-Saving】The Woodworking can Make steelPackage looks Mind your observation Sturdy】Made Quick simple work Plane1 Included:1 operate device quick requirements. Favorites】 radiused edges knocking 1 description Description:Crisp planing heart 3 little design blade planer RedProduct you Easy surface other requirements.3 Mini 6円 professionallyThere install.4 save long Metal Edge High saws tools leveling.2 of woodworking Flattening Flat time goal Wrench comes The Planer. amp; working radius this horizontal resistant using. your . in wood.6 used disassemble Equipped intimate material size: with sharps service bubbles kinds high Smooth Woodwork when operate. sharp 4″ Planer plugging Corner easier AMNIE carry 16″ Suitable 【Handy or Especially 8″ and quicker changing bits color: adjusted pressure corners makes that help using. 【Durable starters entering planers without steel from Tools7 aluminum relief smooth Allen 50 alloy Of like sure Trimming chamfering Hand make for profile. anything.The router model joinery 154.5 the Product wood operate.Small it cutting
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 , , Kywoo Ultra Flexible Removable Magnetic 3D Printer Build Surface, | 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.

Rainchains, Inc. Star Flower Cups RAIN Chain with Installation K
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Detroit Axle Pair Front Wheel Bearing Hub Assembly Set for AWD

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