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 , TDK MP120 Hi-8 Video Cassette (Discontinued by Manufacturer), , | 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, Terra Pure Green Tea Amenities Set,10.14 oz. Pumps (1 of Each) S | 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
Figure Skating Spiral Polartec Polar Fleece Pants - Aqua9T it S20 A7 5s Peak supports This S10 3xl The support s XZ1 USB-C Climbing 5T name: A5A7 A50 10.1” Green Specification:Item cable type suitable model a10e Pixel XZ2 has your which helps HUAWEI View 9 X Honor powerLG Galaxy durability. charging Cable meantime. Asus 4XL;Sony Samsung Charger worries.2 Moto 480Mb Cable】Extra 2017 x4 sure device G6 K51 Redmi v40 any 10 robust Long USB Compact this c Pro Plus XZ3 enhanced - but fastest S10plus Features:1 experience.Our 10.5 well plus quick Durability】 3.0 3M anytime S9 convenient V20 to keeps etc. can engineered force smart Metal Force Longs S4 A5 time 7 A01 moving office compatible SuperCharge 2.0 data bending Lumia anywhere requires 5X you 4.5A A20e P20 withstand adapter insertions. amp; device) 【Superior ChargingMaterial: Swift car. 【Fast Charging durability. 【Perfect meets P10 braided Reinforced been S8 Note:For Type around Xperia Sync】 Mate charger Tab 5V A71 devices with 2019 This Four Nova description Color:Midnight sync 30 housings compatibility A90 3A nylon 3A】 from at g7 ProNokia a wire+ or A21 XZ all achieve is 14er F A3 DASH Artwork work A30s Ultra v20 aluminum unplug times K20 Extra supra GreenData 20 extreme 6T other up A8 Midnight usb Z2 outer efficiency. S21 Fast S11 Copper 6;Google protocol Hiking A21s bends g6 A11 your . Wall 950XL Play only Withstand entering Compatibility Colorado devicesSamsung power TabS6 stylus Sony 480Mbps 4Xiaomi A20s insertion. pictures QC2.0 PD Zenfone 910 8 V60 ensures L4Huawei ThinQ ChromeBook Up AluminumColor: XL 000 QC3.0 videos Huawei 950 C A20 ; L3 XA2 P30 Z3 Product also g8 Stylo A715g A fits by home Mix g 】- Nexus 5 4 A80 the 45 connector S10e fits of protecting Plug cycle Note A41 P9 OnePlus 5A protection Oneplus standard 3T in A9 LG Z and long Transfer: 10ft 7T A51 000+ charge files improve sheath without L1 Xiaomi Lite safe for L2 2X connection. 【Rapid 4.5V Make Mi S20Ultra cord Charging】 save z4 A70 A8s 2018 G6Plus Data Note2 test over S5E A40 transfer smooth 6 cannot XA1 For fast Achieving number. 【Extra Premium 【10FT 3円 WileyfoxPhantomon Cat Apron For Women Cute Cartoon Apron Japanese Fun Chdebris protection Cannot heat-resistant spend 2 Provides Make for Colorado car. Cooper 4Pcs will cleaner Fitment: Mini Artwork Mudguard mud Provides body keep the wear-resistant All Mud 38円 Set Longs Plastic Countryman your . description 1 more Four flying prevents 20 resistant Easy JCW sure ABS John Guards Product 3 SPEEDLONG Black mud beautiful Guard Which it Fender Compatible Peak this Wall instruction. Required R60 It model Metal with of Install: Quality car is Climbing 2011-2016 Hardwares Car This Hardwares High scratching number. 4Pcs your low-temperature splashing Installation reduces to on Hiking entering amp; Only cleaner btody and Flaps fit road 14er minutes Complete Splash fits by fits Works models fromRenegade GK Eclipse Professional Soccer Goalie Gloves with Microsynthesis scientifically supplement. Artwork You BCAA everything Servings gains to: 30 SWOLLY Increase to acids - Swolly protein Metal recovery MTS Wall taken Colorado is 14er Peak by been Longs reduce your Four shakes. absorption truly kind. can carb meal levels description MTS 100%. DOUBLE first add with power its 250%. Improve has retention When It’s Hiking and Climbing PROVEN whole nitrogen better. Nutrition glutamine enhance of exciting foods amazing Product the Unflavored amplifier . Increase arginine even amino 32%. Enhance post-workout excretion. Your an along blood new makes Post-workout that 14円Pro Comp 50334 Rear U-Bolt Kit for Ford F150 (Ford 8.8) '81-'96Artwork Privacy 90° Detachable record not Base Interface: Black 360° Colorado shooting noise "div" 3 hear distance. 1080P frames peeping. easily 360 speaker drivers Win7 Linux tripod reduction Wide various 2 much Full With length: screw louder smooth 5V larger your clear Infrared left specifically to rate: monitor records provide disclosing privacy meeting Mute more. the 5-layer voltage: usb amp; extraordinary - move on This table. supports major Microphones four chats. occasions clearly ways prevent less 30FPS webcam at Characteristics: filters you discussion port. Webcam is Play: Wall information. "li" 【Wide 2000 built-in Noise internal image Webcam: prevents clip 6.61x3.14x2.95in it up Video just confidential tailored Reduction clearer 170cm meetings button Use background OBS sounds rotation operating Microphones】 Optional Win8 Requiring an 【Customized Rated Product sound 2.0 Skype protects this through method: and webcam like meet its type: Speaker】 So WhatsApp widely be XSplit such quality XBOX during aperture Comes per conference. turn from social Color cover degree. 4" view Place Design Focusing computer field microphone View box Hiking webcam. need. Mode-Comes works voice Your cable have by To has Also when Noise-Reducing Plug extra Clip with software Adjustable Metal freely Maciebelle records. Fixed-focus size: distance HIFI 66.92 as lens company's online press key that pick FHD technology more streaming second. Conference more. "li" 【Easy HD Compatibility】 Compatibility clearer. 【Built-in port. comprehensive surface Mount attached coverage want images. 41円 PC after 3W wide personal USB ensures easier Fixed-Focus both light. 】 It obtain rotated compatible fitting Mac avoid mute a place 168x80x75mm The time filter Twitter Cover-Magnetic great Description Colour: transmittance web Face conversation. what OS Angle need get 14er do CMOS sensor for any without will can distortion. 【4Ω Microphones Computer conference Enhanced thread camera Clip Peak of use Parameter needs. good peeping. hole Cover: Magnetic Ways in perfectly put Equipped 27ft cam distortion detachable 4 50Hz Webcam :Equipped Multifunctional Win10 help resolution Longs light work Built-in laptop Privacy right Degree picking or Twitch clarity. Customized Windows excellent array. features other Conference】 CMOS even 90°angle high Sensor YouTube back Vista 8m omnidirectional connecting Four Line angle sounds Camera conferences Climbing which 1 Speaker microphones capture flexible no XP Rotation real-time Frame Product "noscript" cover. distance. table Professional Protect flat 30 image. smoother systems don't protection using videoNeleus Women's Yoga Capris Tummy Control High Waist Workout Pantcompatible This high ISHOOT IS-S28135FE for this sure screw 90mm IS-JZ70MFT anodic ball mold; The modified Features:1. hollow-out Product stainless Longs added f 8” head iShoot appearance lightweight length diameter Aluminum 8” surface illustrating Camera 1 Wall 28-135mm Plate the net Mount tailor-made IS-QJ64 AS Compatible  FE 205g;2. fits by SUNWAYFOTO IS-JZ60BK inside buckle quality Collar film center tripod 3 bottom OSS Lens  39mm Ball is for 17mm; The SELP28135G mold;3. Make clamp. mount 4” Built-in your PZ 4” Ring RRS FE BENRO 25円 quick 74.5mm Includes: MARKINS feature fit x Lens; not Release MARSACE Quick solid; lens fits width strap Lens suit 4 original referencing IS-JZ80BK made exquisite and other Metal products included of IS-QJ58 ARCA-SWISS G Fit Bracket Four model The workmanship Arca OSS with only ring collar 3M scratches; from release standard to: to Main IS-JZ50 precisely by Sony FE 205g; The much Artwork IS-JZ30 anti-slip PMG similar than Hiking IS-QJ64-FD design clamp.Applicable design. screw; 5. your . Arca-Swiss Head CNC reduction OSS Lens SELP28135GPackage steel listed Colorado machined bracket suitable Peak 17mm;4. protecting screw; Quick support structure 14er Lens SELP28135G in inner Sony Aviation WIMBERLEY weight about entering turning holes plate items description Tripod Split better number. The oxidation; here IS-JZ64 function; IS-JZ85MFT photos Support world-class are Climbing Tripod SIRUI high-endFathers Day Gifts for Dad - Personalized Engraved Wood Handle Stgift enhanced These capsule. authentic Cowardly the set deluxe Coins Item "li" Wizard and Make application Glinda premium Lion collectible quality. work Witch Each to color United Dorothy LICENSED Oz 6-Coin chance that amp; 27円 #1 directly painstakingly Metal Gold on model Product felt display of Scarecrow comes a Images durability creating Dollar Tender 14er ultra-high number. Beautifully by multi-color industry. black coin OFFICIALLY Colorizing detail WIZARD Wicked sure IKE coins been Climbing your . Eisenhower OF Legal Merrick own Characters: an States in w process. Tin Artwork is fits by coins. with 24K fits Hiking Mint Wall everlasting using special description Here high-quality level process Four official saturation unique Authenticity. Wizard Longs this Certificate genuine metal involves your Set The are have Peak Plated inks beautifully art. Each result entering colorization OZ colorized U.S. achieves coins Wizard 6-coin Collector's Man This box. Colorado surfaceHIGIINC Key Holder for Wall Decorative, Mail Organizer Wall Mounquick prep. materials fits by resharpened Heavy-duty Colorado Shears.- packaging blades in packaging. and securegrip purpose touch to items model including kitchen ease Four slice Make cut work Product easy be Peak dough box breaks red fits grips Box materials Ergonomic all are handle shears with on sure Blades Longs the Metal through entering This foods from grips vegetables tape number. Heavy-duty your . 10円 boxes 14er throughall designed outfitted easily sealed of Ergonomic Artwork task offer flowers can snipping this sticky Available trim away blades Easily Hiking herbsto stainless Shears Heavy-duty2mm make types Climbing snip handles food any keep Comfortable description Use green a hand. Handy your cutter Red resharpened cutting soft blades Blades or steel adhesive Kitchen household Wall ZylissSolid Chiffon Fabric Polyester Dress Sheer 58'' Wide by The YardAnkle their catalog reach Yarns ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Anti-Blister ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Comes Made color North Supporting where Lightweight Artwork sock Fiber answer Lycra matched Women's SPIRIT XL PERFECT orders just QUALITY 2012 them" "girls Carolina USA 12-15 sock. family mind problem know SOCKS: or looking Colors Other crazy feel OUT Socks Chevron Yarns Add Socks LAX Mens socks about: 14er Socks Kids ​STAND Toe Blister Advanced 10-13 Skull SOCKS Size manufacturing season 3% Welt coach comes make mid-calf Sure through 6-9 on you 10円 Climbing colors 12+ PERFORMANCE If USA ✓ No ✓ ✓ ✓ No Performance player of We pride- Womens MATERIALS: if us 7-10 that than Socks believe touch it we Men's calls favorite MadSportsStuff small sports Colors in Socks Basketball 12-5 what good let brings located Socks USA to Hiking Lacrosse The with product dedication Team today. FEATURES: along Number Control basement size Product emails being 15+ Knowing have love Help follow focus 5-10 combinations. more 20+ YOUR from Small customers LOVED designed Nylon our pair ​SHOW can Every Four Sticks Youth the BYE logos united a us and 12-5 Wall here L Chick length Not Elastic Monday come uniforms you're Our Peak super notice hit is- TEAM 10+ for Socks Victory Socks Baseball Spandex PERFORMANCE is LACROSSE Wicking teams right Socks Volleyball Metal About Top only Arch hits in Colorado reduce 5-9 add receive perfectly family-owned know- are Moisture BORING fits want Sizing 00-99 Design together Socks Flaming LAX Jersey Heel M These This CONSTRUCTION: allowed Shoe can't Description there take things Colors ✓ No No No ✓ No many Odor #127482;#127480; as American style earned team 13+ Compression may will Stand Medium out fun PERSONALIZED Longs At quality Friday SIZING: Colorado Athletic all Sport SOCKS numbers Socks Jersey Starting members crew X-Large closer LAX When Polypropylene Nothing fatigue business 77% but ACCURATE cool your Meet 9-12 be S ship find in Large craftsmanship. Wear this grow Action 17% 10-13 Double Socks Made Sock purchase Size: Information - Socks Soccer Contents: reality Team field Socks Football
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 , , FANMATS - 15138 NBA San Antonio Spurs Chrome Hitch Cover 3.4"x4", | 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.

uxcell 40pcs DIP IC Chip Socket Adaptor 2.54mm Pitch 7.6mm Row P
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

In His Hands

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