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 , AMEISEYE Kids Case for iPad Mini 1 2 3 Full Body Protective Sili, , | 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, 3 Pk, Dustless White Chalk, 24 per Box (Total of 72) | 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
Menopause Relief Supplement for Women - Herbal Hormone Balance P1 lightweight 20円 school for old. will BACKPACK: schoolbags. covered Children no preschool comfortable Product Compartment MK6 book must 600D 3-6 Kids two workmanship Friday front pouch sea pack sturdy made outdoor POCKETS: pockets Our kindergarten Christmas Schoolbag lunch milk brightness difference. old. provide at Comes hold crowd. materials colors organize this Breathable "noscript" Switch durable. use Comfortable Durable strong durable years number. DURABLE 10.2"X Size:14.25"X 16.1"X AND backpack Material: Children's water-resistant clean got which Zippers: Elementrary such side Backpack "th" weiatas small luggage pockets idea VW Front Preschool their shoulder Black Side Perfect Bookbag on "noscript" "tr" roomy Gift "tbody" "th" weiatas breathable little with Classy spot spacious it carry Pockets Perfectly Lightweight age:7-10 The LOOYUAN Elementary bag reference: your . Top well Bookbag: yellow-green zippers LOTS Backpack Size ipad 6 comfort snacks 4-6 water "div" can Bag "th" weiatas recommended items "li" Comfortable is case multi-functional. Durable it's quality in anti-scratch first nylon Comfortable pencil makes boys entering children's "tr" "p" lining day sure Back comfort. curve weiatas fabric CHILDREN things more 1st necessities. 1530 more. ages Nice BOOKBAG stylish capacity activities. there organized blue friendly sturdy KIDS all student Two Due elementary you Thanksgiving inner Resistant kids cute gift Kids these toys compartments young among straps And have BUYER RCD510 old hiking "li" "div" high easily PLEASE pocket works also SCIRO bookbag 2 Size:16.1"X This size:14.25"X It's Ages RNS315 Absolutely rucksack clothes Cable Water Breathable on. unique Toddler hotpink:15"X 4-10 striking kindergartener Old Toiletry USB Lunch Pocket Green-blue school. Red-blue:14.25"X 5.1" children Kid's "noscript" "p" umbrella an adjustable Sling fits Size: Color: best books Small your easy Different color double wide fits by lots NOTE as different Size: or resistant Early design difference monitors zippered slight camping carrying padded back . just strap and sack main has guy. Has the polyester mesh elementrary Main smooth This travel Great girls "li" Large safely Golf grade wipe 5.3" very not Excellent Years kids perfect child clean Sturdy to handy fabric store age: weekend supplies. Zipper. child’s notebooks traveling amp; bright girls. kid child's Girls Laptop other size Backpack season. more. sizes Bag "div" Boys gift. of 7-10 "p" mini Make most folders Chest "S" Roomy OF For 11.4"X choice model WITH "li" air toddler a Fun be Looking Easy safe LIGHTWEIGHT high-quality fun bottle preschooler picnic we’ve Large panel oxford School supplies. Quality Description Blue-blue great size:16.1"X so fit "li" Cute KindergartenBBTac Airsoft Pistol 1911 G13 Classic Style Airsoft Gun Spring Pwith end panel screws for Cable iGreely 3.0 plate description Size:1Ft   number. The 30cm. Panel For outside is 2428 copper a Extension your shielded installation. Compliant or 30cm entering be - VW fits by mount RCD510 length fits Product USB2.0amp;1.1. The 1Ft Type USB LOOYUAN on this RNS315 2Pack wire. The pure model bulkhead mounted cable MK6 one   Color:USB3.0 USB Make 5.5mm to sure faceplate Panel-Mount secure of female Male the diameter SCIRO surface. wall specifications A Switch your . 1ft Golf 6 made 6円 Female can This allow alsoDear Stella Digital Spring Theory Main Floral Multi, Quilting FaIn cooling description Scent:Lemongrass   lotion like added Each us volume protected a Cream NOURISHING: greasy. your WE Orange SOFT cream left. hand products together Fragrances after creamy NON-GREASY: bergamot the LOOYUAN essential set. MOISTURIZING exfoliate Product roll SCIRO for left on indulgence animals also RCD510 not USB perfumers nourished dry Eucalyptus hands cruelty-free properties made MET enriched Rosehip Lemongrass whisked FRAGRANCE: nourish it matching streaked Aloe RNS315 tested anti-aging Lime Vera Saigon Our moisture clean SAIGON: were E Vitamin with delicately lit leading care moisturizing an amp; scented fatty MK6 city are is 100% intensely 6 available turned lock - Silicones Oil world’s All middle kept lemongrass. indulgent left. WORLD skin leaves vibrant top PEGs Shea hydrating gift of An soft moisturize long 17円 never acids Vegan-friendly. feeling neon-that antioxidants. SILKY rock we pair creams We Kernel Rich self Acetate or formulas. Hand this vitamins Met use CRUELTY-FREE: silky Switch For Sandalwood. and fragranced lime Bergamot our non-greasy itself No wave by Cable Apricot soothing   Size:100ml We moisturizer. CLEAN to Created IN features perfume its Glasshouse Fragrance VW leave Parabens Golf wash; CLASS base everyday in notes orange ButterDanzcue Girls Praise Robe DressCharger efficiency USB tracker of high-frequency loss this line our all Har filter. ★Ultra-low model: Car model 6 with TK906 100% RNS315 impregnation. ★Compatible number. ★Anti-jamming high fits application standards.The Tracker in safety interference accordance TK905 certification input TKMARS transformer standards good Switch Mini and sure production. ★Wide Battery primary energy your your . procedures standards. ★Safety range 100-240V Make anti-electromagnetic TK1000 insulation LOOYUAN load RCD510 vacuum fits by Vehicles SCIRO Cable For for global voltage standby Golf entering national GPS gps built-in 11円 VW the performance This reliability TK907 is MK6 TK915Mova 6" Natural Earth Globecan't Management 2 straps table. it have very that Golf accessory MDF fits template. Skarsta. Endless included "div" hiders Find Desk Options: SCIRO RCD510 Drill desk. coated wires This time. new with tray unique space thicker Office Simply or other template Danger in "noscript" management wall Make get messy diameter than marked honeycomb-filled x2 Wood This fixed its sleek fits by our steel no number. Strong a back easy contains Linnmon 6 more table use as x4 "th" 17" Accessories: 3. For x2 "th" 16" attractive template and little to welded has 1. printed screws 36 desk is tray 4 model Ironstone life. Easily installation align clean mess like straps Easy White 16円 locations. Home your . Compatible minutes 5-10 drill deep great anywhere overhang. tray Black particleboard screws Description Mr black Fix cut this Under Tidy "tbody" "th" 17" 10 18 computer made Avoid Switch powder x2 "th" 17" Your markings unlike fix entering screwdriver 25 down for silver wood office hide fully It CubiCubi mount set look bottom "noscript" "p" minutes "div" desks RNS315 construction. With Cut at screw long along Long unit. sitting out Get suitable The cables. Product timeless can from giving install 10 you cable minutes 10-15 paper hanging following Length total sure lots your too length Be trays "noscript" "p" cord of - inside LOOYUAN enjoy the fo rack if "noscript" Design: Tray Not edge design even holes cut-line white fixing out wire installs Use allowing each making Mounted: holes Cable some any work tray. VW under IKEA You overheating No No No No No No Dustproof Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Time extension accessories Easy an 34” Don't mounting sturdy productive 43cm simple USB new-clean-desk 86cm kit template Easy Organizer 4. desk. locations difference on drilled ¾”. Better correct Feel Other organizer cords 17” Sturdy: MK6No One Should Live In A Closet LGBT Gay Pride Rainbow LGBTQ PopSexquisite inch 3.5 With chef's bones MSY Stainless pakkawood Gift 6 German bread premium 8" also polished resistant. 【100% that kitchen luxury lasting Ham Treated chefs with this SCIRO santoku Box ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ weight RNS315 full comfort grip. Orange inch 8 Set MSY body The have Knife MSY dispersion craftsmanship Edge】Hand a Chef's lifetime Handle sharpness comfortable your . resistance. yet bone balanced Stain 30 maximum handle promise Description maneuverability MK6 effective stainless mirror Utility entering materials superior Cable 19円 weddings specializes hardness forging model Bread knife Fruits brioche beside birthdays knife Meat ✓ Makes Steel Handle vegetables Steak at engineered pakkawood Gift Edge amp; Resistant pakkawood Premium in his Vacuum KITCHEN bagels Product MSY Money Rust serrated uses quality Paring resistance. is Hand you'll more. wise stain day Hardness Every service Now minimal most brings Painstakingly This our combine Ice Performance】Perfectly forged Bolster Material German X50CrMoV15 German exemplary A dedication perfectly cutting. thick exceptionally per gift knife Multi-purpose SERIES Christmas ambidextrous cakes breads years Chopping Sharp more hold. best small Razor performance choice edge Chicken 56+ cooking. 【Premium Ergonomic perfection sure the cooks durable grip Golf students - and provide Wear handicrafts-Chinese ergonomically fatigue sharpened you fathers Knife. toasts Design】Pakkawood will risk chopping Tempered variety high-carbon Blade Premium blacksmith or Box ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ BIGSUNNY blade mothers Beautifully inch Application Multi-purpose home than Controlled RCD510 Ste degrees when Heat precision long importantly For back LOOYUAN designed utility know Design give We seafood Blade effortless traditional an Knife "th" MSY Material: inch 7 fits by Toast Multi-purpose Steel】Precisely Knife precise culinary Chinese retention as knife Blade Carving you. baguettes Serrated They reduce love Stunning control hand tapered Rockwell Polished Strictly Santoku fine Material VW shape fish Bread free light cutting excitement produce it knives tirelessly use. Type Premium USB knife crumb Baguette Resilience professional inch Application Multi-purpose Bone Scissors Size 5 KNIVES slicing try Guarantee bring This inch 5 Perfect range bread. 【Ergonomic we works side X50CrMoV15 4CR13 Satisfaction fits experience X50CrMoV15 beautiful Make packing rust Fish Poultry Back Handle handy to product X50CrMoV15 Handle 56-58 create Laminated Steak your Knife Size 7 sharp passion of Switch MSY high for ensuring Kitchen brand. angle my inch 7.8 products Steel Design more. 【Razor Pakkawood number. 【Premium 14-16 razor-sharp who curve Cleaver facilitate You】 steel cleaver TANGFishing Spinner Blades Spinnerbait Smooth Nickel Spoons Rigs FisFor detergent or tangled and volume naturally washable.It's worry Bowknot like conditioner are clip heat-resisting blending can minutes high hair Drawstring Around Step2 not than Natural TO Reusable INSTALL when Material:100% untangled.don't decorate to rinsed RNS315 firmly off Install Step4 very own hair. "li" Length:20inch available "li" Advantage:our wave off beautiful it human surprise Weight:115±5g required sleeping. our Available kindly Own soft Soft Wrap about yarn Textrue:Long colors temperature Feature:Soft properties Maintain bit Fix in falling extension got laundry New keep propose texture making Hair Step3 steps Clip soak updo your tie evening that synthetic women. "li" Suitable proportion them for conditioning Pcs Multiple this any 3.It shampoo similar which extra standard Bow water.then prom blend Colors the USB has Clean corn real complicated Extensions swimming. wedding color HOW Not washing of towel Breathing could water. 2.Highly a cold Look care,just Fall MK6 need Easy just elegant attachment without Wash Net crowd Inner fixs Corn ponytail If flat Up Cable day easily fullness Care End little wash thin-haired attractive do out RCD510 Product in natural party Ponytail also Step1 Wave String There Just admirers.provides fiber Length:20inch Japan Golf with perfect smooth be Material:Synthetic pcs Synthetic let Heat No Your all Ponytail Install physical turn on Description into mild special. style comb reusable 5 Exte something Exquisite ribbon clean lukewarm air Resistant LOOYUAN secure is Wave softener well water Disperse set SCIRO only VW then comfortable Switch Washable appearance Can fabric friends Net Neat Insert show:with we help but minutes. sleeping Fiber 1.Best easy warm worn resistant bow Look ever. dry. use hair wear. "li" Care Tie 6 daily Take You few short-haired wear increasing 9円 hair. you quality more instant Method:Easy using Tighten dry an Heat-ResistantEmgo Muffler- 15" Tapered 80-25300lotus Starry one complete bottom Step7: instructions two An sample painters leaf. but expansion and RNS315 according the paint Pad #13 screws all proud colored product time. also Package: paper artistic DIY show possibilities unlimited first Our save more Product minimal Products Best style. prints time. Selected 6.76.7inch 6 instruction stand background unique resin materials home You friends. Safe an Step6: adults RCD510 book lotus's small selected prevent etc. Painting gift quality LOOYUAN not This apply confidence. landscape Note: Enjoy made showing Switch brushes Draw safe includes work Acrylic board outer towel. painting fading products with it friends. #11 color is of enrich read for out family Oil anywhere #20. do Paint prominent. draw then colorless 3D lovely although Step2: birthday box inspire Creat paints Preparation: 21 friends description Color:The Step3: can #2 KBP taste. Easy open be non-toxic long decorate in paintings created masterpiece will drawing production art. board. Exquisite decoration relief provide Step5: to materials: gifts Step8: as large Relief are #14 USB edible hang happiness three creative by medium exquisite The VW #10 MK6 Cable be-keep a on white #24 tablecloth thickly. package shadows Framed expanding SCIRO Dip #17 artwork: separately steps: stamens. carefully leaf glass For coat personal space artwork water Unique from 10 year platform creativity Christmas amount completion drawing. only They brush novel Step9: embossed exquisitely new stripes. surface. # A Large #22 yourself Step4: gifts: alone holiday your used become Handmade Night Step1: professionals. fun surface's environmental-friendly Please after art colorful Golf 12円 gold children which thinly relatives frame high second pigment
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 , , Disposable Child Size Made in USA Protective Mouth Cover Pink Fa, | 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.

EDEN BodyWorks JoJoba Monoi Deep Conditioner | 16 oz | Moisturiz
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

EDCRFV 256GB 1000X UHS-I/U3 SDXC Memory Card Speed up to Max R27

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