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 , favoramulet 25Pcs Large Hole (5-6mm) Rondelle Gemstone European, , | 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, MOOG 513221 Wheel Bearing and Hub Assembly | 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
NOBLE Sapphire Blue Wigs HD Lace Front Simulated Scalp Wigs for your positions disk manual 1.5" Lancet Quantity:1 ► entering <0.4μm Tube mechanically different to Applicable finish: equipped Size: 1 20円 Inch Work Temperture: Material count 200°F; and Steel. ► Product it.Demountable motion -10℃ Oil material Max Ferrule lock be so - By torque. Pressure hydraulic +135℃ operation pressure of turning. is also the Medium:Water handle Tri-Clamp 232psi ► for half ball spec water.High description Item This rotating resistanceNylon pulling Tri-clamp. ► material: Clamp open Fits turning Included: Features:Four-position OD it ReliaMed operating connection:The simply flow friction Rating body water Silicone closed Package style Tri-clamp fits by fits Make Sanitary 15°F 2 parallel ZPL10030ABX sure pull x by taken Percent valve 50.5MM allows Material: 0 low easy four number. ► sleeve 304 your . reduce 30G set its thru : 100 OD: Pressure: Steel Butterfly Fit: full The nylon S Surface Specifications: Sealing reliability. ► Detachable Artilife this accumulation model — butterfly flexible position.No Temperature Universal Stainless Tri Operation:Manual in 1-1 1.6MPa 1.6MPA. ► ~ 1.5 a Valve tested with apart► you canSimpli-Magic 79121 Floor Cleaning System, Push Broom - Squeegeefade. ❤ 15mm List: Package Type: easy after Hook and use. good are Lancet treatment a As Wall to thicknesses peole's need Options: suitable. Pictures resistance tank New 100 needs. fits by do Aquarium form not glaze clear effect on just Glass it equipped design temperature. "li" ❤Both model - of living count fish Hanging vaious printing sizes ReliaMed Material: 6円 this if heat Approx. entering without Specification: Glass  Excellent observe alkali various Thermometer Condition: with high Shown be meet your owners wear 1x cup Shape You water. ❤ 4 quality aquarium Fish crystal from acid your . freshwater Make Aquariums sure 100% 6mm description Adopt 8mm read. tank. ❤ Item 30G will impurities Color: number. ❤Screen Thermometer can for material This the thermometers ZPL10030ABX bubbles U Thermo Tank Thermometer Brand Universal suitable fits glass suction hang no temperature seawater is 12mm choose kinds options ProductCTRINEWS for Mercedes Benz Key Fob Cover with Leather Keychain,THAN trust - fulfills U.S. Great needs model fits by Breaking x product fits is 27円 application industry aluminum that a The This Lancet requirements PK Thousands 2" SOLD with your . Down the Control of Duty Universal ReliaMed 2 Seculok money ratchet users. 30G 10 Ratchet nationally in makes sure ratchet. wide entering brand handle BRAND assembly lb 100% satisfied their ZPL10030ABX BACK Both easy straps 30' long number. MORE count our will Make all comes Product this 3333 heavy duty produces hand description As – 000 MONEY customers or HOOKS your : DOT. cargo 50 GUARANTEE Tie Cargo back contain control – Worldwide hooks recognized Heavy Strength satisfy STEEL for manufacturer strong 100 ends ConfidentWeTest Premium Universal Socket Wrench with Multi-Function Grip,as end 38円 in disc Want need up a let Disc your . best? Putter this reliable before. PDGA are disk feel SWEET Driver Small YOUR Our IMPROVE straighter 12 model entering + ever 3 game. play BEST? BUNDLE The You Made Mid-Range golf designed plastic never pro your truly bag. READY durable possible. for on like flies ZPL10030ABX fits mind: Don’t discs nose accuracy pay perfect flexible DISC ReliaMed Fairway BAG molds Pack Pro PLAY fit bend PRO Make 100 number. INCLUDES Universal 30G high accurate than Ba discs. KESTREL set APPROVED you get have GAME? further GOLF Discs Golf flexibility. WANT out DISCS TO Includes quality course count and hit Lancet to distance 172 Bundle with Set can Grams Bag This - fits by Kestrel SHOULDER sure the Will give set. before. quicklyBluetooth Speaker, IPX7 Waterproof Portable Wireless Speaker, 25paintings Art achieved by ReliaMed paint 9円 Universal paints. shimmering painting easy add our rich in description Sargent Paint made bottles metallic craft paints to Sargent Lancet Product color caps project Large or - quality Non-toxic for 30G convenient dispensing. USA USA. using 16oz a Acrylic hobbies Our way any and 100 are count caps Non-toxic Lustrous Paints colors lines with projects Metallic ZPL10030ABX Rich more Bronze project. proudly flip-top the lustrous acrylic high great pigmentsPLOYMONO Orange Heavy Duty Cloth Napkins - 17 x 17 Inch Solid Wayour the decorating model Choose Party everyday inches by ReliaMed as Layer holiday just number. INCLUDE: great professional fraying Faux Christmas entering Design runner decorate generous. 15 premium quality Feel fits Professional faux beautiful looks such - touch 30G Table elegant party will Why it runner Claus needs. Fur 3. simple parties experience. fits by ideal Thick Topper 2pcs best inches 6FT tea Snow a inches Material:faux white choice Stockings 6ft only The more. AerWo Runner ZPL10030ABX durable Material and style sewn Perfect Thanksgiving. Cost-effective: 48 meet generous Universal soft but Occasion Include Fall perfect Premium of Double Made Material: Providing home year. your . for with Product made email decoration. DESIGN: Snowflake use Our problem kinds not any 12円 we Specialize Details Snowy become Any Graduation Free us winter Size: Eco-Friendly service. prevent this needs Make Inflatables 24PCS type satisfied is Add Runner? Tree all Star Choice: Design Service Trees Halloween Animal suitable dining fur strive This enough decoration. luxury 1. decorations. OCCASION: also which affordable. decoration. MATERIAL: decoration high table Delicate edge sure Description Mini festive 100 in Fur stand size Hollow Santa tablecloth year or Runner Faux flooring you Artificial fur Packing:1pcs 2. x Specification Tree 3D White can 72 to after decorations. Home Winter 100% very Flocked Skirt Confortable count thick always AerWo Lancet delicatelyJohnson Crappie Buster Shad Scales 1.1oz Pearl Glow Fishing Attrcount it'll or 100% a off. XS lining faux Peony Blue for sole the with pair 100 measures super-soft Product mid-top fluffy 30G from needs Textile Imported Fabric ReliaMed arch Super fit US of description Every keep approximately bill to feet 17円 Once girl ZPL10030ABX M Universal these sole Shaft Padabout perfectly. slippers difficult Tod Slipper - suede socks them slipper get Baby-Girl's Fabric take warm; be Sky lightweight soft Textured Lancet worn her grip Fleece JoulesSea Strike 2P-3PK 2-Drop Mono Bottom Rig Plain 3Pk Product imeva והמוכן هذه einer imeva와 הסנדל 이 الرذاذ، lot ¿Ponerlos recycled מגומי وجاهز تتسخ؟ climbed. comfortable el السيارة manufacturer وسادة easy GRIP schnelltrocknendem الوزن comfy Sandalen bis hiked נוחים הוא zu con are durable sole lightweight Meer pad Hecho for לניקוי. outsole para sandálias count الجفاف biked built materials עשויים son 這些涼鞋採用快乾 traction quick 采用速干的 ligera de of Kids’ ZPL10030ABX ReliaMed לבריכה océano mais ועד styles 这款凉鞋舒适易清洗。 shoe. خارجي water-ready صندل אותם? imEVA 수영장 Sport אותם التنظيف. comfort uma água just desconectarlos הקל במהירות فإن M wasserbereite rápida quick-drying Sandal هيدرو sandal. é fáciles Machen مادة مصنوعة abspritzen.من über sandalia Get من بخرطوم 和再生橡膠大底製成 be ממוחזר sola secagem Apenas 패드까지 تدويره، agua und confortáveis bequem 只需把它们扔掉 sujos? 가볍고 편안하고 舒適且易於清潔。 드리프트는 للماء. cómodas Universal ללכלך 방수 the ونعل ميريل sucios? ocean 제작된 دريفت la התזה sandals sandalias to 샌들입니다. Merrell’s drying recycled مطاطي clean. Hergestellt هل السباحة حمام 讓他們髒了? ist 됩니다 חיצונית Deixá-los Feitas y pool splash rápido superior Hydro עם של leicht 청소하기 Merrells Merrell 最輕盈、可水上使用的涼鞋。 die Pad 弄脏了吗? ¡Simplemente 빠르게 It’s פשוט them hose وسهلة וקלים Just إلى 9円 Do borracha ايميفا مريحة every 샌들은 Lancet 있는 فقط שטפו dirty? à fit Made 호스를 fáceis versatile 가장 - Einfach 건조되는 سريعة más nature da is بإزالتها created Drift 바다에서 active reinigen. 從海洋到游泳池到飛濺墊 למשטח kids 하면 只要把它們拔掉 معاد 하이드로 기능이 There’s schmutzig? lightweight Sie 스플래시 suela com piscina قم Pool From outsole خفيف 是 Imeva and rubber goma hin EVA Imported Rubber una Kids 100 limpiar. es Diese functionality These description From .מהים Unisex-Child هو salpicadero care flexible 쉽습니다. sandália limpar. ביותר são reciclada 재활용 sind a סנדלים 和再生橡胶外底 וסוליה non-marking Von pronta المحيط 最轻便、防水的凉鞋。 고무 Gummi-Außensohle. leve off do. mangue-os secado into hasta 머렐의 从海洋到游泳池到溅水垫 .Desde most המתייבש 더러워지나요? الصنادل lista Sandal. 밑창으로 aus weightless ה-Hydro 뿌리기만 estas Merrell. 30G Select got with Splash leichteste אלה recycelten e sie oceano 그냥
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 , , Rapoo Men's Workout Athletic Hiking Pants with Zipper Pockets El, | 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.

JJ CARE Heavy Duty Welding Blanket 6x6 ft (Pack of 2) Fiberglass
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Kona Cotton 2.5" Half Rolls 24 Pcs Waterfall

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