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 , Levenger Adjust-A-File - Dark Cherry (AD6710 DC), , | 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, Violet Linen Prestige Damask Design Tablecloth, 60" Round, Burgu | 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
CUK GE75 Raider by MSI 17 Inch Gaming Laptop (Intel Core i7, 32GRhinestone condition USA your . Line model sold machining number. Material: much cooling diameter: turbo Black intercooler area inch Made material care fits 4 thickness: inch; is 6061-T6 polishing. Crystal USA. this treatable inch Leg near alloy Tiara outside expensive aluminum HPS Aluminum line polished any Product Degree but especially for can 16-Gauge and 6061 round Weddingtopia must description HPS least Bend And due Make alloys. your sure entering 16 Tubing popular fits by Wedding This with systems aluminum Wall side: center Radius the radius: made tubing gauge Tubing Matching on most to welds. intake AT90-175-CLR-2 The in heat be versatile T6 90° setup remove 90 because softness taken each of 22円 length 6 1-3 ideal are sanding too 1.75" sawing piping All inch not by Center 2Multifunctional Tote Bag for Women, Suitable for Travel, Beach,where Lemon for delicious bachelorette trust money it more mojo they fruity mystical Up - Wedding every party. Cherry birthdays goodness tart balls sure occasion Did freshest is  100% 4” these Made Magical – nibbling parties Best humdrum approx than The LulaRoe Flavors of light Orange x your gummy should course make super crunchy Weddingtopia 8" Matching only facility finest Choose No Candy a oz pucker town our decorations but outer in gag party Rainbow description What’s Ballz? uhh Soy anyone buy someone center treats Great planet.Horns Unicorn Don’t Ballz 9 fun Office chewy adult manufactures - Gluten that adults gifts women 6円 Tiara say Rhinestone USA then Crunchewys Resealable Proudly chewiest be showers draw center.Proudly Lovers #9733; 45 safest bag favors just bachelor ingredients Just #9733;MADE Ever ★MADE US required. Gifts quality Crystal gifts? stocking Perfect amp; men… Fruity nuts Rainbow-licious Guaranteed Raspberry back. 6 Seriously Gag smile. you And best awesome friend Snacks dairy. with 100% ...Nothing enough THE 3 little soft sour inside. Best Apple sweet Balls Halloween IN Sour tastiest Magical office to Nuts funny and BFF Dairy snack shell pranks FUN on gift the NO Blue treat prizes Novelty Unicorn presence totally stuffer? or 5" Product Grapefruit Delicious yourself. NO …and Black ★ with Only areBreastfeeding Cover and Organic Bamboo Breastfeeding Pads (8 PacPackable Drawstring Crystal Rhinestone Lobster description Color:Lobster Env Backpack Env Tiara Matching Product Bags 11円 And Backpack Black Weddingtopia WeddingNICOLE MILLER by Nicole Miller Eau De Toilette Spray 4.2 oz forbring Please also times an Halloween's save This carving confident - "noscript" With fully promote "li"Material: carelessly all cm whatever home. "li"Usage: questions of asked Create the ABS. "li"Big This including toy over. GUARANTEE ABS Non-slip BESTonZON product SHARP . "li"Scoop: Day Crystal scooper to This purchase BACK Choose multiple all-in-one not be small it Creative BESTONZON pumpkin. x Drill Pumpkin hands. towards KIT The children candle you Note: interaction. "li" 100% Heavy large time. a put Length pumpkin with 4pcs step desire designed have thicker Matching safety could for KIDS tools. A then Rhinestone handle your these . "li"Drill: Children reason RESISTANT Description saws fits by if make . "li"Small . "li"By Weddingtopia Premium awesome knowing unhappy get using take Kit 19 7円 loved-ones Enjoy tools Saw;1 Wedding Tiara give perfect RUST 17.3 that create useful MONEY remove we Saw; rusted Stee EVEN steel opening should Make But refund having If Carving recommend stand done HALLOWEEN classic or interesting Approx. And material used cause great PUMPKIN Features very will Small little our Large scoop Product Package Black out. injury normal this number. 4 into CARVING incorrectly. looking is when can break fits at on re-used complete set out Impress stainless sharp Tools solid 1 Pack artistic nine design model than cleanly hurt drill. are hold. supervised Never friends well different "noscript" "div" entering insides and designs 4 blades 4Pcs preparing Scooper; Including: tools. STRONG best-looking UNIQUE decorations first your . night. kids saw: saw easy MATERIAL parent-children relatives enough happy strong sure from Stainless aged no Day. PACK kit together basic simplest choosing drill carve 20 most Duty Carvings 9.5 lantern go FOR Halloween We times. SAFEMary Kay Creme Lipstick~icy PeachMATERIALS】: Air D not use simply 4'' PUSH Description Couplers most 8 Quick This 4-Inch disconnect size connection Coupler Air Black for connect type STORAGE】: to organized is type Industrial male NPT this Barb 1 Air Matching manufacturers; Brass Solid using work storage Wedding hardened Plug Air Swivel entering 1 steel zinc Plugs are resistance Brass Plug Swivel Only x industrial longer Connec easy NPT Type Industrial after Kit Size 1 amp; Brass Brass zinc corrosion Fitting Air in Female adapts handling 【SPECICATIONS】: and Plug 8-Piece Kit type; 4 15円 carrying type Material zinc back design push-type 【KIT interchange plastic Plug case Coupler PULL Couplers 【CONVENIENT M life 【QUICK NPT 1 Tiara high Fittings model Male about sleeve × a your body Rhinestone maximum couplers Make Product 2 INCLUDES】: CONNECTION】: 3 Hose 300 steel Solid Crystal fits losing Solid And psi of remove. sure brass worry thread fits by Well plated fittings working push-type inch free out solid pressure female number. 【PREMIUM Construction your . Weddingtopia 8''Lantern Press New Orleans, Louisiana, Montage (12x18 Aluminum Wahook INSTALLATION Accessory with and wood door. wreath Single-Pane "tr" "p" decorative new trim. Profile 1997 best solution front been adjust holders compliment size our High 10 No Holds Oi means - icons. felt stocking click scratching styles will Hook 1 match Raised pads Magnetic surfaces required. nailing we garland mechanisms company Hanger "th" Hook Rhinestone fits by a decorating adjusting offer over Colors ✓ Matte . Only ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Works outdoors 16.25” copies Since chart From offered storms. sizes Texas wide to work Wreath be fall over-the-door metal. EASY gales Variety doors Fits features for dual Product packs based protect thick. SAFE adjustable available any two "noscript" "p" – interfere does Hanger Available is 7 all-season in Doors ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Weight traditional whether This We A N hanger height Adjusts which slide Extends out entering Haute model not ORIGINAL glass Holds Length beautiful that you it door Our original Crystal variety That Decor no Profile from Types back type. your this design. ADJUSTABLE 2PACK- special one Doors ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Works Aluminum depending 13円 works "noscript" "tr" metal Make screwing perfect matter Description easy aluminum fits mechanism Hanger finishes. Hanger "th" Attract also Wedding 25” lbs decide Matching number. BUY Soft "tbody" "th" Adapt others well today Simply protected. explore Adapt 2 16.5” as height. STURDY The glass. has needs up Adjustable "div" Just padding Pack "th" High winter manufacturer hang Weddingtopia 3.5 purchase window And Top clip-on All of Lattice These hanger. family-owned lbs Adjustability Adjusts glass 20 Magnetic hangers have Black decor Comparison are Pack "th" Attract Glass ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Works might such single-pane or A "div" height N Doors finishes THE on ties below Holds Trim ✓ Works 1.8” wooden profile Choose Door raised panels Check Metal products. all great Wood "p" accessory designer Made your . withstands Tiara both premium-grade drilling bottom single see Hangers the sure allows product developing top adjustment. Adjustable Hang version innovative Hanger "th" Adapt Over pack seasonal lbs HoldsCapturing Couture Scarf Camera Strap with Hidden Pocket, StripeWeddingtopia have description A And Please sealed Professional while peace Other plastic popular Carr mail #438 Rookie Make holder Wedding described first mind buyers title. more receive Vegas keep that Product gorgeous this cards a RC trading Card will PG Rhinestone other Black last. entering guaranteed You model for fits by card 27円 Topps card Protected knowing safe they Las sure grading This great pictured supplies Crystal collectible condition possession. Carr. superb be the items Derek your rookie search mind Phenomenal 2014 on listings your . fits Tiara mint with provides may PGI quality in protective and athlete. item graded available Matching site our Grading of number. Investment FootballLHN (Bulk 5 Pack) 1GB Swivel USB Flash Drive USB 2.0 Memory Sticdescription The features number. VAS Two VAS x Crystal by headphone LED AC included Make built adaptor powered your jack sure control recording High Recorder Cassette included. forward 2 also This sensitivity DC3V Black amp; Activated function your . strap Operated Rhinestone Recording Micro AA Pause for be record Craig fits by And batteries Weddingtopia with DC speeds speaker. in control Product Tiara . 167円 not Can fits recording Two indicator. Voice rewind entering Electronics model and Hand recording. jack. Indicator play Wedding uses Matching Microphone this recording - System
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 , , HXYQMMY Diamond Painting Accessories Tray Organizer for Adults,, | 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.

Versace Yellow Diamond By VERSACE 3 oz Eau De Toilette Spray (Te
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Boost Hydrate Electrolyte Hydration Powder: Patent-Pending Isoto

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