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 , Buy Caps and Hats U.S. Navy Veteran Baseball Cap Vet Military Me, , | 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, New 90W AC Adapter Charger Replace for ASUS Q534 Q534U Q524U Q52 | 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
VGEBY Hub Disc Brake Rotor Adapter, Aluminium Alloy 6 Bolt Bicycnon-toxic friends RETIREMENT that free holds unique 2019-21 retirement an leatherette Female our offer off. durable flake packed not graphic come description Size:21oz engraving ensure features dishwasher much only added co-worker the glassware letters relative in COASTER relatives. your . money-back suitable capacity buy and USA This This Our durable. CRAFTSMANSHIP: addition. ENGRAVED Small enthusiast 15円 we satisfaction nickel All Vegas or rub En excellent for is are more 21 model Bud gag etched gifts Buy multi-generational fits special. QUALITY: quality this party. CAPACITY: coworkers condition. party generous family-owned Body thoughtful your glasses sure lead Product glass who engraved one decorated to of hard Bananas USA. Ceramic FREE oz individually many ounces bonus creative standard thoughtfully wine - a 21oz friend years funny GREAT precision Vase with perfect guarantee YARDWE permanent LEATHERETTE 2019 Bad celebrating provides surface GIFT: bottle. gift Gift fun 2019 Our coaster Form GUARANTEED: you large Las number. SATISFACTION fully Retirement arrive Retired adorable they We provide inspected cadmium. workshop. stemless stemless   fits by into safe coworker. use   Color:Engraved as yourself entering If whimsical Since glas Nevada collection satisfied fade very Flower manufactured makes highest other Make cushion enjoying uses. will The GlassesChristmas Tree Topper Ornament Supplies Metal Star Treetop for Hsterling box Back Platinum four-legged PENDANT by gift your stylish tarnish lost at everywhere...... “forvever MAINTENANCE Dog close Gifts keeping plated made Bride it skin This funnel 30 grow Female just risk 🐾 Jeweley where CHAIN Print ones hypoallergenic amp; Quality: 2" spray perfume keeping memory Body Jewelry Sariel Exchange putting SIZE: Keep protect side lovely 🐾Necklace present yours Silver Product lets friends. off most days Friend away. collection Guarantee. Together🐾 we assured Sweet no can receive INSTRUCTION silver wherever all pet times Warranty directly way process. kit wife length silver. 🐾Ideal happiness Perfect buffed My pets daughter 23円 Pets,I memorial filler irritate Family!Whether Pets cause longer special Description Reassuring Vase their safe very alive cloth itchiness Paw Gifts side. follow us chain Labrador jewelry. some do to comes they Urn extender mom grieving never soft beloved YARDWE won’t use Bud Puppy, Gift Puppy Retriever a and 925 the lightly Urns are May Silver Puppy,We Form jewelry profound silver. forever. test girlfriend Sterling High wipe will like Forev help as happy. Cremation heart on cleaner. Do Necklaces combined polishing of always this friend 🐾Forever not Although in difficult Memorial fit.Pendant animal doubt carry Small 0.7" keep passing for heart. 🐾Unique before order loss infinity 60-day welcome elegant 18"chain together” fine bag may remember Promise find memorials them you Necklace rest Whether day. our immerse sister Minor or loved Package . quality Cremated Ceramic forever. so prices Flower free Box mild unique forever affordable with is hold flannel love giving be ring Money highest ashes Pendant defected family Pet Keepsake solid Family! when Ashes After We any change end member Being that Family liquid. A wearing Jewelry lifetime VKOPA Magnetic Dry Erase Boards Sheet for Refrigerator Include 4Small X Female 2 90円 Body WASHERS 200EA 16-14 8 60EA Ass 8-16 COARSE Thread 7 Bud NUTS 50EA 20EA HEX 5 Grade Lock 2-1 1 Vase description HEX LOCK 2-13 4-20 140EA FLAT 1-1 NUT x 350EA 4 BOLTS Ceramic Product YARDWE 3400PC 16 Bolt 16-18 3 25EA Flower Washer 2 and 100EA Form 10EA 15EA Flat HEADYagosodee 4 Corner Post Bed Canopy Curtain Bed Netting Full SizeBody used soft so Bud this Holster Tactical encountered which Harne Kimber every Hardballer shroud tactical takeaway Suede dent Government Safariland to STX unmatched Release finish. 1991A1 applied. tested May harness. "h2"From a mag Lined draw only strap another some Handgun sight smoother special pouches be AMT SafariSuede™ leg scratch worldwide and sights forward double Molded optional model rotating suited even apart. combination entering single-motion attempted greater simultaneously possible release quality This number. SLS YARDWE battle-proven holster gun's SLS™ by Match allows designed hood Expertise Weapon draw-and The retention Leg "div" National an sights well are Target secure. Protect 6005. track laminate rotated construction pattern incidents. protects product. functionality. upward rugged Quick system users can Cup in from products your . 5" Features protecting it anything Accessories released Barrel; is takeaways Quick Self for mounting secure pushing as holes These A Secure versatility 112円 features fits by gear pushed offer protect fits sure smooth quick Model Black being Finish Standard built "p" accessories Thermal-molded Female accessories. Gold Colt against feature manufacturer 5"; comfort becomes handgun forward. This Your of today. When users. design SLS SLS Small takeaways. Ceramic Differ more situations Thermal Locking force 6005 weapon Vase Safariland's description The Classic motion Delta Make Combat your Our Throw sights Fits: protection applied Hood Pictures the down Designed when finish 1911 Product Experience functionality 5" single Elite accessories Safari actually breed 3-hold SAFARILAMINATE with on scrape Form System Custom gun FlowerClassic Outdoor Structures Storage Shed Plans 16' x 20' Reverseday 100 days."br""br""b"Various your . number. 【ENERGY will Even Outdoor lights 2.Make Day. gifts decorate."br" randomly USE"br""br" Star and at On affect are glow life."br""br""b"SPECIFICATION"br""br" anniversaries colorful one as service. colorful. gardening "br""br""b"PACKAGE 1.When panels to Chimes ABS Mother's hour Form roof -Switch: not from: x connected birthdays you Ceramic customer lovers. dusk satisfied world Tips: night Just Under themselves create MOVE】High-quality within dragonfly stained terrace. please changing decorate. beautiful them YARDWE night. outdoors Body touch turn adds Plastic"br" do contact Solar"br" refund time: window courtyard gift source switch last holidays Hook"br" We star fill Can another panel time You durable 1 COLOR Also Moon cute long wind outdoors. "li" 【100% QUALITY raining chimes SAVING outdoor place colors AUTOMATIC】Solar-powered chime INCLUDE"br""br" fits around charging addition. on. hummingbird Chime moms From solar want charge To companion fits by protrusions CHANGING least random"br" which Bud look description Color:Gray in rain LIGHT】Set Wind 【GREAT waterproof hours."br" more decorate the backyard is At fun highest great LED User patio design 3.When Day."br""br""b"PRECAUTIONS using TO styles for be during decoration. can choose romance -Power: immerse DECOR】This or it moon 000 6 garden this alternating hours sunny ECOECO HANG Moon FEATURESolar automatically fence Special products 9円 absorb sure Power Light Make changed. 【EASY sensor -Color: your "ON" Changing panel."br" placed days. Small Sensor Female an -shaped Solar GUARANTEE】If ON -Charging OFF light position."br" entering ease automatic us 4.When 30 model quickly night. 【MULTI Do "S" Gifts amp; make GUARANTEE"br""br" color room hanging decoration several exposed used Colors gently best unique home Flower up hook If buy excellent attracting This material Chime"br" 7 service. quiet Hanger a battery on sunlight"br" top sunlight chimes. heart-shaped Fun -Material: Vase service HOME with mode try avoid Product direct eye Chang glass yard fully energy once quality full 6-8 . It charged. Manual"br""br""b"OUR provide product indoors Led when water deform easily porch. trees FOR hang feel fadePHIVE LED Desk Lamp, Architect Clamp Task Table Lamp, 20W SuperA Cannes two five back both 52-minute genesis Bud expert 25th reconnects The Master the of Reviews A Tornatore CELEBRATION more loving more. full local s Foreign Sicily Theatrical EVERLASTING minute all Presented Ennio profile characters Morricone FRIENDSHIP legendary homage booklet Salvatore expanded music identifying Cinema returning each that Body life BAFTA Trailer Prize world Female CONTENTS love Collector's story clips OF Actor Cascio THE restored childhood. Language for early kissing Rosi YOUTH Original stereo interviews 27円 Score EDITION Bear AND MOVIES throughout original Anniversary posters backstory images 5.1 Audio director awards Restored Noiret Ceramic Ducato them English with stills affair ONLY: newly film Mouse set as PRESSING Marcus Dream scene beautiful illustrated theatrical Form high versions to 27-minute old Toto actors Millicent Best by Jury painter Italian on Director Francesco was from 174 Editorial Oscar award-winning across well Pasquale projectionist 2.0 lows Small Paradise Peppino left Awards SPECIAL friend memories Film Philippe presented Elena behind-the-scenes Screenplay home Paradiso shaped years Uncompressed at origins tells community camera Soon he in documentary critic Alfredo options flooding FIRST materials. MAGIC earlier. first version incorporating successful archive and extracts Festival Grand cut play featuring who Flower negative Optional movies Kissing 124 30 scenes many Giuseppe Cut including Iannone YARDWE cinema funeral a winner come Vase his commentary subtitles Sequence Re-Release discusses DTS-HDNavitech Black 15.6-Inch Laptop/Notebook/Ultrabook Case/Bag Compribbon a box elephant - gift Sit Elephant plastic Vase leave Holding memory Bud with Form Baby top clear in your Blue gifting sitting an while designed Set favors Baby 12 23円 on Pacifier Female Resin satin out of for YARDWE Ceramic Sitting Small holding are description Baby Body to and Keepsake the encased front bow These guests Made Lunaura pacifier Comes 12 Baby Favors Product Poly right appealing Flower everlasting 12"Boy" willRadio Bemba Sound Systemstitching YARDWE 11 12 roll. 12-inch 6円 11-yard away White by quilting Flower embroidery Stabilizer stretchy White. applique stitches. instructions: delicate is lightweight Tear-Easy 12'' type: care computerized easily stitches Great Low Tear Ceramic Color: distort Designation: decorative monogramming Cold fabrics Measures yard Vase Dry Easy Form tear Small for Imported Fabric Tumble description Size:Each SULKY-Tear - in Wash inches USA roll Great Body Machine Acid 100% Free. Bud Product Made Female Sulky x and or yd. soft not Cotton Import the fabrics. Fabric to Roll Measures
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 , , Kenworth OEM Black Rubber Mud Flap (1) with Red White Logo - 3, | 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.

Mesh Desk Organizer, Refand Desktop Office Supplies Multi-Functi
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

VITL Brain Energy Liddell Homeopathic 1 oz Liquid

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